ODJ: fatal hesitation

June 19, 2015 

READ: Genesis 19:12-29 

Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt (v.26).

In the autumn of 2003 a string of wildfires claimed two dozen lives in America. The flames had spread fast, and firefighters begged people to leave their homes in Southern California. But many hesitated. Some wanted to take the time to pack clothes, while others wanted to battle the inferno with garden hoses.

One man frantically tried to warn his neighbours, only to have them disregard his words. Later he told of those who had attempted to save possessions like televisions and computers before escaping. Those who listened to the warnings and left the area lived. Sadly the ones who hesitated and didn’t listen perished in the flames.

Hesitation proved to be fatal for a close member of Lot’s immediate family. God used angels to warn Lot of the imminent destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and instructed him to warn his relatives (Genesis 19:12). The fiancés of Lot’s daughters didn’t take the situation seriously. Even Lot hesitated and had to be tugged out of the city by the angels (v.16). The fate of Lot’s wife was different, however. She disobeyed—hesitating and looking back longingly for what she was leaving behind. The result of her hesitancy and disobedience was tragic; she was transformed into a pillar of salt (v.26).

One of the responsibilities of a follower of Jesus is obedience—following Jesus without hesitation. As Jesus said, “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me” (John 14:21). Life and blessing are found in leaving excuses and worldly affections behind as we follow Jesus and proclaim the reign of God. He provides what we need to faithfully follow Him without hesitation.

—Marvin Williams

365-day-plan: John 3:1-21

Read Acts 10:14-21 and discover someone else who hesitated in his obedience. What caused him to do the right thing? 
When do you tend to hesitate in your obedience to God? What does our hesitation reveal about our view of Him and His commands?