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Don’t Look Back – A Glance Will Do!
Atherton Baptist Church
January 11, 2004
11:00 A.M.
!! Prayer—
!! Genesis 19:15-17,26
Never look back at the wrong you’ve done,
Because that wrong you can’t undo.
Just look ahead at the goodness of God,
And he will bring joy to you.
Never look back at failures you’ve had,
Because they probably weren’t failures at all.
Just realize you are made in the image of God-
Like a mountain you will stand tall.
Never look back at what you should have done-
On these thoughts your mind you should rid.
Just ask God to guide you day by day,
Then you can proudly say what you did.
Never look back at moments of pain,
Because the only one that will hurt is you,
Just keep your mind on the love of God,
And watch your gray skies turn blue.
Never look back at material lost,
Because nothing material ever lasts.
But the things that God will give to you,
Nothing material can surpass.
Never look back for what no longer exists,
Because you won’t find it anywhere.
Just keep your eyes on the love of God-
Look around you, it is always there.
!!! By:  Rev.
Greetings and Salutations
    The word look can take on many different or similar meanings.
Most times, we determine its’ meaning from the context in which it is used.
For example, it can be an instruction to turn your attention to someone or something.
It can be an invitation to realize a matter.
It can also be used to qualify a facial expression.
One of the good things about the original languages of Scripture is that most words have specific meanings attached to them.
The word look as it is used in our text today has the connotation to dissect, to gaze at; to fix your eyes on; to scrutinize, study or examine; to stare at.
When I use the word look, today, I too am referring to these very types of adjectives.
This is a familiar account before us this morning.
It is the account of the destruction of heightened sin, voided consciences, and buried morality, found in the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah; the account of a faithful and praying patriarch by the name of Abram; the account of some might angels that were sent on a rescue mission; the account of weak-kneed, fast talking, unimpressive “righteous man” named Lot, his wife (*Latte’*), and his family; the account of a compassionate, merciful, patient, just, and all-wise God.
You might have noticed that I did not characterize *Latte’*?
Well, she is the center of our though today, and we shall uncover her shortly.
Do know that Scripture really does not name Lot’s wife, so we will just refer to her as *Latte’* since we will uncover her through Mr. Lot.
There are several applications that we can observe from this passage, but just for a few minutes we want to consider a single thought.
One of the main thoughts from this passage is that the actions of the main characters all stemmed around a “call”.
There was a call for some sort of action.
There was a call that elicited a response.
There was a call that caused some hidden truths to surface.
There was a call.
There are three aspects of the call in Genesis 19 that we want to look at this morning:
The angels that were dispersed to this city had previously been in the presence of Abram, only there were three with him.
These two, however, came to this city in actuality to rescue Lot before they destroyed the city.
I know this because Abram had asked God to spare the city if at least ten righteous people were in it.
Well, it was obvious that there were not ten righteous people because the Bible says that all the men of the city, young and old, all the people had gathered around Lot’s home seeking to have sex with the strangers that were inside.
As all the men were pressing their way into Lot’s home, the other people of the city had gathered in around them to watch.
So, there were none righteous in the city, except brother Lot.
Abram had heard about the call long before Lot, and he immediately went into prayer for Lot and his family.
Perhaps he surmised that since he had raised Lot, and since Lot knew God, surely he had been a good witness and converted a few people to God.
Then, the more he thought about it, he had to keep changing his request to the Lord, until finally he surmised that surely ten people in the city were righteous.
After all, there was Lot, Latte’, at least two daughters and maybe even four by now, and sons or grandsons, so that would equal 6-8 righteous people right there.
Surely he had converted two more?
But notice what Abram did when he heard about the impending call:  he prayed for others to be saved.
Lot had begged for the angels to come home with him for the evening.
His was not just a common, everyday type of home.
It was a palace.
It was a place of safety and a refuge.
He prepared not just a meal, but a banquet for them, with sweet bread, unleavened bread.
Lot was a very wealthy man in Sodom.
He had chosen what he thought to be the biggest, most prosperous piece of land from Abram, and it had paid off well for him.
He had come to the city under false pretenses.
I know this because the men of the city said that he had come as an alien who only then wanted to act like a judge and the word in the Hebrew that is used here gives the picture of someone stopping by from traveling on the road to rest a while.
Much like the angels had.
Lot was supposed to only be passing through, at least that’s the story he had told the people, but he got tangled up in the business opportunities and the wealth and he closed his eyes to the wickedness.
They had made him one of the good ole boys because he was accustomed to sitting at the gate of the city, a place of honor and respect and business dealings.
Lot had compromised his morals.
What have you compromised for today?
What are you closing your eyes and ears to?
What has captured your sense of right?
What has become more important to you than following after the God that you say you love and serve?
Now, Lot clearly *heard the call*.
There was to be no mistaking it.
The angels, who were disguised as mere men traveling about, did not hedge the call or shroud it in camouflage.
The call consisted of a total revelation of the purpose and intent of their visit.
It’s right in the text:  “…we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”
Lot heard the call; he heard it internally, meaning that he listened and understood what they were saying and what was required of him.
By now he knew that these were not mere men, but messengers from God, because the angels had blinded the men of the city for a while, meaning they had allowed the full brightness of their angelic beings to flash before them.
Yes, Lot heard and he understood.
Now he would *hypothesize the call*.
He would theorize the urgency of the call; imagine himself and his family picking up, not packing up, and leaving everything they had behind; see in his mind’s eye himself going to a new, unfamiliar place to begin again, speculate his options and consequences, he would realize that the call was real and without mistake.
In his hypothesizing he hesitated; he vacillated; he was uncertain; he argued; he begged to have his own way; he wavered.
In hypothesizing, he showed his great concern for his old life; his old friends; his old habits; his old friends and acquaintances; his own desires and decisions.
How often today do you hypothesize about the call God has placed before you?
The call is clear and without camouflage.
The call is sure and direct.
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