Genesis 19-20 B

I don’t know if I ever noticed how many children Lot left in Sodom before. We always take note of his two virgin daughters, but who was left behind?

“Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place;” (19:12)

A son-in-law, implying a married daughter, and an unspecified number of sons, though we know at least two.

Because of the culture, these sons and son-in-law are responsible for themselves and wives, and do not have to listen to Lot. For me, this explains why Lot’s wife couldn’t resist looking back (19:26) and why Lot hesitated and needed to be dragged out (19:16).

I went back and looked at Abraham’s bargaining with the LORD in 18:22-33. The final bargain was that the LORD would not destroy the city if even 10 righteous people could be found. Why stop at that number? We know Abraham had Lot in mind as he was asking for this, which makes me wonder if the four that got out left at least six family members: two fiancés, the married daughter and her husband, and at least two sons.

When Abraham gets up early the next morning and sees smoke rising from Sodom, he knows not all his relatives were righteous enough to leave. I don’t think we know if he ever ran into Lot again to know that he survived. (Their descendants sure will be aware of each other though!)

Maybe this prompted a new found fear of the LORD in Abraham, but we sure don’t see evidence of this in chapter 20. He repeats the game plan of 12:11-16. So while 90 may be post-menopausal back then, it sure doesn’t seem to make Sarah less attractive.

It’s an interesting introduction to the “people of God”. They don’t know what they’re doing and no one is very righteous. However, God is obviously still interacting with other people. He speaks to Abimelech in a dream. The basic existence of Melchizedek presupposes people worshiped the “Most High God” (enough to warrant a priest).

I had previously read this story thinking it all seemed unfair if no one knew about God. How can you judge Sodom and Gomorrah if there’s no law? This time around, I’m beginning to notice the knowledge of God outside of Abraham. I think it’s interesting. There was a basic understanding of justice:

“The LORD said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.’ And the LORD said, ‘The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.’” (18:17-21‬)

Later, in Ezekiel 16:49-50, the LORD states what unrighteousness and injustice was the problem in Sodom:

“Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.”

This leads me to suspect that the baseline Laws of the LORD are humility & generosity. AKA:

“’YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’” (Matthew‬ ‭22:37-40‬)

I love how beautifully consistent the LORD is if we just pay attention. Why stood out to you today?

-Bethany

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