3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: All of us stand at the edge of God’s judgment. What can save us?

Genesis 19

June 22, 2003

The Associated Press

March 20, 2003) — NIAGARA FALLS — A 48-year-old man who fell in to the Niagara River off Goat Island stood a few feet from the brink of the falls for two hours before a rescue helicopter pulled him from the precipice.

"Hold me! Don’t let me go!" the man cried out Wednesday as rescuers pulled him from the freezing water after more than an hour of trying.

The man, still unidentified by police Thursday, was rushed to a hospital suffering from severe hypothermia, The Buffalo News reported.

"This guy was as close to going over the edge as I’ve seen in my 29 years here," Battalion Chief John Jacoby of the Niagara Falls Fire Department told the paper.

"There was one point near the end when he stumbled, and we thought he was going over the falls," he said. "I don’t know how, but he managed to regain his footing. It was nothing short of miraculous."

The man slipped off Terrapin Point on Goat Island from the American side of the Horseshoe Falls about 4:30 p.m., slid down an icy slope into the water and ended up 20 feet from shore and 5 feet from the falls’ 170-foot drop.

Wind and water currents made the rescue difficult.

"The current and the ice prevented us from walking out to him," said Sgt. Patrick Moriarty of the State Parks Police.

A helicopter made several unsuccessful attempts to lower a rescue ring to the man, before he managed to grab it. The current then dragged his legs under the ice, trapping him, Jacoby said.

About 20 officers standing on the edge of Terrapin Point pulled ropes attached to the rescue ring to free him and bring him to safety, said Niagara Falls Fire Chief William Correa.

1. The Sin of Sodom 19:1-11

Tell the story to verse 5

There has been a lot of controversy recently about the sin of Sodom. The NIV very clearly translates it as homosexuality. Some have argued that this is an unjust conclusion because the Hebrew text does not say that homosexuality was the sin. The Hebrew says that the crowd tells Lot to bring out the strangers so that they might "know them." This has led some to say that the sin of Sodom was a lack of hospitality not homosexuality. They tell us that the Hebrew word yada is used 943 times in the OT but it only means sex in 12 of those passages.

Problems: yada is used 12 times in Genesis- 10x of sex

verse 8 - yada has to mean sex

NIV Jude 1:7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

NIV Leviticus 18:22 "’Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

NIV Leviticus 20:13 "’If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator-- who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.

27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

2. The Deliverance of Lot 19:12-26

emphasize verse 16

3. Postlog 19:27-29

This morning we started by looking at a picture of a man on the brink of disaster. We have just seen a man delivered from the brink of disaster. I think it is fitting to remind us that we all stand on the brink of the disaster of God’s judgment. Many people are swept toward the judgment and never realize their peril till they are swept over the falls. Others see the judgment coming and they frantically try to paddle to save themselves. They go to church, they do good works, they try to obey the commandments. Yet all their effort is to no avail. No matter how hard they try, they cannot fight the current that sweeps them ever closer to God’s judgment. You see just like that man stranded on the edge of the falls, our only hope is for someone to rescue us before we are swept to destruction.

Jesus - paid the penalty of God’s wrath in our place. If we place our trust in Him alone.

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