I’ve seen from the very beginning of Scripture God’s compassion. Where I really saw it, which I had never read in this way before, was when Lot was told by angels to leave Sodom with his family to so he would not be included in the punishment of the city. When this is told, Scripture next says “But he hesitated”. (Gen.19:16) How often when we know God wants us to do something, do we hesitate? But the angels “seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters for the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city.” (Gen. 19:16). The angels then tell him to go up in the mountains, but Lot says he cannot do that, “for the disaster will overtake me and I will die.” (Gen. 19:19) How often do we think our way is better than God’s way, and we have a better plan and we say “but Lord”?
Again God’s compassion is shown to Lot and allows him to stay in a small town, instead of going up to the mountain. But, he must be lingering – maybe his wife is taking her time – because the angel says to him “Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (v22) God waited for him – even with Lot’s challenges and negotiating, He showed compassion and would not destroy Sodom until he was gone. How often does God wait for us, give us more chances, let us start over again?
My heart goes out to Lot’s wife, because she had to be urged too. The angel from the beginning told them not to “NOT LOOK BEHIND YOU“ (v. 17). It appears she did not until just before she arrives to the town of Zoar and as you know, “she looked back, and became a pillar of salt.” (v.26) Why did she look back? Was she yearning for her family that was left behind – close friends that were going to perish? Was it her home that she would miss where she bore her children? Would we look back? As a woman with emotions, I think most would.
I love another verse in II Peter 2:7-9a, comparing God’s compassion for Lot of to the compassion for us, and it also shows that despite his failings, Lot was a believer:
And if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation . . .