Monday 26 October, 2015

Genesis 19:1-11

19 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening. Lot was sitting near the gate of the city. When Lot saw the angels, he got up to greet them. He bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “please come to my house. You can wash your feet and spend the night there. Then you can go on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they answered. “We’ll spend the night in the town square.” 3 But Lot wouldn’t give up. So they went with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them. He baked bread without using yeast. And they ate. 4 Before Lot and his guests had gone to bed, all the men came from every part of the city of Sodom. Young and old men alike surrounded the house. 5 They called out to Lot. They said, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us. We want to have sex with them.” 6 Lot went outside to meet them. He shut the door behind him. 7 He said, “No, my friends. Don’t do such an evil thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters that no man has ever slept with. I’ll bring them out to you now. Then do to them what you want to. But don’t do anything to these men. I’ve brought them inside so they can be safe.” 9 “Get out of our way!” the men of Sodom replied to Lot. “You came here as an outsider. Now you want to act like a judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept trying to force Lot to open the door. Then they moved forward to break it down. 10 But the the angels inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11 Then they made the men who were at the door of the house blind. They blinded both young and old men so that they couldn’t find the door.

A vile story confronts me as I read of the angels coming to Sodom, being taken in by Lot, and then the deep sin of the men of Sodom, but also of Lot offering his two daughters to the men to “do what you like with them”. As a father of two daughters, I find this abhorrent.

As I have struggled with the passage, God continually reminds me that “all Scripture is God breathed, and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim :3:16). This passage is of no exception.

Firstly, it appears that Lot recognised these two men as unique. Did he see them as angels? Maybe, but yet he did not understand their power, as he felt he needed to protect them from the wicked men of the city. Did he have some understanding of their purpose? Maybe, for he felt it necessary to protect them at all cost by the offering of his daughters. (Culturally, I understand that a male guest in a household of the time was deemed of higher importance than one’s own family).

As the scenario grew in threat (v9), the two men “reached” into the situation and pulled Lot back to safety, shutting the door, thus preventing any further harm to Lot and his daughters. This would have required “angelic” strength, for it was only after this that they then cast blindness upon the aggressors at the door.

The message to me is that in time of great confrontation, when threat is high, to not retaliate in my strength, but to call upon God to defend in His way. Mugging, theft, injustice, verbal attack may not occur regularly, but has, and will happen at some stage of life.

Lord help me to be always so aware of Your presence that my first reaction in a highly tense and threatening situation is to call upon You to act. Continue to “teach me and train me in righteousness”. Amen

Written by Steve Fell

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