Bible Reading: Genesis 19:1-29; Romans 3:26
The story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is one that many of us know, but many do not like to spend much time with. It is a sad story filled with wickedness, loss, and wrath. But when we spend time with this story, and if we consider what it has to teach us about God, then it can lead us to be more thankful for the salvation we have been given through Jesus.
In Genesis 18, God told Abraham about His plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham asks God to spare the city if God can find just ten righteous people. God agrees to spare the cities for the sake of ten people, but there are no righteous people found. We would be mistaken to say God spares Lot because Lot is righteous, because as we see in Genesis 19, he does not appear to be. Lot offers up his daughters to the angry mob outside his home in order to protect God’s servants. Since having a daughter and with another daughter on the way, this point in the story has come to bother me even more. How could a father offer up his daughters to a mob? We cannot stand against wickedness by promoting a different wicked act! But God’s servants still deliver Lot, his wife and his daughters from the coming destruction. We even read that Lot and his family linger too long in the city and the angels take hold of them and force them to leave! Lot seems to be pushing his luck, but God spares him. Why does God do this? Genesis 19:29 says, “So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow”.
Application: This story teaches us that God is just when He pours out His wrath. These cities were clearly wicked, and God found no righteous people when He surveyed them. It is difficult to question a Judge who declares a guilty person guilty, and that is what God did when He judged and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. But we also see God’s mercy on display when He spares Lot for the sake of Abraham. God did not want to harm Abraham, so God spares Abraham the heartbreak of mourning for his nephew. Lot’s life is saved because of Abraham. More often than we care to admit, we look more like Lot than Abraham. But thanks be to God that He remembers the life and death of Jesus! He never will forget the work of the Son when He looks on us, and we are saved from destruction because of God’s great mercy. Genesis 19 is a hard chapter to read, but we must learn from it. God is just to judge sin and declare guilty those who are guilty. But we also see that God is merciful to those who love Him. Praise God for His mercy and love He shows us every day because of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for your great mercy. Our sin makes us worthy of your judgment, but you have shown us mercy by sending your Son to die for our sins on the cross. Thank you for this great mercy and love you have shown us. Help us to grow in our thoughtfulness and understanding of your mercy. We love you, Father. Amen.