Today's chapter-a-day is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s a gut-wrenching account that leaves us with so many questions.
How could Lot offer up his daughters to be sexually abused by the mob?
How could their betrothed husbands be out there joining in?
We’re told, "the outcry against [this city's] people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it."
Was the outcry from Lot, who knew the sin that plagued his city and waited at the city gate to rescue endangered visitors? Was the outcry from visitors whom he was unable to protect?
When visitors...strangers...foreigners...come to our church, our neighborhood, our city, or our nation, do we purposefully position ourselves to greet them? Do we take them in with hospitality and meet their needs? Do we protect them from harm? (NOTE: This is not a political rant. I'm not speaking of what our government should or shouldn't do. I'm speaking about what we, Christians, should do to welcome those God sends to us.)
Hebrews 13:2 tells us, “Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.” Clearly, Lot is the “some” specifically referenced here.
The other aspect of this story that grips my heart is the saturation of sin in this culture. Lot’s offer of his daughters, his hesitancy to leave despite the utter depravity surrounding them and the threat of destruction, his wife’s turning back, and his daughter’s own moral depravity illustrate the nature of sin. It leads us to do things we would have thought we’d never do. It causes us to cling to things that we know, if we give it any thought, are destroying us. It causes our moral reasoning to be completely confused and skewed. If you doubt that, check out your newsfeed. Story after story echoes this lesson.
Lot chose first to pitch his tents near Sodom. Then he moved into the city. Then he looked the other way and sought to “do the right thing” while remaining in the midst of their degradation and enjoying the benefits of living amongst them. He ignored the impact of this exposure on his own family.
The ramifications of his choices were felt for generations as the Moabites and Ammonites carried with them the culture of sin their mothers were raised in. They became enemies of Israel and worshipers of the false gods Chemosh and Moloch, including rituals of child sacrifice to them.
Do we consider the long-term ramifications of the things we expose ourselves and our families to? Do we seek God’s provision or seek to emulate the culture?