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Knowing How To Decide

2 Peter 2:6-9
...if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) – if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. (NIVUK)

"Rightly or wrongly ..." a friend was heard to say, "I made the decision".  He implied that it was better to make any decision than not to decide at all.  Alas too many businesses get trapped by decisions that they were not ready to make, and regret afterwards.  Of course, it is important to make decisions, but they need to be the right choices.  God always makes the right choice (Genesis 18:25).  He knows how to judge between what is good and evil, right and wrong; and how to distinguish between those who are His and those who are not.  And therefore, His judgements are always 'safe' (as our legal friends would say); in other words, there is no possibility of any valid objection, because He is always right.
Peter wants his readers, Christians who would suffer for the Name of Jesus, to understand that they would be vindicated in the end. Taking the example of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all the wickedness they represented (Genesis 19:1-29), Peter says that God knew how to rescue Lot and punish his neighbours.  This is important.  There is no suggestion that Lot had any idea that God had him and the city in such sharp focus.  

And the wrong attitudes and actions around him grieved Lot.  Peter uses highly emotive language; Lot was distressed and tormented by the depraved and lawless behaviour of people in Sodom.  Even though Lot had made a selfish decision (Genesis 13:10-11) about where to live, and offered his daughters to be raped instead of his male guests (Genesis 19:8) – Lot is described as righteous because when the opportunity of salvation came, he took it unlike his wife (Genesis 19:15-26).  Lot could not have imagined how God would sort out the mess.  But God did.
Some of our doubting, in situations that seem insoluble, stems from forgetting that God knows how to decide and separate the fate of the godly from that of the ungodly.  If we ignore this truth, we will either be panicked into sorting it out ourselves, or despair because we cannot see how God can do anything, or worse - end up joining the wicked (at least in thought) because we blur the distinction which God sees very sharply.  If we are to live godly lives in a wicked world, we need to be certain that God knows all about it, and that in the end He will know how to rescue the righteous, and bring the reward of punishment to the unrighteous.  So, do not falter or alter your course away from Jesus!  God always gets it right!  And, please share these verses with your Christian friends and colleagues - without this encouragement we can all be tempted away from trusting the Lord when life is tough.

Dear Lord. Thank You that You really do know how to make the right decisions and that You will rescue those who trust in Your salvation. Forgive me for the many times I have made wrong decisions and been distressed by the consequences. But I do believe that Your hand of kindness and protection is upon me now, as well as for eternity, as I repent and trust in Your mercy through Christ. Please forgive me when I doubt that You know what You are doing. Help me to trust that You will always do the right thing, at the right time. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams