Day 18 – Genesis 19-21
Sodom and Gomorrah present a difficult tale. God destroys cities; he brings death upon hundreds. That isn’t easy to hear. The legacy of these cities spark controversy even today. Is theirs specifically a warning against homosexuality, or is something else involved? When we first hear of what is coming, God says the cries against these people is great and their sin grievous. Who cries out against them? I can only deduce it is their neighbors. And what sins of theirs so grieve God? I imagine it is not “a” sin, but several forms of sin, and the primary root being an absolute rejection of God in favor of following any and all of their own passions. Modern interpreters would have us believe that the sin of Sodom of Gomorrah which warranted their destruction is solely egregious inhospitality, or rape, and not homosexuality. But the singular identifying behavior of the people is homosexuality. They refuse Lot’s daughters, even when offered to them to save the visitors. And the implication is that such aggressive, depraved, and violent behavior is persistent and has been endured for some time by their neighbors. I don’t think they are guilty of one sin, but of many, typified by sexual perversions.
And what do we make of this business with Abimelech? Why does he give all these gifts to Abraham, who had wronged him? Shouldn’t he have required something of Abraham for the deception and the trouble? God warned Abimelech of the situation and the danger he was in. This caused alarm and concern, but also great fear of and respect for Abraham. He was obviously a man who was close to God and whom God blessed and protected. These gifts were a sign of his repentance for offense and to make peace with God and his man.
God’s promise is fulfilled! Abraham has a son, Isaac!
Donovan Campbell, pastor of Greenville Presbyterian Church in Donalds, SC.