Most people have heard of the city of Sodom and how God dealt with it. But it begs the question, just how bad was Sodom to have this kind of fate? Let’s examine a few things we do know.
- It was a city of some size. We don’t know for sure, but we do know it was involved with local trade and had decent infrastructure relative to the time.
- It was bad for some time. When God first warned Abraham what He was planning on doing, Abraham pleaded with Him to spare the city. Abraham even negotiated about how many “good” people it would take to save the whole city. Starting at 50, he eventually gets God down to 10. “Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”” (Gen 18:32)
- As bad as they were, Lot and his family were good enough to be rescued… but not good enough to save the whole town. “Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”” (Gen 19:12-13)
What’s amazing is to see the difference between how we may judge Lot and how God judged Lot.
- Here’s a man that every time his uncle gave him options, he always thought of himself first. Abraham was selfless to give lot the choice of land and direction and Lot always looked out for himself first.
- Lot had two daughters that were engaged, “So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.” (v 14). Despite the fact that these daughters were virgins and engaged to men now living in his household, he was willing to give his daughters over to be raped in order to ‘protect’ the Angels. “Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”” (v8) His leadership was not strong enough that even the men engaged to his daughters would not take him seriously.
- His leadership was also lacking with his wife. After all they had experienced and narrowly escaped, despite all his warnings… Lot’s wife still longed for the wicked city. “But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” (v26)
- His lack of family leadership is on display again with his daughters after Sodom is destroyed. With a complete lack of morals, his daughters get him drunk to get pregnant by him. “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.”” (v32)
So what can we glean from all of this. Lot was no model citizen, and certainly no model husband or father either. Yet he was worth sparing. However every other soul in Sodom was so wicked that God saw only one solution. Every last one was wicked, “But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”” (v4-5)
Why was Lot worth sparing? Because Abraham was interceding on his behalf. Abraham was one that God would connect with and Abraham was talking to God on Lot’s behalf. This was enough for God to want to spare him. So my question to you is this… Who are you interceding for? Who out there has zero demonstration of a knowledge or faith in Christ, yet you intercede on their behalf? He will listen. He can call anyone to him and will often surprise you. He’s called murders, adulterers, liars and cheats. Keep praying for those who will not seek God on their own.
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