Another step through Genesis today. Genesis 19 (LINK) moves forward with the sad conclusion to Abraham’s pleading for God’s mercy in Genesis 18. Simply enough, there are not enough righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah to stave off destruction. How many were needed?
There weren’t 10 there. A few of my prior thoughts are in the sermon linked here. Let’s look through the rest of the chapter and see what else there is here.
First of all: Closing judgment is God’s business. There are phases of human justice that fall to humanity to handle. You can see evidence of that in Genesis 14. Lot needs to be delivered from capture and violence, in the course of warfare, takes place.
This is very different from meting out final judgment at the hands of man. Sodom and Gomorrah were, at the moment, not doing anything to warrant human intervention. However, the punishment of sin is God’s business.
Essentially, those times are out of our hands: we can choose to worship God and trust His grace or we can hope that He’ll never notice. Yet He will notice.
So, what do we do?
We need to be aware of our responsibility to live a holy life before God, first and foremost. One crucial thing not to be the reason that judgment comes. Seriously, without lapsing into legalism, God being graceful does not exclude that judgment will come for sin.
Moreover, when we progress through the chapter we see something else that’s important. When the world falls apart, we cannot lose our heads.
This is what happens when the angels come and warn Lot of the impending destruction. Lot loses his head. He cannot process what he knows to be true. What he knows will happen.
Instead, we need to think through how to handle a crisis. Trouble will come. Some of that trouble is God’s judgment. Some of that trouble is because of living in a fallen sinful world.
Even in that time, God provides a lifeline, an escape. Will we take it?
Will we let go of what we have valued to hold on tightly to God?
In all, this is a tough chapter. There’s very few heroes here, very little happiness. It’s a crash. Sin brings judgment, families are destroyed, future chaos is set in motion.
So, it’s difficulty after difficulty. There’s no happy ending.
This chapter is the fully revealed wrath of God.
The only glimmer of hope is the far end of the chapter. Abraham is at a distance. There’s going to be a future.
From this we can take hope: wherever we are, whatever is falling apart around us, there is a long-term hope. Hope in that in the days to come.