The Destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah
As they got up to leave, Abraham accompanied his three visitors for a short distance along the path. As they travelled, the Lord decided it was time to share some important news with Abraham. Sodom (the city Abraham’s nephew Lot had chosen to call home) and Gomorrah were so wicked that He was planning to destroy them.
Abraham was disturbed. He questioned God, “What about the righteous people who live in Sodom? Should they be destroyed along with the wicked? Is that fair? What if there are fifty righteous people? Will you show mercy for the sake of fifty righteous people?” God agreed to spare Sodom if the angels could find fifty righteous people.
Abraham realized that perhaps the number he had chosen was a little high since Sodom was an extremely wicked city. So he changed his question, “What about forty-five?” God agreed to this number as well. “What about forty?” Abraham continued to bargain with God, lowering his estimate of righteous people each time. Finally, God agreed to save the city even if only ten righteous people could be found.
When the angels (appearing as men) arrived in Sodom, they were greeted by Lot. He had not only moved into town by then, he had become a leader who occupied a special council seat in the city gateway. Lot invited them to his home, but it wasn’t long before things went terribly wrong. The city was filled with wicked men. Seeing two new men in town, they want to have sex with them. Lot would not allow this to happen to his guests. He went outside to reason with the crowd that had gathered, but things grew even worse. The angels were forced to rescue Lot from the unruly mob. They pulled him inside and caused the men on the outside to become blind.
The angels warned Lot that the city would be destroyed in the morning. He needed to gather all his relatives and escape while he could. In the end, the angels rescued only four people from the whole city—Lot, his wife and his two daughters.
But as dawn approached, even Lot hesitated. The angels grabbed him and his family and led them safely out of the city. Soon burning sulfur poured out of heaven. It destroyed everything in the cities and on the plain. The lush fertile valley Lot had called home was now coated with white ash. Its trees and bushes looked like pillars of salt.
“Flee for your lives and don’t look back,” the angels had commanded as they urged Lot’s family to escape. But Lot’s wife disobeyed. She turned and looked back. It was more than just a quick glance. The Hebrew word for “looked back” indicates an intense longing for what she was could no longer have. The delay was deadly. The ash enveloped her, leaving one more pillar of salt on the landscape.
How do you think Lot got caught in the predicament he was in?
Are there places or things in your life that you need to run away from before they destroy your life?
Are there longings that prevent you from getting where God wants you to be?
He wants to lead you to better places, but you must be willing to go.