The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is an example of God’s final destruction of sin. Sometimes we are tempted to believe that God is willing to turn a blind eye to sin. Sodom and Gomorrah show us that He is not so inclined. While God loves sinners, he hates sin and he will not hesitate to destroy it.
Before the angels, tasked with destroying the city, made it to Sodom and Gomorrah, God sent them to speak to Abraham. Their business with Abraham concluded, the men turned to leave but not before relaying to Abraham their plans to destroy the cities of the lush Jordan river valley. Abraham is touched with compassion and pleads with God to save the city if he can only find ten righteous people there. It is telling that God agrees to save a city full of wickedness on account of just ten righteous people. It is also telling that a God of such infinite love would be willing to rain down fire and brimstone on human beings he has created in his image.
Firstly God holds back the winds of strife on account of just a handful of righteous people not simply because he likes them more than he likes wicked people but because a handful of righteous people can exert enough of an influence to stem the tide of wickedness around them. A little bit of salt can go a long way towards flavoring an entire pot.
Secondly, God loves the sinner but he hates sin. This can seem a little cliched but it is true. Think about it like this; if you were to soak your clothes in gasoline and set them alight not only would your gasoline-soaked clothes burn but you would burn with them. Sin is like gasoline and God is like a consuming fire to sin. If you continuously indulge in soaking up gasoline there is going to come a time when the very presence of God sets you alight and then when the gasoline burns you will burn along with it, not because you are the target but because you have chosen to immerse yourself in the target.
In the midst of this quandary is Lot. A man who fears God but has made a really bad choice. He has chosen to immerse himself in some significant amounts of gasoline a.k.a. Sin, and now faced with the prospect of being set alight, God gives him a choice, he can choose to remove his gasoline-soaked clothes and put on new ones. He can choose to escape what’s coming. Lot struggles to make the choice. Not because he doesn’t understand the wickedness that surrounds him, he does, but mainly because his wife and daughters love wallowing in it and to change his ways would mean leaving them behind to be set alight and his heart is torn at the thought.
Ultimately Lot and two of his daughters manage to escape but there are terrible terrible consequences to his choices. Lot’s choices exacted a terrible cost. It was the little compromises that got to him. The little steps away from God that stacked up and turned into a blinding wall. Proverbs 4:23 says “keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life”
It is so important to make sure that we guard the affections of our hearts and set them on things that are truly worthy of our time and attention.
Lot chose to set his affection on wealth and self-aggrandizement it all turned to ash around him. Abraham chose to set his affections on faithfully serving God and thereby laid up for himself, treasure unto eternal life. Our values define us not just here and now but eternally. What do you value most?