What About Ten?

Circa 1510, The escape of Lot and his family from Sodom. Original Publication: From a painting by Raphael (1483 - 1520) (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Circa 1510, The escape of Lot and his family from Sodom. Original Publication: From a painting by Raphael (1483 – 1520) (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

What About Ten?

By Mary Baird

Genesis 18 and 19

“The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is immense and their sin is extremely serious”

 

 

 

If you desire to know God in a deeper way, the above chapters in Genesis tell you volumes if you’re willing to read and meditate on them.  Since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, we still worship the God Abraham encountered hundreds of years ago.  We see God’s elective prerogative, His loving kindness toward His elect as well as His judgments against sin and sinners, His willingness to interact with His own, His miraculous power; the list goes on.

Abraham had been chosen to create a nation to whom God could reveal Himself and eventually through whom the Messiah would come.  Abraham was the beginning of God’s plan to bring salvation to man.

Abraham had no children and he and his wife, Sarah, were well passed child bearing and yet God had promised Abraham that through his seed a great nation would evolve.  God was ready to begin his plan and so He visited Abraham along with two of His angels.  His trip was twofold.  One was to inform Abraham and Sarah that within a year Sarah would deliver a boy, and the other was to destroy not just Sodom and Gomorrah, but all the cities in the plain.

In Genesis 18:1&2 we are told three men came to visit Abraham.  As we continue reading we know these are not ordinary men.  Two are angels and one is the Lord.  Most Bible scholars believe this is the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ.  These three spiritual beings took on the form of men.  Abraham calls one of them Lord.

After eating a meal, the Lord informs Abraham that within a year Sarah will have a son.  Sarah is listening and laughs to herself, but since God knows even our thoughts before we think them, He calls Sarah out for not believing.  Notice the Lord says to Sarah, “Is anything impossible with the Lord?”

As the three visitors leave, the Lord decides to tell Abraham of His second reason for the visit.  The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah (as well as other cities) had become disgusting to God.  There was nothing else to be done but complete destruction of the cities and everyone in them.  The sins are homosexuality and defiance of everything for which God made sex.  God is the one who made man and God made sex to be used in the marriage relationship of one man and one woman.  When man begins to think he can alter that through fornication, adultery, transgender, or homosexuality; the outcry reaches to Heaven.

But notice God’s willingness to extend grace.  He and Abraham play a numbers game and God is willing to spare the city where Lot, Abraham’s nephew, lives if only ten people can be found who have not participated in the wickedness. Unfortunately, only four people can be found. The two angels are sent into Sodom to save Lot, his wife and two daughters on account of Abraham; otherwise they would not have had to enter that wicked city.  God could have destroyed it from a distance.

I have a feeling these two angels were prominent among the other angels in as much as they had accompanied the Lord to earth.  Angels live in the presence of the Lord God Almighty.  We cannot imagine the holiness they witness where there is absolutely nothing filthy or perverted.  Now picture these two sinless creatures entering a wicked city like Sodom and the disgraceful behavior extended to them.

When I see how our society is going the same direction, I cringe.  As believers we are being asked to accept the degrading behavior of those who pervert the creative genius of our God.  I feel the need to play the numbers game and ask God if He will spare America if a certain number of people have not bowed to the pressure.

God has commanded His children to remain separate from the world and to renounce the sinful practices around us (Romans 12:2).  It’s a serious offense for a child of God to become comfortable and acceptable of what the world calls normal.

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