The men searched out righteous Lot and having confirmed the cry that came from Sodom declared God’s judgment on the city (Genesis 19:12-13). Although the judgment was determined yet God gave opportunity for all to hear and know His decision and repent just as His manner has always been. Adam, Eve and Cain had opportunity to repent while His discussion with them lasted (Genesis 3:8-13; 4:9-10); The people of Noah’s time had opportunity to repent while he preached and the building of the ark lasted (2 Peter 2:5); For some they and the privilege of hearing and listening to the voice of nature and of reason (Romans 1:19-20; 2:14-15); Ananias and Sapphira had opportunity of repenting while the time of interrogation lasted before judgment was declared (Acts 5:1-9). Unfortunately, because judgment is delayed, many take it for granted (Ecclesiastes 8:11; Genesis 19:14; 2 Peter 2:3-4). But right now, time is no more. The time-lag between the pronouncement and the procurement of judgment is less than you can imagine. The Lord is calling out ESCAPE FOR YOUR LIFE now! The instruction/warning is both to the righteous and the sinner.
Understanding The Injunction
To escape, from dictionary meaning, means to get away from an unpleasant or dangerous situation, to avoid something unpleasant or dangerous. From our text, we see that the instruction is urgent and firm. It is not to be compromised. There are definite things the youth who chooses to heed this warning must note:
- Do Not Linger – No one who has come to understanding the writing on the wall and agreed that the injury time is almost over can afford to delay any longer (cons. Genesis 19:15-16). Consideration for the things acquired, ignorance of how temporal they are and quest to be like other youths has kept many youths lingering in the world and remaining in the valley of indecision despite all warnings, persuasions and convictions by the Holy Spirit (cons. Matthew 19:21-22; Luke 9:59-62). These constitute weights in the life of the Christian youth hindering him from going higher thereby remaining at the same level (Hebrews 12:1). To facilitate your escape, you must lay your treasures in heaven and set your affection on things above (Matthew 6:19-21; Colossians 3:1-2) then the pull on your soul will be upward and not downwards to an empty world, you shall have no reason to linger any more.
- Look not behind you (Genesis 19:17, 23-26). Have you decided to escape, then the next instruction is “Look not behind you”. While fleeing, do not consider the things left behind (cons. Philippians 3:8, 13-14). You have been called out of the darkness of this world into the marvellous light of Christ (Ephesians 2:1-6; 1 Peter 2:9), therefore you must detest all that make for darkness and never return to them (Ephesians 5:11-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; consider Hebrews 10:39; 2 Timothy 4:10). All that is behind do not qualify for eternity with God, they constitute dross on your silver and blurs your vision of heaven. Here comes the need for every Christian youth to seek to be sanctified so he could live above the things of this world and its power (1 Thessalonians 5:23; 3:13). Jesus, while telling His disciples of the end counselled them to remember Lot’s wife (Luke 17:28-36). The same counsel is for the Christian youth today (cons. Mark 13:37).
- Escape to the mountain (Genesis 19:17). God appointed a place for Lot and his household to escape to. His perfect will was the mountain but Lot sought the permissive will, city nearby Sodom (Genesis 19:17-20). The mountain cannot have any resemblance or anything in common with the plain (Sodom). The Christian youth’s journey, race and escape is to a destination 100% contrast to where he has been called out from. The journey is from the Sodom of hell to the mountain of heaven (consider Mark 9:43-48; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 21:2-26). Naturally, it is never easy to climb to the mountain top but the benefits on getting there cannot be compared to the pains encountered on the way (Romans 8:18). The mountain is a place of glorious encounters and transformation, whether the ‘interim mountain’ (times of fellowship and spiritual exercises and development) (Isaiah 25:6-8; Matthew 17:1-5) or the final destination of heaven (Revelation 21:3-5). The will of God is that the Christian youth ends his journey with Him (cons. John 14:1-3; Luke 12:32). The escape to the mountain may sometimes be embedded with sacrifices, self-denial, pains and some prices to pay (Mark 8:34-35) which most youths often try to avoid hence opting for ZOAR, ‘the nearby city of refuge’ (Genesis 19:17-22) a place of compromise and ease. Influences, wooings and distracting voices and incidents are likely to come from Zoar and other environments as the Christian youth is on his journey to the appointed city (cons. Proverbs 1:10-16). Jesus has boasted that the voice of strangers and Zoar His youth will not heed (John. 10:1-5). So, be determined to reach God’s appointed city for you whatever the cost (Hebrews 11:8-10, 13-16).
Note that not all who left Sodom got to the mountain. Therefore as you escape, do not be discouraged when you see your close associates, mighty men and women fall by the way side, do not look back, remember Lot’s wife and fix your eyes on the mountain (Genesis 19:15, 26; Acts 1:16-19; 2 Timothy 4:10).
So much counsel has gone to the Christian youth but, what should the unsaved and sinning youth do on hearing all this? This is not the time for carelessness, procrastination or carefree attitude and feeling there is still time. Many will be caught unawares. At a time like this when judgment and punishment is sure and imminent, you cannot afford to remain in sin. The beginning of your escape is a true repentance from all sin, evil and dead works and surrender unto Jesus as your Saviour and Master, believing that He died for your sins. This must be CONSCIOUSLY done (Acts 2:37-38; 3:19-20). Your sins will be purged and you will be registered with the kingdom of God (consider Hebrews 9:13-15; Revelation 20:15; 21:27). You can escape today!