Compassion in Destruction
When you bring up the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, most people don’t think about love and mercy and compassion. Yet as I read the story, I find myself drawn to the signs of God’s compassionate mercy throughout the narrative. I think this story has a powerful message to tell us that has NOTHING to do with sin and EVERYTHING to do with the heart of God. Let’s start at the beginning…
“Then the Lord said, “Should I hide what I am about to do from Abraham?” -Genesis 18:17
God doesn’t want to keep us in the dark. He desires to reveal His heart and his plans to us. The question is are we willing to hear them with the humility and acceptance that Abraham showed?
Abraham not approached what God shared with him TENDERLY but eventually he accepted God’s final decision and God’s RIGHT to judge and to rule. We must do the same.
“I will go down to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to ME.
If not I will find out.” – Genesis 18:21
God is a righteous judge and He does not rush to make indictments. God already knows the truth of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet, by visiting them, He is giving them the people one last chance to exhibit a changed heart and changed action.
That’s a compassionate judge!
“…He answered, ‘I will not destroy it on account of 10.” – Genesis 18:32b
I’ve always focused on Abraham’s negotiating technique, BUT this time I realized that maybe, just maybe God DOES NOT want to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.
He allows Abraham to whittle the number down, because in the heart of God, His desire is that ALL might be saved.
I could be wrong (it wouldn’t be the first or last time) but I see IMMENSE compassion here in the moving of God.
Gen. 19:12 – “Then the angel’s said to Lot, ‘Do you have anyone else here…” – Genesis 19:12
Even in rescuing Lot, God allows for the safety of those who didn’t have righteons hearts. His sons-in-law were most likely outside with the crowd. His daughters would show their corruption later in the mountain den; and his wife couldn’t stop herself from looking back the life she loved in Sodom.
This was not a group of Sunday School teachers, or deacons, or worship leaders. They were as stained by the sin of the city as anyone else! YET…
The compassion of saving Lot’s family though they didn’t deserve it and though they were just as wicked as the rest of the city reveals where God finds us when we are saved through Jesus Christ.
We are as stained as the worse sinner. We are Barrabas! We are the people of Sodom! We are Gomorrah! YET…
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” – Romans 5:8
And finally, I love this little verse toward the end of the story because I think I identify with Lot WAY TOO OFTEN…
“But he hesitated. Because of the Lord’s compassion for him, the men grabbed his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters. Then they brought them out…” – Genesis 19:16
Sometimes we don’t want to leave the comfort of our sin and the things/people/places that keep us away from God. YET, God still has compassion on us.
So if you find yourself needing a hand to carry you out today… Jesus is waiting for you!