The reading for today is Genesis 19:1-29, NLT.
1. That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed with his face to the ground. 2. “My lords,” he said, “come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night. You may then get up early in the morning and be on your way again. “Oh no,” they replied. “We’ll just spend the night out here in the city square.” 3. But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him. Lot prepared a feast for them, complete with fresh bread made without yeast, and they ate. 4. But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. 5. They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!” 6. So, Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. 7. “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. 8. Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.” 9. “Stand back!” they shouted. “This fellow came to town as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!” And they lunged toward Lot to break down the door. 10. But the two angels reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. 11. Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside. 12. Meanwhile, the angels questioned Lot. “Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” they asked. “Get them out of this place—your sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else. 13. For we are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the Lord, and he has sent us to destroy it.” 14. So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters’ fiancés, “Quick, get out of the city! The Lord is about to destroy it.” But the young men thought he was only joking. 15. At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. “Hurry,” they said to Lot. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!” 16. When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. 17. When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!” 18. “Oh no, my lord!” Lot begged. 19. “You have been so gracious to me and saved my life, and you have shown such great kindness. But I cannot go to the mountains. Disaster would catch up to me there, and I would soon die. 20. See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don’t you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved.” 21. “All right,” the angel said, “I will grant your request. I will not destroy the little village. 22. But hurry! Escape to it, for I can do nothing until you arrive there.” (This explains why that village was known as Zoar, which means “little place.”) 23. Lot reached the village just as the sun was rising over the horizon. 24. Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. 25. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation. 26. But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt. 27. Abraham got up early that morning and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the Lord’s presence. 28. He looked out across the plain toward Sodom and Gomorrah and watched as columns of smoke rose from the cities like smoke from a furnace. 29. But God had listened to
Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain.
Lot had fallen into the ways of his environment in Sodom. We see that so often in our own environment. People become one of the crowds for many reasons including notoriety, or just blending in. Because of Abraham’s request to save Lot, God was merciful! And to Lot, God agreed to save the city even if he could only find 10 innocent people (Genesis 18:32). There were not even 10 to be found! As Lot and his family were escaping, his wife turned back even though they were instructed otherwise. She was turned to salt.
So many lessons from these verses! I can only imagine what God thinks as He views the destruction in our communities in the face of justice. If we want to make a difference we need to be different in our faith that is reflected in our conduct. Can we move forward in hope and peace or are we clinging to the past like Lot’s wife? We can’t serve two masters…Our past or bad behaviors and our God and His ways.
Heavenly Father, Instill in us the faith that doesn’t take us out of our problems, but takes us through them; that doesn’t take away the pain, yet gives us the ability to handle the pain; and doesn’t take us out of the storm, but calms us in the midst of it. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Ann Byrum Groomes email@example.com
Prayer Concern: Pray for those without or questioning their faith!