I've been reading Genesis on and off lately. No particular reason. It's been awhile since I've read Genesis as an adult and I've really enjoyed it so far. Whether you believe the Bible or not, I think it's safe to say that it's an undeniable page turner packed with love, death, betrayal, adultery, polygamy, homosexuality, greed, lust, murder, war, forgiveness, and redemption.
I'm prone to think we're currently living in a time where evil is at the height of its destructiveness. With new technology and the human race mentally and emotionally deteriorating at a rapid pace, I can't help but think we shouldn't be surprised to witness evil at its best. Too often I hear people refer to cities like Las Vegas or New Orleans as "Sodom and Gomorrah," a city in the Bible notorious for its rampant perversion and staunch dismissal of morality. But after reading about this famous city and Abraham's involvement in its fate, I'm not sure this is a fair comparison. Here's why.
God knew Sodom and Gomorrah was painfully evil and he decided he was going to destroy it. Abraham, whom God favored and loved, had a brother Lot who lived in the city with his family. Abraham boldly asked God to spare the city should God find 50 people who were righteous. God agreed. Then Abraham proposed he spare the city if he found 40 people who were righteous. God agreed. Abraham asked again and again until his number was 10. If God found 10 righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, would he spare the city from destruction? Yes, God agreed. But, the bad news is that he didn't even find ten righteous people. He only found Lot's family whom he decided to save.
Here's where it gets crazy.
So God sends two angels to the city. Lot ends up inviting them into his house. As he is feeding them, all the men from the city--young and old--surround the house and demand Lot give the two men to them so they can have sex with them. (Um, what) Lot (remember he was marked righteous) dismisses their request and instead proposes another brilliant idea. "I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." (Aw, hell nah)
So let me get this straight. The only righteous person in Sodom and Gomorrah whom God has chosen to save is offering his own daughters to homosexually-charged strangers who are literally trying to break down the door to get to the angels who end up blinding their asses anyway. The righteous meter is probably about to croak.
This brings me back to my comparison of today's evil with Sodom and Gomorrah's. Are we more or less evil than this? I'm sure it could be debated either way. But I can't tell you the last time I saw someone deemed righteous offering up their children to strangers to have sex with them. The story gets even more twisted post-destruction of S&G when Lot settles with his remaining family members (Gen. 19:30-38).
Here's what I think it points to though: God and his mercy on us, even when we are surrounded by evil to the point we can't discern what is right or wrong. God saves us from this crap and removes us from what is destructive. God listens to us and truly hears our prayers and pleads for change.
References: Genesis 19