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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Genesis 19:16, "And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and
upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set
him without the city."

This morning, the daily mercies and longsuffering of God continues to amaze us, and I trust, fill us with thanksgiving. My own patience level is quite low, and I am prone to grow weary and impatient when things are not happening as I would wish them to be. Too many times, we fall into the rationale that someone does
not deserve mercy and therefore withhold it. For mercy to be deserved, it would not be mercy. Rather, it would be justice, but by the very nature of mercy, it is wholly undeserved and unmerited. Many of the aged in the church (when I was a young boy) were fond of the phrase while praying, "Oh Lord, deal not with us in justice, but be merciful unto us." Lest we ever get to the point of thinking that because of the blood of Christ we do not stand in need of daily, timely mercy, let us never forget that God Almighty was not required to save us by the blood of His Son. On top of that, He is not required to show pity upon us here. Let be thankful that He has seen fit to do both. While His justice will not go unserved (ours was served on the precious head of our Redeemer), He ever opens the door of mercy daily with fresh blessings.

As we read through accounts like the life of Lot(from whence the verse above springs), there are large sections that are not pleasant to read through or take into consideration. Yet, they are there for our learning that we through these Scriptures may have hope. (Romans 15:4) So, during the miserable times of Lot's life, what are we to learn? What should we glean from accounts of prodigals in God's own family?  While my legalistic mind would be unmerciful to Lot while reading the Genesis account, Peter informs us, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that Lot is indeed a child of God that is dear in His sight. He loves Lot no less than any of His other children, and the same blood that washed us from our sins washed Lot from His as well. Yet, even reading this account, we get glimpses of God's longsuffering with His child that show us how far above us and our ways He is with His ways.

In our haste, we many times pass over words, phrases, and punctuation that is vitally important to comprehend while studying or reading a passage. In my haste, I have, in the past, read through the story of
Lot's life and missed the very precious thought "the LORD being merciful unto him." We could say that the
Lord showed mercy on Lot for Abraham's sake in foretelling him about the impending doom of the cities
of the plain. We could also say that the Lord showed mercy upon Lot later by granting his request to flee
to Zoar (the smallest city of the plain). Yet, what hit me in this verse is that the Lord showed mercy and
pity upon Lot in his procrastination.

Our society today puts responsibilities off as long as they can. We do things at the last minute, and then are "surprised" when things are not neatly in order as they would have been with a little careful thought and preparation. Lot has been told what is going to happen. He has been told what he must needs do. Yet, he is lingering (perhaps waiting on his son-in-laws), but still not hastening to the Lord's command. His uncle Abraham, on the other hand, hastens to the Lord's command in Genesis 22. When God tells Abraham to slay his only son Isaac on the alter, Abraham rises early to do the Lord's will. My own shortcomings would be to procrastinate in hopes that the Lord would change his mind. Lot, perhaps, felt unwillingly to let go of things that must needs be cut off.

Today, the Lord has called us to flee from youthful lusts. (II Timothy 2:22) He has called us to come out
from the world and be separate. (II Corinthians 6:17) While we cannot remove ourselves totally from the
world (go out of the world), we need to pitch our tent in a direction away from Sodom. We need to flee into
the mountains of Canaan's Land where milk and honey flow from heaven into the church of the Living God.
When the Lord calls upon us to do these things, let there be no lingering and looking back. The Lord showed mercy to Lot when Lot was slack in departing. Could the Lord have devoured Lot's life in the fire and brimstone for his procrastination? Verily, amen. Can He remove His providence from us when we pitch our
tent in the wrong place, linger in the world before coming to church, and run from His calling? Most certainly He can and has before. But, let us be thankful that His mercies have continued with us in spite of our shortcomings.

My life has been littered with unfulfilled promises and slow progress. Yet, looking now, I can say (with the poet), "Thus far the Lord has led me on; Thus far His power prolongs my days." His mercies with His wayward children are the reason that we are not consumed and destroyed. While He does not ever leave
justice empty, may we thank Him for the mercy and love bestowed upon us. Then, may we take that standard to apply in our endeavors with one another and look at one another with tender and merciful eyes.

In Hope,

Bro Philip