Sodom was bound for destruction. Gomorrah was bound for destruction. The men who visited the city appeared to Lot, the relative of Abraham, and warned him to depart from the city because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord. Imagine that. You live in the midst of mayhem and in a den of debauchery, but it seems normal to you until someone says that it will be destroyed. Take a long hard look at Lot’s situation and think about where you are today. Do your surroundings grieve the Lord? Is the sin that has settled in and taken root around you impairing your vision of what the Lord despises in His own sight?
There was a plan in the works long before these men even arrived at the city gates of Sodom that evening. It is obvious from the previous chapter of Genesis:
God had His mind set on wiping out the entire inhabitants. Yet, in the previous verses, He acknowledges Abraham as “right and just,” seeking not to hide His intentions from the man whom He had chosen (verses 17-19).
In His dialogue with Abraham, God hears Abraham’s rationale as the man asks: Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? It then becomes a narrowing down from fifty righteous souls to forty, all the way down to ten, in order that the righteous not be wiped out with the wicked.
Are you the one, like Lot, caught up in the bright lights of the city and immune to the pungent odor that offends the very nostrils of the Lord? You live among those who do evil and seem to get away with it at every turn. Yet, your voice is silenced somehow. You fear speaking out against it. You take the position of one who is in the vicinity but not involved. Is that you?
Or, could you be like Abraham? Could your relationship with God be so strong that He shares with you and speaks intimately with you? Does He lay burdens upon your heart of atrocities that seem to linger without an outspoken word? Does He show you how people are caught up, chewed up and spit out by the system with any systems of support? Does that sound like you?
Be sure to take note of Abraham’s response to God’s words. He did not breathe a sigh of relief and say that it was not his place or his concern. He did not thank God for bypassing his domain. He asked about those who might be righteous within those cities. He showed compassion.
We all should be concerned when we hear of a Katrina, wild fires, earthquakes and other so-called natural disasters. People die in such times. Our hearts should still ache for those families who lost loved ones in the Oklahoma City bombings, 9-11, and other terrorist attacks. It should pain us when lives are lost needlessly in our midst or in our times.
Will you be Lot or Abraham?