Sodom and Gomorrah and the Angel of the Lord, by Melissa Giibbs
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.

Finally 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.

 

Visit Melissa at http://chronologicalbiblein2010.blogspot.com/.

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