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Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place.13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting. – Genesis 19:12-14
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s a line from one of my most favorite movies, Hunt for Red Okober. The Russian general is sorting through mail or talking with someone on the phone. He’s completely dismissive and unengaged. Whatever he’s reading or hearing is of no consequence to him. Until he opens a letter from his nephew and protégée, played by Sean Connery. Ramius is defecting with a newly-designed and highly-classified Soviet submarine as the story goes. As soon as he reads Ramius’ letter he spills his tea and yells for action! The hunt is on!
Lot’s sons-in-law are saying, yeah, yeah, yeah in the face of Lot’s warning. They should have known better. These visiting men had shown their power. They are angels in every sense of the word: messengers (that’s what the word means), and holy beings in service to God. They have extraordinary power as well. They not only save Lot, but will oversee the destruction of Sodom. Angels are not to be trifled with. They are no nonsense, powerful, purposeful, and dedicated servants of God. And they’ve come to deliver a message to Lot, and to deliver him from destruction.
We might think we can distance ourselves from this kind of attitude toward God. We might assume that we always pay attention to God’s warnings. We might even labor under the false idea that since God hasn’t done one of his direct and dramatic acts of retribution in our recent memory, he won’t deal summarily with us. We’ve skated this long. We’ve been able to bend God’s will to ours all this time. He won’t come down on us. If you know how this story unfolds, you’ll recall that the sons-in-law and Lots’s wife’s nonchalance will not be well-rewarded.
Sometimes a sailor goes rogue. Sometimes the boss catches wind of poor behavior. Sometimes warnings signal real danger. They’re not always like the pesky warnings to read user agreements when you install new software. They’re not always the irritating small print or fast talk we’ve learned to ignore on pharmaceutical commercials. Chicken Little isn’t always the only one sounding the alarm.
As we see this story unfold, we’ll also see how God is true to his word and faithful to his grace. That’s a good combination, fully expressed in the Word Made Flesh, our Lord Jesus, who is filled with grace and truth (John 1:14). He is one we must never dismiss with any sort of yeah, yeah, yeah, but one rather we should fully embrace, with a resounding yes! For he is truly good, and faithful, and true.