That’s right, you guessed it! This is another post where I challenge you to use this word in a sentence today. (Gosh, you guys are getting really good at guessing!)
Thither-ward is defined as toward that place. As used in a sentence: I am driving thither-ward to Mc Donalds for lunch.
Lately God has been teaching me to to look forward “toward that place.” To the place of peace in Jesus where I am obedient and trusting in Him alone. I have a tendency too look back too much and it needs to stop and stop now. I’m no good to Him when I focus on what’s happened to me in the past. Looking back on the negative is destructive and draining. So why do I keep clinging to what I know is harmful to me and my walk with Jesus?
Thankfully the Bible is full of history that shows me what to do (or not to do.) For this post we are looking at Lot and his family. You’ll find what I’m talking about in Genesis 19.
Lot and his family had been traveling with Abraham and Sarah. But it got too crowded for all of them, so Abraham told Lot to choose whatever section of land he wanted in order to maintain peace between them. (Gen. 13) So Lot picked the fertile, well-watered plains of the Jordan, and settled in Sodom. “The men of this area were unusually wicked, and sinned greatly against Jehovah.” (v. 13)
Some Bible scholars have said that Lot was selfish. Abraham gave him first choice and he picked the best and easy land. Also if the Bible says the men in the area were unusually wicked, word must have gotten out about them, and yet Lot still chose to make his home among them. (Insert ominous music here.)
One day the Lord was talking with Abraham and said, “I have heard that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are utterly evil, and that everything they do is wicked.” (Gen. 18:20 [TLB]) So he (God) intended to destroy them. Abraham asked God id he would kill the good people along with the bad. God said no. So God sent two angels to Lot to warn him what was coming.
It was in the evening and Lot was sitting by the entrance to the city when they arrived. He welcomed them into his home for the night. They said, “no thanks, we’ll just spread out here on the street.” But Lot was insistent. As the angels were preparing to retire for the night, “the men of the city—yes, Sodomites, young and old from all over the city—surrounded the house and shouted to Lot, ‘bring out those men to us so we can rape them.’” Lot stepped out to talk to them and asked them not to do such a wicked thing.
Then here’s the real kicker folks! Lot then told them, “Look, I have two virgin daughters, and I’ll surrender them to you to do with as you wish.” (v. 8) WHAT!?!
The Sodomites said, “We let this fellow settle among us and now he tries to tell us what to do! We’ll deal with you far worse than with those other men. And they laughed at Lot and began breaking down the door.” (v.9) Then the two angels reached out pulled Lot in and bolted the door.
I’ve got to wonder, would you sacrifice your daughters to be raped by evil men? I don’t think so.Yikes! I guess the city was rubbing off on Lot.
Then the angels warned Lot to get out all of his family because God sent them to destroy the city, so Lot rushed out to his daughter’s fiances to warn them and they looked at him like he was crazy. So my guess is these boys were locals and they were okay with their future, virgin brides being raped by their neighbors.
So the next morning the angels became urgent and told Lot to hurry. And he hesitated yet again. So the angels seized the hands of Lot, his wife and daughters and rushed them out of the city. They told them to flee for their lives and not look back. But Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. (v. 26)
What was it about her life, in a wicked city full of rapists, who would have done horrible things to her daughters, that was so appealing that she had to look back?
They had been given a second chance. They were given an opportunity to flee unspeakable evil. There was nothing of real value left behind for them to miss. They were blessed to escape with their lives. Yet Lot’s wife looked back and suffered the consequences.
Then in the New Testament, Jesus tells us in Luke 9:62 that no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.
Before modern farm equipment, you literally had your hand on the plow. You needed to keep looking forward. Pick a point in the distance and look thither-ward. If you looked back, you would have a tendency to go astray, and then the line you are plowing is messed up and you just made more work for yourself to clean it up and make it right.
In other words, there are consequences in looking back. I try to life my life being the salt and the light, but I never want to be as “salty” as Lot’s wife!
I don’t want to look back when only evil lays behind. I’ve been given a second chance and a new life and I want to focus on the freedom that lays in the straight line that God’s future holds for me.
By accepting Jesus into my heart, I’ve been shown how to turn my back on a godless, indulgent life. (See Titus 2:12 [MSG])
If you turn your back on something you exclude it, ignore it, abandon it, give up on it, and forsake it.
Which means leave it altogether. I must focus on what is ahead of me. And that’s easier to do because Jesus is giving us all his best “come hither” look.
Defined it is a facial expression that is inviting, enticing, and beckoning. Hither means the place where I am. And who is I AM, but Jesus!
“For I absolutely know who I am, where I come from, and where I’m going.” (Jesus, John 8:14 [TPT])
“I am his messenger and he is always with me, for I only do that which delights his heart.” (Jesus, John 8:29 [TPT])
“Behold, I’m standing at the door knocking. If your heart is open to hear my voice and you open the door within, I will come in to you, and feast with you, and you will feast with me!” (Rev. 3:20 [TPT])
“Come, follow me…” (Jesus, Matt. 4:19)
So let us accept His offer, for He is calling us to move thither-ward to where He is hither! But don’t dither! Don’t make me grab your hand! Hurry! Move thither-ward already! And don’t look back! It’s not worth it!
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