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Saturday, May 5, 2012

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God commissioned two witnesses to personally investigate matters in Sodom, since their judgment would be final and there should be no doubt that it was just (cf. 18:25; Deut 17:6; 19:15; 2 Cor 13:1).  Sodom was condemned not only for its sexual immorality and perversion (Jude 7) but also for its arrogance, overindulgence, prosperous ease, and failure to care for the poor and needy (Ezek 16:49-50).  By its failure to be hospitable to the strangers who sought refuge there and its sexual perversion manifested toward Lot’s guests, Sodom condemned itself before God’s two witnesses.  Lot and his family were instructed by the two angels to flee before they would be caught up in its punishment.

 

The reluctance with which Lot’s family responded to the command to flee shows the dangerous influence of the attractions of one’s surroundings.  When Lot moved his family into the Jordan valley near these wicked cities, and subsequently moved into the city of Sodom itself, he must have had some awareness of the dangers to which he was subjecting his family (cf. 2 Pet 2:7-8), yet he ignored the risks and exposed them to evil influences which would eventually result in their destruction.  The angels finally had to grab the hands of Lot and his wife and two daughters who were still living at home and drag them out of the city.  Still, Lot’s wife perished because her heart would not leave, having been ensnared by the allures of the city (Gen 18:26), and Lot's two daughters demonstrated the pernicious influence of Sodom through an incestuous relationship with their father (vv. 30-36).  Are we too careless about the influences with which we surround ourselves?  What will be the result?  Sodom and Gomorrah became for all time the example of how God will deal with unrepentant wickedness (2 Pet 2:6), and the tragedy of Lot and his family provide a lesson in the hazards of permitting ourselves to be corrupted by the attractions and ways of the world (cf. 1 John 2:15-17).

 

Edwin Reynolds

Professor, Southern Adventist University