We start this section by reading about a specific promise to Abraham concerning his son. The general promise to bless Abraham’s descendants are now given a timetable, “next year” a son will be born to Sarah and Abraham. The message is given by three strangers who we later see are representatives of the living God. (Gen 18:13 and Heb 13:2) This is hard for Sarah to believe and we won’t see the actual birth of Isaac until a few chapters later. However, the three visitors were passing through on a mission from God. Through them, God will check in on the neighboring cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and evaluate their wickedness. As the story shifts to Sodom we see Abraham take the role of redemptive mediator in an argument with God. We see the deep corruption of Sodom as they threaten to rape God’s messengers. We even see Lot’s callous and cowardly response to this threat as he offers his daughters up to the mob. There is not much in this place that would warrant God’s continued patience, but he intervenes to graciously spare Lot and his family. Sodom is destroyed, and while it seems that Abraham’s prayer was the only thing that spared Lot’s family, even Abraham doesn’t come out looking great. He melts under the pressure and pretends his wife is his sister to avoid a confrontation with Abimelech. Another example of the cowardly sacrifice of female honor. How can God ever work with these people?
Reflect: In his best moment, Abraham is a model of charity as he pleads for mercy on neighboring Sodom. Do we ask for God to show mercy on those around us?
Connect: In Luke 10:1-22, Jesus warns of a coming judgment on the cities in Galilee. He sends out his disciples to offer redemption, but warns it will be worse on the Day of Judgment for those who reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ than for Sodom. God’s judgment is a serious threat and calls for serious repentance.
Luke 10:1, 8-12 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go… "Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town."
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.