THE POWER OF DESPERATION
So they made their father [Lot] drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day. Genesis 19:35-38 ESV
Put yourself in the story of Lot’s daughters. You’ve been displaced from your home. Your husbands are dead. Your mother is dead. All that is left is the two of you and your father is old. He is not likely to re-marry and your entire future depends on having children who will care for you and carry on your family name. What will you do?
These two women were not inclined to throw all their hopes on God. Their father hadn’t done that either. They took matters into their own hands, got their father drunk, and each slept with him in order to conceive.
They gave birth to the father of the Moabites and the father of the Ammonites. Both peoples would be cruel to Abraham’s descendants. Both peoples would worship famous idols; Baal and Peor. Children would be sacrificed at their altars. Yet, these two young women would never see into the future to understand the power of their choices. For them, it was immediate relief from a seemingly impossible situation. From their limited viewpoint, their plan had been successful.
And this is the problem when I take matters into my own hands. I cannot see down the road. My own ingenuity can appear to have worked. What I need comes to me as result of my actions and I can even thank God for it. What I don’t know is the long-term effect. I remember three things today.
- Desperation should never replace actively hoping in God.
- Desperation is never a valid excuse for doing my own thing.
- My judgment is always impaired when I am desperate and this is the time to press in to God’s heart for wisdom.
The only answer to every problem I have is You, Lord. Don’t let me cave early to anyone else’s suggestions, including my own. Amen