The Seriousness of Sin (Genesis 19:26) - Radical

The Seriousness of Sin (Genesis 19:26)

“But Lot’s wife behind him looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. So this is the story of Lot and his family fleeing Sodom as God’s righteous judgment is raining down upon Sodom for evil and wickedness in that place. And God had said to Lot and his family, flee from here and do not look back.”
-Genesis 19:26

Stop anywhere. Do not stop anywhere. Just keep going. And yet we get down to verse 26, and as they’re fleeing, Lot’s wife behind him looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. She was gone in an instant.

All sin is serious in the eyes of God.

Now we read this story, and I don’t know about you, but that feels like really severe punishment for a glance. All she did was look back, and she dies on the spot.

There’s so much we could talk about in this passage, but the thing I want to point out and lead us to pray according to right now is the seriousness of one sin before God. One sin that we might even think is kind of small, not that big a deal. There are worse things that lot’s wife could have done. All she did was turn her head and look back. And in an instant, she was gone.

And in this picture, I’m reminded, I want to remind you, of the seriousness of a one sin, no matter how small we might think it is before the infinitely holy God of the universe. And we shouldn’t be surprised by this.

When Genesis chapter 3, all they did, all that Adam and Eve did was eat a piece of fruit, and condemnation came to all people forever. They ate a piece of fruit. That was it. Seems like there’s worse things they could have done. But from that one sin came condemnation for all people and all the effects of sin. Think about world wars and violence and just all kinds of heinous, horrible things, murder, just go on and on and on and on, all of that. And natural disasters, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, all of that came from one sin.

And then you look at your life and my life, and we’ve committed thousands of them, thousands sins against the infinitely holy God of the universe. Indeed, we all deserve infinite judgment. And this makes what Jesus did on the cross all the more glorious, infinitely glorious, because at the cross, he paid the full price for all of our sin and all of the judgment we deserve against God. He took it all upon himself for all who trust in him.

And so let’s praise Jesus today in a fresh way for taking the full judgment we deserve upon himself. And in the process, let’s pray that God would help us to avoid any sin today, that we would not classify sin as small in any way before a holy God.

God, we confess together right now that, apart from your mercy, apart from Jesus’ work on the cross for us, we deserve to be in hell right now forever. We deserve your eternal judgment, all of us. Were it not for your mercy, we would be separated from you forever, enduring the judgment we deserve. And we praise you, God, for loving us, the world, so much that you have sent your son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, to rise from the grave so that we might have eternal life through faith in him. All glory be to your name, Jesus, the one who bore the wrath we deserve in order that we might experience righteousness and eternal life we could never earn.

So with faith in you, we pray that today you would help us, each of us, I pray this in my own life, and I pray this over every single person listening right now, God, that you would help us to turn from every temptation, that you would keep us from classifying any sin as small. God, help us to see any sin, no matter how small we might be tempted to think it is, help us to see it as an infinite offense in your sight, and to hate sin, to run from it in every way, that we might live in righteousness and holiness, that we might not glance the wrong way, god, that our every thought, our every desire, our every word, our every action would be pure and pleasing to you.

And God, knowing that we’re prone to sin, we praise you for your mercy that should we sin today, which we pray that we would not, but should we sin, oh God, we praise you for your forgiveness and your mercy. We pray that you would convict us quickly. Help us to be quick to repent of it, to run from it, by the mercy you have made possible for us in Jesus.

We love you, Jesus. We praise you, God, for your mercy toward us, sinners who deserve your judgment, but are now called your sons and daughters and have eternal life with you. All glory be to your name for your grace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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