Focal passage: Genesis 18:20-25; 19:12-16
Our context in scripture this week includes disturbing indications of the wickedness of mankind, the depth of our depravity. The Lord describes the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah as “very grave” and deserving of destruction (Genesis 18:20).
Clearly, these cities had a “bad rep.” Still it is so easy for me, in my own deceitfulness, to point to the evil that lurked in Sodom and Gomorrah and not confess my own wickedness.
Maybe there is a city in the world that you point to as being overtly immoral or possibly even a specific person. In our conceit, we thank God we are not like the “Sodom and Gomorrah” [person, location and so on]. We overlook the truth that apart from Christ, wickedness rules in our own hearts as well.
It is true God does not allow disobedience and rebellion against Him to continue unrestrained.
But it is equally true that He rescues by grace alone. In our focal passage this week, man’s sin does demand God’s judgment.
God reveals His plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah to Abraham. Because of the intimate relationship they share, Abraham humbly comes to the Lord and appeals to His justice – surely, He would not sweep away the righteous with the wicked (Genesis 18:23).
At the end of their conversation, God reveals to Abraham that there are not even 10 righteous people found in those cities (v. 32).
Therefore, God will destroy them. Yet in His grace, God mercifully rescues Abraham’s nephew, Lot, and his family from the impending judgment. Genesis 19:16 says, “The Lord being merciful to him [Lot], and they brought him out and set him outside the city.”
Being consistent with His character, God extends grace even in the midst of judgment. Let us not be blatantly disobedient to God nor let us be self-righteous in our comparison with others (see the parable in Luke 18:9-14). “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus …” (Romans 3:22-24)