Sodom and Gomorrah and the Angel of the Lord, Genesis 18-21:7
Random "in case you were wondering" from a previous reading... I was
talking with a friend today about Noah's drunken exposure and she noted
how puzzling it was that such a severe curse was handed down to Canaan
for what was Noah's bad
behavior. This is when it pays to have my handy-dandy resource books!
Our text reads that Ham "saw that his father was naked", but the Hebrew
translation reveals more than a harmless notice. The verb has such
force that it indicates Ham was delighted to find his father in such a
state; even to the point of reveling in it. My book says that it can be
translated "looked with great satisfaction", meaning that it was Ham's
heart that betrayed him. He could not be cursed directly because he
shared in the blessing God gave to Noah. He had many sons, but one was
singled out, and it is speculated that this was a heart issue as well.
After all, Canaan became the father of the Canaanites, and we know from
Old Testament history that they were an idolatrous, God-hating people.
Anyway, just good to know...
In chapter 18, Abraham is
visited by three men who turn out to be angels. I wonder if he knew
immediately that they were angels. He certainly treated them well,
which is the root of the expression "you never know when you may be
entertaining angels". As the conversation between them turns to Sarah
and a future pregnancy, one of the "men" is referred to as the Lord.
Even as they begin their journey to Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham
continues to converse with "the Lord". This seems to be a peculiar
reference to a pre-incarnate Jesus. No man can look upon the face of
God and live (can't quote where that comes from but I know it's in
there), so Abraham can't be talking face to face with God. And it can't
be an angel, because the person speaking is "the Lord".
So who does that leave? Since Jesus is eternal, and existed in heaven
even at the time of creation (did you notice the terminology in verse
2:26 "let us make man in our
image"?), he was certainly available for action. The root word for
angel is "messenger", so the term angel could be used to describe the
role as opposed to the nature of that third "angel". There are a
handful of other occasions in the Old Testament where this "angel of
the Lord" appears.
So now we know who they are and follow along
with them as God and Abraham negotiate over the destruction of Sodom
and Gomorrah. The Lord eventually agrees to spare the city for the sake
of just 10 righteous people. Do you ever look at our world and think,
why doesn't God hasten the end times and finish this thing off? In so
many ways, we are an abomination! But we must have the equivalent of at
least "10 righteous people" hanging around that holds back His wrath
and judgment. Salt and light, people. Salt and light. Interestingly, by
the time the group reaches the gates of the city, there are only two
angels and the dialog involving "the Lord" is over. Where and why did
Jesus go? I have no idea what that means and my resource books say
nothing about it! The rest of the story involves so much tragedy. The
men of Sodom want to rape the angels, Lot offers his daughters to
protect them (which I guess is understandable since they were ANGELS),
the city is destroyed, Lot's wife dies because she loves the world more
than God, and then we have the incest episode between Lot and his
daughters. Yuk. Again, the incident is not condoned, merely reported.
Isaac was born! In regard to Isaac, I do want to point out something I
have never noticed before. Back in verse 18:19, God is reiterating his
covenant with Abraham and says "I have singled him out so that he will
direct his sons and their
families to keep the way of the Lord..." Did you notice the plural
"sons"? The nation of Israel was to be formed from Isaac. His
descendants would bear the honor of eventually brining forth the Savior
of the world, but God's intention was for all of Abraham's sons to
follow his ways... including Ishmael. Even though God must have seen
Islam coming, it is a perversion of His plan.
Tomorrow's reading: Genesis 21:8-24
About Melissa Gibbs:
Melissa is the mother of four boys and the wife of her
junior high sweetheart, JD.He is the
President of Joe Gibbs Racing and the son of NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe
Gibbs.JD and Melissa have been married 16
years and are actively involved with Young Life, Motor Racing Outreach, their
church, and other ministries.Their
youngest son Taylor is nearing completion of a 3 year treatment protocol for
leukemia, which has been a powerful faith walk for their family.Since his diagnosis, Melissa has been called
upon to share their family's testimony with many local churches. Much of her
energy is now focused on a huge festival planned for mid May in celebration of
Taylor's victory over leukemia and in effort to raise money and awareness for
pediatric cancer.If you'd like to check
out what she's up to while not blogging, go to www.finishlinefestival.com.