October 16, 2022
“Early in the morning, Abraham went to the place where he had stood before the Lord. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of the plain...”
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“Early in the morning, Abraham went to the place where he had stood before the Lord. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of the plain, and he saw that smoke going up from the land like the smoke of a furnace. So it was when God destroyed the cities of the plain, He remembered Abraham and brought Lot out of the middle of the upheaval when He overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.” Genesis 19:2-29
Speechless. That’s how I was the night a high school friend and I walked into his home at 2 am. His mom had been sitting in a chair by the front door for hours, just waiting for the moment he walked in so that she could slap his face! There he lay on the floor. There she stood over him. I didn’t say a word. I just slowly turned around and walked back to my home across town.
That’s how I picture Abraham looking down on Sodom & Gomorrah, with smoke still rising. Its simplicity reminds me of Hemingway’s writing. No dialogue, just a long stare…fade to black.
How can we accept the accounts of Noah’s flood or Sodom & Gomorrah, but when it comes to the Day of The Lord, almost nobody takes the coming judgment seriously? Just look at how similar the accounts are.
“They came up over the surface of the Earth and surrounded the encampment of the saints, the beloved city. Then fire came down from Heaven and consumed them. The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:9-10
What I appreciate about today’s passage is Abraham’s intercession on behalf of Lot. He pleaded with the Lord for Lot’s life and his entire family. When was the last time you pleaded with the Lord, even tried to negotiate with Him, on behalf of a non-believing friend? If we really considered the absolute inevitability of the coming judgment, perhaps we would have more of an evangelistic sense of urgency. Consider the angel’s words to the apostle John:
“He (the angel) also said to me, ‘Don’t seal up prophetic words of this book because the time is near. Let the unrighteous go on in unrighteousness; let the filthy go on being filthy; let the righteous go on in righteousness; and let the holy go on being made holy.’” Revelation 22:10-11
We need to preach the gospel in its entirety, as Abraham did, knowing some people will respond as the citizens of Sodom & Gomorrah, others as Lot’s wife, and still others as Lot. Nevertheless, we can stand before the Lord, knowing we seized every opportunity to lead the lost to salvation. May God’s Spirit make our testimonies effective!