Day 12

Judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah

from the Genesis reading plan

Genesis 18:22-33, Genesis 19:1-38, Ezekiel 16:49-50, Romans 1:18-25

BY Bailey Gillespie

As I read about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, I couldn’t help but think of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Toward the conclusion of the film adaptation, we see the Pelennor Fields lying in smoky ruins after battle. It’s a scene of utter and complete destruction. I remember watching this scene for the first time, wondering as the camera panned out if there’d be a familiar character still alive among the wreckage. I wanted to see a remnant of the good guys, to know that mercy had been shown to at least one person. Or hobbit. Or elf.

Many of us hear words like “grace” and “mercy” and immediately jump to Jesus and the New Testament. But since we know that Christ is “the exact expression” of God’s nature (Hebrews 1:3), it won’t do to consider God in the Old Testament any less gracious or merciful.

God’s mercy is not hard to find in the Old Testament. It’s woven throughout the book of Genesis like a flowering vine, connecting the stories in Christ’s lineage. Even when people continue to make bad decisions that bring about their own demise or widespread catastrophe, God’s desire is for people to be saved (2 Peter 3:9). We see the ultimate display of God’s mercy in His Son, Jesus Christ; through the power of His resurrection, there is healing for the world (Isaiah 53:5).

During his exchange with Abraham, God listens to Abraham’s plea and gives the people a chance. “The LORD said, ‘If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake’” (Genesis 18:26). They continue to talk, and that number of fifty is reduced to only ten (v.32). But sadly not even ten can be found. God still saves Lot—Abraham’s nephew and the familiar face Abraham knows and loves. God’s mercy is always there and greater than we expect, even when most people reject it.

Without Christ, it’s our own hearts that resemble that plain of smoking ruins. Even after receiving the Holy Spirit, we still wrestle with sin. We routinely choose to submit to our own will instead of the Spirit. Our sins may not seem as flagrant as those of Sodom and Gomorrah, but we are all sinners in need of grace.

Hallelujah! Christ has broken the curse of sin and death. Even now, Christ—the exact expression of the Old Testament God with whom Abraham bargained and pleaded for the lives of his community—invites us to accept the gift of eternal life. He is for us, and His mercy is greater than we think. Remembering this, may we echo Abraham’s plea for the redemption of our own hearts, our city, and our world.

Post Comments (63)

63 thoughts on "Judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah"

  1. Allison Sherwood says:

    God is so good! I think the part where God promises to spare an entire city for the sake of a single righteous person leaves me in awe and so loved!

  2. Annette Kendall says:

    What a sobering story! Lot was blessed because of Abraham. Earlier we read about Abraham and Lot separating and Lot choose the good grazing ground out of a natural, human desire for the “best” for his family.
    His CHOICE to live in such a wicked place ( he could have left) had dramatically negative consequences for his family. He was saved because of God’s mercy and love for Abraham, and he had a little faith left. He believed in God’s sovereignty and power when the angels arrived, though he hesitated. His family did not believe.( you can see this in many ways, included his daughter coming up with that plan to “save” their father’s line, instead of letting God work).
    Lot’s faith and relationship with God was not strong enough to translate to his family or the people around him. What parts of my life am I choosing the ways of the world over following Christ? I do not want my family to suffer the consequences of my lack of faith! Let it not be Lord.

  3. Carol says:

    Yes and amen!

  4. ChappyBeach Girl says:

    I was in this area of Israel last year and there are large “people sized” formations of salt. It sure was a great reminder of this story.

  5. Doris says:

    GRACE! Why do we try to figure out God and why He allowed things to happen the way they did throughout the Bible? I read God’s word to see Him and His power. To know Him. His word is written for us to believe in The God of all creation. God have been remedying every choice of disobedience since Adam and Eve sinned from the very beginning of time leading us to the saving grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Don’t try to figure out “why”, just “believe”, in the God that works all things out to His glory.

  6. Kimiark says:

    So about offering up the daughters, The Voice Bible suggests that Lot knows that the men’s sexual preference is for his guests not his daughters, and is buying some time.

    1. Nikki Fuller says:

      I was wondering about that, how Lot had offered up his daughters and yet was still saved from the destruction at Sodom and Gamorrah. Does anyone have any further commentary sources?

      1. Emily Guerra says:

        I’m wondering the same thing, Nikki!! This part has always both bothered, and angered me, when I read it. I can’t see a good father doing this to their children.

      2. Annette Davis says:

        This is a great article I was just reading on this. It is really hard to try to digest all the layers to the story without understanding the culture and context, and I found this to be somewhat helpful. I hope it can provide insight for you too about what the story may have meant in its original context!

  7. Rachel says:

    As a long time reader of SRT I’ve learned to know the difference between a bible study and a devotional. They both have their pros and cons. If you have questions this short devotional didn’t answer then God may be calling you to dig deeper on your own. There are lots of online commentaries and good study bibles out there. Please don’t point the finger at a very well led and written team of women at SRT committed to getting women in the Word of God everyday. May this be the launching place for you to know God more :)

    1. AnneLyn P says:

      I have often found these devotionals have prompted me to dig deeper. A very good thing! Thank you, SRT.

      1. Dee Wilcox says:

        Yes, same here!

  8. Mikki says:

    “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.” – Romans 1:25

    Lord, help me to serve You instead of what has been created as I find myself doing too often. Amen.

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