We had arrived at the Dead Sea and naturally I was determined to find out if what I had heard about it and its contents of vast amounts of minerals that would keep you afloat if you just lay on the water. What I had heard was accurate. Some other things were questionable. For instance, was it positively the location of Sodom and Gomorrah? While it remains possible, without my getting involved in a great dissertation, there are other things in the account that are most interesting.
We first read of three men appearing in the heat of the day and Abraham responding immediately to their needs…feet washed, bread prepared, a calf prepared, and under pressure, to remain overnight! There is a reference to one of those being the Lord, who conversed with Abraham and Sarah that a year hence she would give birth to a son. A loving rebuke is made to Sarah, who was now 100 years of age… “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” Sarah was not alone in her feelings about bearing a child at such an age so she laughed. I imagine a number of you reading this will admit that you too would have laughed.
The Lord confronts Abraham with his intention to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because their proclivity to sin. Immediately we see Abraham interacting with the Lord, believing that surely there would be an injustice, on God’s part even if as little as ten were found to be living a righteous life. The Lord says, “even if ten”.
God clearly indicates His repulsiveness to homosexuality in what takes place. Lot goes so far as to offer his daughters instead of his guests to the “mob” at the door. We view God’s intervention by making them physically blind to their blindness toward sin.
The Lord absents Himself while the other two remain and remove Lot and his family from Sodom. Lot’s wife looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt. With the permission of the two who Lot had entertained the remainder of the family, Lot and his two daughters, enter a cave for temporary residence. It is here that we get insight into the character of these two women. They rationalize their current situation and declare each to the other that unless they do something about it, their family will not be preserved. Two young women, never having had a sexual relationship, commit incest with their father on the pretence that this would guarantee that they “preserve our family through our father”. (Genesis 19:34). “The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day.”
It would be beneficial if we examine the meaning of these names…Moab we understand to mean “from the father”, while Ben-ammi means “son of my people”. Now to catapult our thinking to our present day; neither of these groups exist anymore. The very pretense of these women’s action, lying with a man, one that they had made drunk themselves, with a man which they had never done before- their father no less) and which ended in a systematic case of bitter backsliding and bitter enemies.
We cannot play games with God and expect to come out a winner! The price is much too high!