The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar.
Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens.
So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD.
Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace.
This morning, while ‘out wiv dog’ as my friend, the artist Alexander Hamilton — who passed away early in 2021 — used to say, I began considering what it is that sets so many in this present age to turn away from God and look to old pre-Christian beliefs. I have heard some say that they don’t like religion, seemingly equating these old ideas — or what is now called ‘humanism’ — as not religious.
Obviously, I have to generalise here, for this topic is not straightforward religion vs unbelief, and I am sure that many will disagree with my thoughts. However, my belief is that we all believe in something, even if that something is nothing. I can say that, for me, it is certainly a case of “Here but for the Grace of God, go I.”
It does seem that in rejecting a notion of Christianity, leaves a considerable number in a chasm of emptiness and, casting about for something to hold on to, are drawn into a fantasy world, loosely based on ancient beliefs, which can sound appealing in their promises. It is a form of regression to an idyllic idea of the past that never existed. Maybe. What do I know? I know that I know, and have been shown that in vision, so that I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. [2 Timothy 1:12b] Ultimately, it is not for me or any of us to judge, but only to observe and discern the times as best we may, guided by The Holy Spirit.
In my considering, I heard the passage from Genesis (above), speaking to me. Lot’s nameless wife looked back behind Lot to the conflagration of all she desired and was consumed by The Lord’s destruction. Abraham, on the other hand, was able to look on that same scene and saw only the smoke of the land, but then Abraham stood before The Lord, Who had put that veil of smoke before Abraham’s eyes — his unwavering faith protecting him from that emptiness and death as suffered by Lot’s wife.
We should recognise that this same spiritual vacuum surrounds us today, and only the seed of Abraham will be protected in these times, just as Abraham himself was shielded by The Heavenly Father.
Meditate On These Things
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
I’VE COME TOO FAR TO LOOK BACK — Praise song by James Hollihan, Roby Duke
Music: Redeemed Quartet.
Background: Glen Orchy and Glencoe, Scotland, UK.
A HOLY CONDITION: Oswald Chambers on JOY and PEACE
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS…
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART