Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Life of Abraham - Genesis 19

There is some messed up stuff going on in Chapter 19 of Genesis. Abraham is not directly involved, but we saw his intervention in the previous chapter on behalf of his nephew Lot. This is also a hard chapter for me to study with a straight face because I have a hard time not seeing the two angels mentioned in this chapter as Bartleby and Loki from the Kevin Smith film Dogma. I’ll do my best to get through this chapter in a serious tone.

This chapter deals primarily with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. These were Canaanite cities that are believed to be located in a present-day location underneath the Dead Sea. They were also incredibly evil and perverted. The culture of the day was one that was known for many deviant sexual practices. Lot and his family were the only people in the two cities that followed the Lord. Lot went out of his was to care for the two angels that visited him. They were on a scouting mission of sorts. They wanted to see exactly how bad the city was and if there was anyone worth saving.

This is where the story takes a weird turn. These men had barely been in town, yet all the men of the city came to have sex with them. Because Lot had taken them into his home, their safety was his responsibility. Even though he was doing the right thing, Lot’s own views had been distorted by living there fore so long. This is why he offers his own daughters. This character trait would end up hurting Lot during the destruction of the cities.

23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. – Genesis 19:23-26

This provides an example of how we can be hurt when we are torn between this world and God’s world. Lot and his family followed the Lord. Still, their perspective was skewed by this world. The Lord was clearly asking them to leave everything behind for His sake. There was no reason to look back on this evil city, even if it was to look back and gloat that God was smiting His enemies. Lot’s wife couldn’t let go of her past life in the city, and unfortunately had to pay the price for looking back.

No comments: