January 6, 2011

The Fifty Righteous

“Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”  Genesis 18:23b-25 NLT

In ths exchange between Abraham and God, Abraham questions God's integrity in regard to His plan to destroy Sodom and Gommorah.  The Lord had heard the outcry from the people living in or near these two cities, and He determined to extinquish every last trace of wickedness from the surrounding territory.  The wickedness consisted of lewdness, perversity, homosexuality, and other forms of sexual immorality.  The inhabitants of these cities did nothing to stop this behavior, and it had become so pernicious, that people couldn't live or work within its surrounds.

Lot, Abraham's nephew, chose to live within the borders of Sodom.  He had chosen this plain for his inheritance, and decided that the terriotory around these cities was well-watered and good for raising livestock.  Some how Lot moved his family from the outlying countryside right into the midst of the city.  In Genesis 19 we have the account of Lot being acosted at his home, and as awful as it may read, him offering his two virgin daughters to the men outside his door.  Apparently, the men from the town knew that Lot was married, and that he had unmarried daughters living inside with him.  They were not interested in these women, but wanted the two strange men who had arrived earlier in the day.  These men were looking for homosexual relations with the men who had just arrived.  Of course, they had no knowledge that the men were actually God's messengers sent from Heaven to determine the extent of the wickedness within the city.

In the preceeding chapter, Abraham interrupts God's plan to plead for the life of his nephew and family.  He asks God if He really will destroy the righteous along with the wicked.  God's answer is long and protracted, saying in short, that even though there be but ten righteous people living in the city, He would not destroy them  along with the wicked.  What a blessing and a promise we have from God, to know that in our world where wickedness prevails, we have His promise that He will not destroy the wicked until every last righteous person is accounted.  God loves you so much that He tolerates the wicked until the very last of His lost ones is collected.  He diligently waits like the Prodigal Father for the lost son to return home.  God is holding back the destruction of our world until He is ready to separate the righteous from the wicked.  God is Merciful and Kind, and in His Great Plan, He has a promise for you and me.  Repent and return to Him, and He will save you from the destruction that is to come.  Come to Jesus now and be saved.  Amen, so be it, thy will be done.

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