12The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”

14So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

15With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

16When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

18But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! 19Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. 20Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”

21He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.)
Genesis 19:15-22 (NIV)

As I read about Lot’s hesitation to leave Sodom, I couldn’t help but compare myself to him! I wonder if I sometimes miss God’s best for me because I want to hold on to the familiar – even when the familiar has become quite uncomfortable. Even when the familiar is about to be destroyed!

Not a Friendly Place to Be & Scheduled for Destruction
You remember what happened just before this passage – the men of the town tried to break down Lot’s door to rape the men (angels) who had come into town and were staying at his home. They threatened to do worse to Lot (v. 9). The angels had to intercede:

10But the men [angels] inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.
Genesis 19:10-11

You’d think Lot would be in a hurry to leave after that. But he hesitated.

It’s clear from Lot’s words in verse 14 that he believed Sodom was about to be destroyed. “Hurry and get out of this place!” he said to his daughters’ fiancés. Yet when dawn arrived, Lot was still in the neighborhood.

The angels urged him to leave. Still he hesitated.

Finally, the angels had to grab him by the hand and usher him out of town. The New Living Translation says the angels “rushed” him out. The picture that comes to my mind is that of a mother and father holding on to their children’s hands while they run down the hall as their airline gate is about to close. Their children’s feet barely touch the floor as their parents pull them along.

Some would say that Lot was reluctant to leave his property and position in the city. Again, it’s clear from verse 14 that Lot believed the city was going to be destroyed. That would include his property and there wouldn’t be much position left when all were incinerated.

I think Lot didn’t want to leave what was familiar.

Lot’s resistance didn’t end with being reluctant to leave Sodom. Once out of town, the angels tell Lot to “flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (v. 17) Lot balks at the suggestion. He begs the angels to allow him to live in a nearby city.

“OK, if I can’t stay where I am, can I go someplace as similar to it as possible?” That’s what Lot is really saying. Do you hear the fear in Lot’s voice? “No, my lords, please!…I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die.” (v18b, 19b)

I suppose he could mean that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah would overtake him before he got to the mountains, but if you look at the words of the angels, the city he wanted to go to would be included in the destruction unless they prevented it from being so. And I’m pretty sure the angels wouldn’t rush him out of town only to direct him to a place where he would be destroyed in the upcoming firestorm! (That’s sarcasm – I’m absolutely sure of it!)

Lot’s fear of the unknown nearly paralyzed him in Sodom, and now it was causing him to plead for something other than what God had for him.

I want to live my life looking for the adventure that God has for me, not seeking the familiar that brings me comfort. I want my comfort to come from the relationship I share with Christ, the fellowship I have with the Holy Spirit, and the unswerving faithfulness of God my Father. As I get older, such a desire is harder to hold on to. The call of “comfortable” and “familiar” grows ever stronger (I like travelling with my own pillow now and Phil likes to take his own tea with him. We used to be happy to travel with a toothbrush and change of clothes.)

Lord, keep me flexible and willing to continue following closely after You!

And that’s a perfect devotional to lead into the next blog in our “Taking Hold of Our Eternal Life” series. Watch for the next blog later this week.

4 Responses to “Do You Miss God’s Best because You Like the Familiar?”
  1. TERRY CAUDILL says:


  2. Sandy says:

    Thanks! An adventure can be so much fun! And when we’re holding Jesus’ hand, there’s no fear we’ll get eaten by the lion, right? So why am I often so hesitant? I agree with your prayers. Lord, give us adventurous spirits!

  3. Maggie Timmons says:

    I can relate to him as well…. Sometimes the familiar is easier to deal with than the unknown, even when it isn’t the BEST or in our best interest! I agree with Terry, also…Lord, give me an adventurrous spirit!

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