Sometimes, we use the stories that people have told and we mix it with the facts and we come up with a concoction of something half true. Then we take the half truth that we’ve created and we defend it, we share it, we feed it to others; the entire time believing that we know the entire story and all of the facts.
Over the next year I plan to read the Word of God and see what it actually says and to make my own opinions and sort out my own thought processes based on that alone.
I’ll begin with one that I thought that I knew but seemingly knew little about – and I’m sure that you’ve heard of it, too.
Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave (giving cause for alarm; serious.), I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know. – Genesis 18:20-21
I can begin by saying that you’ll probably be amazed (as I was) by reading Genesis 18 – first of all, the Lord (I believe it to be Jesus himself) appears on earth and chats, eats and discusses life with Abraham. He spoke truth into Abrahams life, caught Sarah in a lie and then discussed a terrible problem here on earth with a righteous man who trusted Him.
And, Abraham, a man of God who loved people – He asked the Lord a question that we have all asked (and some may not even know Christ based on what they believe His answer to be), he says “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righeous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (vs 23.25)
Haven’t we all said that? But, if God is just why does He…
How could a just God destroy an entire city…
I know that I’ve asked.
The amazing part and what I didn’t remember reading or hearing in this story before is this…
Then he (Abraham) said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten (righteous, having morals) are found there.” He (the Lord) answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” (vs. 32)
The next part absolutely tears apart my heart and I certainly can’t imagine such a wicked scene playing out before me…
Two angels go into the city and they find Lot (the only man with morals) and the angels tell him that it’s time to leave the town because it’s going to surely be destroyed. Lot pleads with the angels and invites them into his house, so they agree.
This is what transpired:
But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all of the poeple 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.” And they (the angels) struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door. (19:4-5, 11)
Can you picture that? It’s like a scene off of Animal Planet.
It’s hard for me to imagine and even harder I’m sure for God to have seen and dealt with. And, the most amazing part, to me, is that He would have still been willing to defend the entire city – for even ten righteous (not perfect, just displaying moral character traits).
I guess sometimes we think that we understand something and the truth is that if we were placed in the same situation as God I’m not even sure that we’d react as kindly as He has towards us. I know that I certainly wouldn’t have.