Daily Word

Get outta Dodge! | Genesis 19:15-22

15 At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. “Hurry,” they said to Lot. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!”

16 When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. 17 When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”

18 “Oh no, my lord!” Lot begged. 19 “You have been so gracious to me and saved my life, and you have shown such great kindness. But I cannot go to the mountains. Disaster would catch up to me there, and I would soon die. 20 See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don’t you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved.”

21 “All right,” the angel said, “I will grant your request. I will not destroy the little village. 22 But hurry! Escape to it, for I can do nothing until you arrive there.” (This explains why that village was known as Zoar, which means “little place.”)

Genesis 19:15-22 (NLT)

Get outta Dodge!

The angels strongly urge Lot to “get outta Dodge”. Lot hesitated. He certainly knew that angels were telling the truth – both by their miracle the previous night of blinding all the evil guys, but also, Sodom was indeed a wicked city and worthy of punishment. Yet, it was home. He was torn. The Angels, in mercy, seized (a pretty strong verb) him and his family and rushed them (maybe dragged them kicking and screaming) out of the city. Then they warned them to not look back, keep running, “Head for the hills!”

Humble Appeal

When we were raising our kids and teaching them obedience, we taught them that if they couldn’t obey, they were allowed to make a wise appeal. Lot doesn’t think he can make it to the hills before the judgment falls, whatever it will be. He appeals to the angels to allow him to stop in Zoar. He thanks them for their graciousness and saving his life, explains why he can’t fully obey, and presents an alternative. This is a wise, and humble, appeal.

Mercy, Justice, Grace on display

Reflecting on this whole incident, we can ask, “Why did God share this with Abraham?” Or, “Why didn’t He just wipe out the two cities with a quick blast from Heaven, including Lot?” Yes, “Our God is in the Heavens, He does whatever He pleases.” (Psalm 115:3). 

But God’s desire is to reveal Himself to us. He wants us to know Him so we can worship, enjoy and serve Him with a whole, loving heart. So The Lord was willing to reveal his plans, negotiate with Abraham, and accept Lot’s appeal. One key reason He came to Abraham and Lot to show Him who He is, His character, of mercy, justice, grace, love. And, not just to them, but to anyone who reads this historical account!

Don’t look back

The group Boston had a song called, Don’t look back. The angels give this warning to Lot and his small family. Some commands are not meant to be negotiated, as we’ll see tomorrow.


  • How obedient are you to God’s commands? He’s given us quite a few to follow. I’m referring mostly to Jesus’ commands. Pick one and choose to obey. Pray for help. Gain victory. Then move to another. Or, just start with, love the Lord and love your neighbor. (Mark 12:28-31)
  • Are we looking for God to reveal Himself to us? First and foremost, we need to look in the Scriptures. Then we can look in His creation, in others, in circumstances. But look!
Gunsmoke TV series. Get outta Dodge. Image from cowboysindians.com *

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