|Sodom and Gomorrah:|
|Written by production|
|Friday, 06 July 2007|
Sodom and Gomorrah:
Abraham, Sarah, and their family had traveled all this time since leaving their homeland with a nephew named Lot, and Lot's wife. Lot was also Sarah's brother, as I understand it. Through time, work, and most importantly God's blessing, their posessions had grown. They were herd owners, and it got to the point that their huge herds caused their herders to fight over water and good pasture, etc. Abraham said to Lot 'We have too many animals to travel together these days. We need to split up to avoid strife. You choose the way you like the best, and I'll go the other way.' (This shows a very generous spirit in Abraham, I think. He was older, and senior in family authority to Lot, but made sure to part without any ill feelings, prefering good will to getting the better deal.)
Lot chose the valley of the Jordan River, which goes from the present day Sea of Galilee to empty into today's Dead Sea after many miles. It was lush and verdent then, and had some good sized towns, such as Sodom and Gomorrah near the Dead Sea.
Years later then, Abraham the father of Ishmael was encamped on the plateau above the Dead Sea with his family and herds, and received unexpected visitors. It was three strangers, looking like men, travelling towards the Dead Sea. Abraham hurried to offer them hospitality and refreshment. They agreed to his urgings to stop and eat, and he had bread and meat prepared for them.
One spoke, saying "Where is Sarah your wife?" "In the tent.", Abraham answered. "I will return in a year and your wife Sarah will have a son." one of the travellers said. Sarah, overhearing, laughed because of her age. "Is anything too hard for the Lord?", asked one of them. It was now clear that they were angels, but one was the Lord.
As two of them travelled on to the valley, the Lord remained to explain to Abraham their mission. Sodom and Gomorrah were terribly evil cities, where there was so much offensive wrong done that the Lord had ordered them destroyed if His angels were to find things as bad as reported. Abraham, worried about Lot, begged the Lord not to destroy it if some good people were found there. After some discussion with Abraham, the Lord allowed that if he found even so few as 10 good people there he would not destroy it.
In Sodom, Lot saw the approaching angels, who were beautiful in the extreme to the eye, though they appeared to be like men - and not apparently with wings of any sort. (Wings never seem to be associated with angels in the scripture. Angels seem to have the forms of young men, but handsome. And ordinary angels always refuse to be worshipped in any way, maintaining that they are only fellow servants. The exception is the one referred to as the Angel of the Lord, that I believe is a form that Jesus used before he was born as a man.) Lot quickly asked them to stay at his home, out of hospitality and concern for their safety probably, for though Lot dwelled among these Canaanites, he did not live like them.
The men of Sodom, many of whom were boldly and violently homosexual, came to Lot's house demanding that he hand over the handsome strangers inside so they could violate them, because they had seen how physically remarkable they were. Lot refused, offering even his daughters as a substitute if they would only not harm the strangers he protected inside. But this angered them, and they made to grab Lot. But the angels pulled him back inside the house and struck the mob with blindness. They could not find the door to Lot's house.
The angels directed Lot to ready his family to flee, because they now intended to destroy that evil place and its people. Lot went out (the back door?) and tried to talk his daughters intended husbands into fleeing with him, for his daughters sake, but they didn't believe his story and wouldn't come.
The angels made Lot's family flee then, warning to not even look back when the destruction began. At the appointed time brimstone and fire came down in the morning light from the sky above and violently destroyed the valley and its cities and all the people and all that grew there. Smoke rose as if from a furnace. All life in the valley was wiped out totally except for Lot and his wife and his two daughters. But his wife carelessly looked backwards to see - though the poor woman was warned not to - and she was turned into a statue of salt. I think I would have a terrible time trying to not look back myself - it would be the event of a lifetime. But this is a lesson to us about following God's instructions closely. He knows what he wants us to do, and when. So we always 'editorialize' his instructions to us at our own peril.
From these daughters of Lot came two peoples, the Ammonites and the Moabites, who are spoken of often in the Bible later. Imagining from the scope of the destruction their eyes saw that they might be alone in the world, the two daughters decided to get their father drunk and passed out so they could become pregnant by him so that their family line would not go extinct. They succeeded in this curious undertaking, becoming mothers.
God had again saved a remnant from out of a people He had been forced to destroy because of their unspeakable wickedness. It was a remnant composed of those trying to please Him and follow Him. It shows us again that God will never forget the location of those who claim Him and follow Him. And to claim Jesus is to claim God. Even when He intends to destroy those of His creations that decide to choose the wicked path, He still will save from among them those that are true to Him.
The area of Sodom and Gomorrah can be seen today, and there are suggestions of what may be archaeological remains, but the destructive scorching was very thorough and complete.
When God has been patient for a long time, and finally His patience is worn out, nothing can possibly prevent him from taking his decided measures against those He has come to abhor. Jesus has brought both salvation and mercy to an unworthy people, and the sheep pen of Jesus is the only place safe from the judgement and punishment that is on its way. This has been made more than clear for a very long time. Those who had no opportunity to know Jesus will be dealt with in a fair and just way, but those who reject Jesus have in affect chosen the alternative - there is only Jesus or destruction.But belonging to Jesus is the most beautiful of outcomes. Man cannot truly govern his nature and passions in a righteous manner - not always. But Jesus, facing all those same sorts of temptations that we face, had such love of God as to overcome all inclinations to do and be evil, even while captive in human flesh for the sake of His ministry. Such a King has never reigned over humanity. It will be a beautiful 1000 years reign when He comes, though the unshakably evil hearts of mankind will cause even that goodly coming reign to end in rebellion. It's as if we people are addicted to evil behavior. May God cleanse us, His truly unworthy servants.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 28 April 2013 )|
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