Introduction: Our Lord Jesus places great importance in the Gospels on lessons to be learned from Sodom, which will be our focus this week. May we hear the Lord’s voice as He in love warns us to avoid the great sins of Sodom, sins which are closer to our lives than we may think.
Monday: read Genesis 19:9-16. Though he pitched his tents near Sodom, Lot never fit in as an alien in that place, as Gen. 19:9 shows. Despite his standing, the people of Sodom poured scorn on his efforts to protect the lives and virtue of the angels under his roof. How lonely Lot must have been when even his future son-in-laws laughed at the angels’ warning to flee the city (Gen. 19:14). Such is the lonely life of compromise which Lot chose among a people with no faith in Lot’s God.
Meditate and Pray: Though it is painful to see Lot suffer rejection, let us be glad that the angels of the Lord found him immediately and even took him and his family by the hand to help them escape Sodom (Gen. 19:16). God’s mercy never failed to watch over Lot. Thank God that He never forgets where you are either – even when you are at your loneliest, and even when you are wandering lost in the world because of your own folly. He has sent His Son, the Good Shepherd, to seek after you, the one lost sheep, until you are safely with the ninety-nine (Luke 15:3-7).
Tuesday: read Genesis 19:12-17 and Luke 17:26-30. Lot’s son-in-laws thought he was joking when he warned them to flee – they were too busy enjoying life to ever think that God would intervene in judgment. Jesus describes their complacency in Luke 17:28: ‘eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting building.’ Not that these activities are wrong in themselves: but the present participles describe these people as given over to and absorbed by these daily preoccupations. They had the good life and mocked any threat of coming judgment.
Meditate and Pray: In our day as well, people mock God’s judgment in the words: “Where is this ‘coming’ God promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:4) Thank God now that He has awakened you to await His coming. Ask Him to help you live the kind of life which shows you are awaiting the Great Day of the Lord, so that even unbelievers may take notice and begin to fear the God who up to that point they have mocked.
Wednesday: Genesis 19:14-22 and 2 Peter 2:8. Sadly it is often the sins of believers’ lives which undercut the effectiveness of their warnings to unbelievers. We wonder how persuasive Lot’s warnings were to his son-in-laws in Gen. 19:14 when he had offered their future wives, his daughters, for the sadistic crowd to abuse in Gen. 19:6-8. We cannot too strongly condemn Lot’s cruelty in this offer. In this matter, he certainly does not love his daughters as the Lord loves him and his family. He certainly fails here to reflect God’s love for His people or God’s courage to defend the innocent. What can save a man like Lot who is so infected by the violence and uncleanness of his day as to offer his daughters up to the worst Sodom could inflict? We ourselves could almost content ourselves if Lot ‘got what He deserved’ and was destroyed along with Sodom!
Meditate and Pray: God is not like us. He shows mercy (Gen. 19:16) to the undeserving, and holds back His judgment until Lot is safe (Gen. 19:22). This is only possible because God Himself would inflict on His own Son the sins of Lot, and give Lot the righteous standing of His own Son. Because of this great exchange, Peter can declare Lot to be ‘righteous’ (2 Peter 2:8) even when he failed so terribly in so many ways in Sodom. Thank God for His unconditional grace, which enables you to stand with Lot in the perfect righteousness of Christ, given to you by virtue of His death on the cross.
Thursday: read Matthew 11:20-24. Jesus here condemns cities of Galilee (Korazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum), charging them with sinning in a worse way than Sodom or Gomorrah. They had witnessed most of Jesus’ miracles (Matthew 11:20)! They had seen sinless Jesus grow up in their region and had been amazed at His mighty teaching! But their unbelieving indifference to Jesus’ person and work meant that it would be more ‘tolerable’ on the Day of Judgment for Sodom than for them.
Meditate and Pray: John MacArthur highlights the danger of indifference to the Lord: ‘Indifference to the Lord will continue in the world until He returns…Some of the people in Noah’s day doubtlessly criticized him abusively for building a ship in the middle of the desert; and some of the worst inhabitants of Sodom tried to homosexually attack the angels who came to rescue Lot. But most of the people in the days of Noah and of Lot paid no attention to the Lord or to His servants. Yet they, too, were totally destroyed, because they rejected God just as totally as those who actively expressed their unbelief.’ Apathy brings as much guilt as the violence of Sodom! May the Lord continue to awaken us each day to the wonder of the Gospel and keep us hungry for God and His righteousness, never letting us grow indifferent to Him and His ways. Jesus promised: ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.’ (Matthew 5:6)
Friday: read Genesis 19:18-30; Jeremiah 51:45-46 and Luke 17:30-33. How important it is to flee to the Lord in times of danger, not hesitating like Lot (Gen. 19:16, 18), nor looking back like Lot’s wife (Gen. 19:26). Lot’s wife’s heart never left Sodom to run to the Lord, and so she stands as a monument to those who hold onto this world instead of taking the Lord’s hand by faith and fleeing with Him towards the next. As Jesus warns: ‘Whoever tries to keep His life will lose it, and whoever loses His life will preserve it.’ (Luke 17:33)
Meditate and Pray: Thank God for the activeness of the faith which He has given you. Look back on your life and confess with joy: ‘Lord, thank you that you moved me to run to you before it was too late. Thank you that your call on my life was timely. I need not fear being left behind under your fire and brimstone. I can stand in safety with my father in the faith, Abraham, and look on the judgment of the wicked. Most of all, you have given me a refuge in Christ much better than the cave Lot found (Gen. 19:30). Thank you for the refuge I have in Christ.’ Amen. As Tom Swanston wrote: ‘No second thoughts are allowed. We are to make straight for home. But ‘home’ is the Lord, and we are to think of Him.’