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Unwise Delay

November 19, 2019
By Martin Luther

But [Lot] lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.

GENESIS 19:16

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Unwise Delay

Lot had God's command to leave the city and abandon it. This command he should have obeyed. For when God speaks, He speaks in earnest and is not jesting or making fun, as we human beings are in the habit of doing. We often say one thing and have something else in mind. But the pious old man is troubled by the trial which plagues all of us too; for just as Satan disturbed Eve in Paradise by injecting the question (Genesis 3:2) why and with what intention God forbade the eating of the fruit, so our reason hampers and deceives us too. Consequently, we are not satisfied with knowing that God has given a command; but in our foolish anxiety we also want to inquire into the reasons for the command. God hates this inquisitiveness and does not want us to make it our business to ask why and wherefore, if I may use this expression; He wants us simply to obey His command and to be satisfied with this one reason, that He Himself has given the command. Hence in this passage Lot suffers from a human failing, inasmuch as he acts slowly and delays too long because of his good intention, as he thought.

 

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