Day 12

The Destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah

from the Genesis reading plan

Genesis 18:16-33, Genesis 19:1-38, Genesis 20:1-18

I have a friend who, when he was a young man, got caught doing something illegal in a sting operation. He and others were arrested in front of news cameras. Soon, everyone in his town knew what he had done. Years later, he said that as hard as that season was for him, it was also incredibly liberating. His secret sin was exposed. He no longer had to pretend he had his life together. He could confess his profound need for help.

We may choose to deal honestly with our own sin, or we may choose not to. But the story of the Bible is that God always deals with our sin. Unflinchingly. Justly. Completely.

Genesis 18:16-20:18 is a tough text. It is difficult because of what it teaches about morality in an increasingly amoral world. But even more, it is difficult because it shows us, in no uncertain terms, that God has wrath toward sin. God’s posture toward sin is anything but cavalier.

The people of Sodom and Gomorrah behaved in ways that deeply offended the Lord. He sent a couple of angels to judge the city, and not even ten God-fearing people could be found. The people of these cities had willingly and willfully rejected God, serving their own sensual appetites to the peril of any who came to them for refuge.

Genesis 18 tells us God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah was certain. He intended to destroy them. This is hard because it shows the power and intensity of the wrath of God toward sin. Harder still is the reality that God isn’t pouring out His wrath because He has lost His temper. His wrath flows from an unwavering commitment to perfect righteousness. The wages of sin, Romans tells us, is death (Romans 6:23).

It is a good thing to be unsettled and even offended by passages of Scripture like this because they require us to ask a revealing question: “What would I prefer Scripture to say instead, and why?” If we desire a god who turns a blind eye to sin, then we desire a god who is not fully just or holy.

If we minimize God’s wrath toward sin, we minimize the meaning of the cross. Consider what Paul told the church in Colossae: “God made us alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).

Sodom and Gomorrah remind us that God’s wrath is very real. But the Cross of Christ reminds us that His mercy is even greater. The cross parades our guilt and need for salvation before the watching world even as it secures our freedom.

Written by Russ Ramsey 

Post Comments (14)

14 thoughts on "The Destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah"

  1. Howard K says:

    Man is weak and most of the time trying to take shortcuts which most likely is sinful. We are race that is born into sin and God knows this and thank goodness he gave us the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

  2. Howard K says:

    God Almighty thank you for all you have done for me today and I also ask for your forgiveness for the sins I have cause against you God. God i hand my life over to you and ask for you to assist me in be more like you Son Jesus Christ and less like myself. Today for some reason I fill heavy on my heart and ask you to take away that feeling as it has a lot to do with regret. Your love and peace and joy is needed now so please grant that to me so I can be free of these heavy weighted feelings. I ask this God in your Son’s name Jesus Christ, Amen.

  3. Howard K says:

    Try to be more like Jesus Christ and less like the sinful person I am. I am weak most of the time always giving into sin and i ask God to help me to be stronger willed. I want to live a guiltless life and the only way I can do this is through Jesus Christ.

  4. Howard K says:

    God is merciful toward us the weak, but he does expect us to try to do what is right.

  5. Jeremy Hill says:

    Man is sinful and will turn from God.

  6. Jeremy Hill says:

    God hates sin but His love and mercy is greater than His hate for sin.

  7. Nathan says:

    He is there to protect us and lead us into righteousness. He is never tyrant and never forsakes people. His judgement is righteous.

  8. Nathan says:

    We struggle with sin and temptation. We always look for a way around things.

  9. Nathan says:

    I will have faith in the Lord. He knows what he is doing. Nothing is impossible for the Lord.

  10. Matt Hert says:

    Jesus is merciful. Even if there was a righteous person in those cities the lord would have soared them. Our own government doesn’t even have a policy of mercy like that. We see an acceptable amount of collateral damage.

  11. Matt Hert says:

    Men, if unchecked, are evil. When I say men I mean mankind. If we are in an environment where it is fine to do whatever we choose things become horrible quickly. These men were going to rape the Angels as a mob. That is how they handle travelers. It is quite unpleasant to realize that sin has been passed down in these kind of ways since Adam.

  12. Matt Hert says:

    God takes sin seriously. His definition of justice is correct and unflinching. Although it doesn’t line up with societal understanding of justice I believe his actions are pure even if they are against everyone else’s beliefs.

    That is a hard line to draw but it is a place all Christians have to come to. Our holy word of Jesus is often insensitive to cultural decisions. This doesn’t give us the right to be brutal towards others but the opportunity to share Christ and let God handle any judgment that needs handled.

  13. Matt Hert says:

    By taking legitimate action to serve the lord and set my mind on things above. As to serve him and kill sin. To live in the freedom he grants though the gifts he as given, rather than perverting his gifts.

  14. Matt Hert says:

    Help with
    Diligence, time management, service to my wife, love for others.

    Be with
    Madison, Kyle, Austin, John, Charlie, Adam, Claire, Amber, Nate, Emma.

    Thanks for
    My job, my bosses, not having school, parents, this app, access to you, a desire to serve you.

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