Hurry and get out of this place . . .
Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel . . .
There are two cases here, in which people are instructed, by God or His Messenger, to Go out.
The Old Testament example, of Lot in Sodom, involves a city that had become so corrupt and violent (the lines between sex and violence had become blurred . . . and possibly even confused with the definition of love), that good people were fleeing the city, for their lives. Mobs were gathering, and began to do as mobs always do . . . morphing into random masses leaving fear and destruction in their wake.
God was going in to Sodom, to destroy it. But . . . does God actually ever have to destroy wickedness? Doesn't humanity do a good enough of a job of it, without help?
But the man Lot, Abraham's nephew, had apparently lived a safe and prosperous life in this once pristine city. Apparently, overnight, fortunes changed for the residents of that city. As the people became more and more enamored with the trappings of wealth and luxury, the sense of evil grew, all around them. But humanity does not address evil effectively. It does not root it out, before it takes hold. There are too many good feelings connected to wrongdoing. What can it hurt? Isn't everybody happier now? And besides, what someone does with their own body and life, is their own business!
If you wait too long, or look the other way, too much, you can lose your ability to fix something that is going wrong. Evil is self-oriented. It's focused on the short term, on feelings, and on the acquisition of stuff. It is sensory, rather than spirit-focused.
This is what had happened to Sodom. Much like the "Me" movement of the 1980s, it seemed kinda cool at the moment. But it did not portend good things for the next generation, or two, out.
Lot and his family were told to get out . . . and save themselves.
But Jesus told His disciples to Go Out . . . and serve the lost children of Israel. The Hebrew people had been scattered abroad, thanks to countless experiences like Lot's, where it was necessary, in order for them to save themselves and preserve their nation. Nobody ever wants to leave their homes, especially in an emergency situation.
Lot's family left suddenly, and left everything behind, to be destroyed with the rest of it.
Jesus' disciples left all behind, as their things would just be hindrances to their ministries.
One generation goes out, to save itself. Another goes out, to save others. One leaves danger, one courts it. Both take nothing with them.
Perhaps the takeaway is that . . . if we don't go out and minister to the world, circumstances will evolve so that we are forces to go out. The world seems to be moving fast, in 2021, in the direction of being forced out. May we be found spreading life and love, in the midst of all this fear.