And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
The Hebrew word picture for withheld is: inner room threshing (what we might call soul searching).
In order to be willing to offer up Isaac (the child of God's promise) Abraham had to experience some "inner room threshing".
If we are to discern between God's good (decree/statute) and inferior good (our desire for lifestyle) we must be willing to submit to "inner room threshing". It is here that the nourishing grain of God's good is separated from the chaff of our inferior good.
So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.
There are two images in the Hebrew word picture for joking.
The first is that of a hooked man or woman being led by desire. Like cattle being led by a nose ring.
The second is that of a decree or statute.
God had decreed that Sodom would be destroyed, yet when Lot repeats God's decree to his sons-in-law they act as if he is joking.
Something in these men was pulling them towards the lifestyle of the city and thus away from the decree of God regarding the city.
The name Sodom means burning.
Our societies are fuelled by burning desires, whilst the Joker (satan) laughs.
Yet God's desire is that we step into the protection of His decree and thus be delivered out of the burning destruction that will result from our misdirected desires.
I believe 2019 will be a year in which we must learn to discern between God's good (decree/statute) and inferior good (our desire for lifestyle).