Skip to main content

Genesis 18-19: Sodom and Gomorrah: Christ destroys, remembers and saves beyond expectation

The Pentateuch is foundational to the gospel. So many of the key aspects of Christ's purposes are first laid out here... this among many other reasons is why I'm loving working through Genesis during 2008/9. Matt and I are up to Genesis 18-19 - a famous story, but what's going on?

The bookends of the narrative are about sons, in 18v1-15 anad 19v30-38. Abraham and Sarah are promised (again) a son, this time within a year. This son will bless the world but they laugh and the prospect of it finally happening. They continue to wait. At the end of the story we find Lot, also without sons, and his daughters get him drunk and sleep with him, leading to the birth of two sons Moab and Ben-Ammi from whom the evil Moabite and Ammonite people come. By contrast to the promised son these sons will be a curse upon God's people, though some redemption will come when Ruth the Moabite joins the people of God. No-one looks good in these incidents though the fruit of the events in Lot's cave are particularly condemning.

The major events in between are summarised in 19v29 to capture what this word is aiming at.

1. Christ, having eaten with Abraham, brings him into his divine counsel. This is the way of the kingdom of God - sit at the table with Christ.

2. This allows him to know the meaning of the destruction of Sodom, and reveals a principle that the presence of the righteous might save the wicked.
3.We see the wickedness of Sodom. Angels go to investigate and are soon under seige from the mob. They lack hospitality (Ezekiel 16v46-49) and are sinfully sensual (2 Peter 2). Sodom is a byword for evil and rightly so. They are bad but Ezekiel will say Israel became far worse, and gospel rejection is even worse (Matthew 11v23-24). Lot, self-subjected to great turmoil in his soul (2 Peter 2) tries to overcome evil with evil, offering his virgin daughters to appease them. Calvin observes that he should have "endured a thousand deaths" rather than resort to such measures. The mob says that righteous Lot has become the judge of Sodom.
4. The angels enact divine salvation, as with Noah, shutting the door to protect Lot's household. His prospective sons-in-law think that divine judgement on Sodom is a joke and so will perish. Lot lingers but the angels seize him and physically remove him from death with his wife and daughters. Sent out to salvation. Lot's wife is drawn back to sin and "looks back" (Luke 17v31-33) and perishes, turned into a pillar of salt.
5. Sodom is overthrown by Christ.

And the summary comes - 19v29 - Christ overthrows Sodom, remembers Abraham and (so) sent Lot out. Abraham had learned that Christ would spare a wicked city if even 10 righteous were found there. There were four. Sodom should have perished, taking the righteous away with the wicked. Yet, Christ exceeds this grace. He is just to punish, and excessive in grace - removing Lot to life. This grace should have taught his daughters to see that Christ could continue Lot's line and so kept them from sin, yet led by their father to hide and retreat the consequences are terrible.Still we wait for the promised son to arrive but Christ's salvation plan is in action.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use (http://planningcenteronline.com/) tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue



2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin



3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong



4. Cornerstone - Hillsong


Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…