1/22/2009 7:15am Genesis 18-21
Focus Passage: 18:16-33
One argument against the Old Testament that I understand is that the God of the Old Testament is an angry, mean, jerk of a God who is on a power trip. On face value, in passages such as this one it seems that God comes across rather harshly.
When I read this passage, I am thankful for a couple reasons. First, I am thankful that such evil does not exist in the immediate context in which I live. I have never had a homosexual standing outside my door demanding to rape my friends that I have just finished hanging out with. I have never witnessed the wickedness of a man offering his two virgin daughters for strangers to violate. Second, I am gratefulful for the patient grace of God.
Sodom is painted to be a city in such moral decay. Many of us in America get discouraged with all the evil that does exist!- in our country and abroad (And rightfully so!) But what we witness on the news, is nothing compared to the depravity that was found among the Sodomites. As Abraham pleaded for this wicked city, God promised to spare human life of ultimate judgment if there were even as little as 10 people who were godly in the city. That is an amazing thought! An entire city of wicked people would be spared on account of 10 godly people. That is remarkable patient grace!
This passage in Genesis is not about God being on a power trip. Instead, what we see is God preserving and protecting the lives of the innocent, of those who would experience the grace of being in right relationship with God. This is a just God. This is a gracious God. No one should live in fear of the threat of wickedness. Sodom is a picture of God’s response to complete rejection of Him. When man fails to live in community with the goodness of God, evil exists. The record of God’s judgment on Sodom should bring hope to those who live in the midst of oppression and the tyranny of evil. God sees you.
If you are frustrated with the injustice that you may encounter on a daily basis, then be thankful for a few reasons. First, sadly, your situation could be worse. Second, we have provision to execute justice when evil does exist. And third, a day is coming when God will prosecute all evil. If wickedness has knocked on your door, God knows. One day God will deliver the human race from all evil that exists when His presence is completely rejected. Fourth, God has provided justice and mercy on the cross through Jesus Christ. His wrath was poured out against all unrighteousness and his grace is extended to those would would seek deliverance from such bondage. And last, there will be grace for those who by faith in Christ are living in community with God.