Summary: How does God choose who He gives mercy to? God saves and God judges, and their is consequence for sin even if we are saved.
How does God choose who he shows mercy to? Watching the events in Haiti over the last couple of weeks, you hear of many survivors who have had limbs amputated, others who died quickly and painlessly, still others who slowly and painfully passed away, and then a fellow was pulled out two weeks after the earthquake somehow having enough water to keep him alive until the very day he was rescued.
It makes me wonder if God is really micromanaging everything. Does he intervene or is it just the luck of the draw in a fallen world? If he intervenes what are his criteria? He obviously doesn’t just show mercy on this earth to believers.
I had a great uncle that lived to over 100 who smoked and drank everyday of his life, while recently I hear of a seemingly healthy 14 year old having a fatal heart attack. Innocent Josh Fehr falls on the ice and ends up like George Friesen, God forbid.
Can we make sense of this? Do we need to? No. God said “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my thoughts and ways are higher than your ways and thoughts.” So no, we will never understand his ways on this earth. All we can know for sure is that he is there whether he is engineering every situation or not.
Is that good enough for us? Well, it has to be, and it’s really all that God wants from us, to acknowledge Him for who he is, believe he exists, and live like we do believe. This was the problem throughout the Old Testament including our text today.
God shows in Sodom that there is judgment and consequence for living as if he doesn’t exist, for rejecting Him. If you really believe he exists, you have to live as if he does, or you are showing that you don’t really believe he does.
And the point here is that the consequences in 2010 are exactly what they were back then, destruction. Yes it may look different now until the final judgment, but then again everything will be destroyed by fire, and even now if we die without acknowledging Jesus as Lord we face destruction in the Holy fire of hell.
But what is hidden in all of this fire and brimstone is the mercy of God to all who simply say yes God, even if they hesitate.
So let’s begin today by looking at:
I. The Declaration of the Angels (vv 12-14)
In chapters 12 and 13 the Angels tell Lot what the Lord had already told Abraham, that if there were no righteous people in Sodom it would be destroyed. And now we see:
A. The Gravity of the Situation (vv 12-13)
The Angels clearly didn’t find 10 righteous people and they give Lot the opportunity to round up his family, and let him know that they are now definitely there to destroy the city because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord.
But where is this outcry coming from? It certainly isn’t coming from the people of Sodom, they’re perfectly content with their ways. Remember back in Genesis 4 after Abel killed his brother Cain and it says his blood cried out from the ground? Obviously blood can’t cry but it’s a metaphor that God can hear and see everything.
He created everything, so it could be here in Sodom, that the blood, or souls of those who have been abused are calling out, or the earth, the trees, the water that God created, could be calling out, or it might just be a symbolic way of saying that I, God have heard about and seen what is happening through my angels.
Bottom line is that God is so disturbed by this that he sees the need to completely destroy Sodom because there’s no hope for them. They have lost their opportunity to repent. Something we haven’t seen since the flood. Lot believes the Angels and we see:
B. The Seriousness of Lot (v. 14a)
as he immediately follows the advice of the Angels and goes to warn his sons-in-law that they must prepare to leave. But how do they respond to Lot? They think he’s joking, “yeah right Lot, we’ll get going right away.”
C. The Levity of the Sons-In-Law (v. 14b)
brings their demise and causes the daughters who were betrothed to them, to later take desperate measures.
However it also seems to have caused Lot to doubt a little as well, because even though he seems very serious before going to the sons-in-law he starts to hesitate from there on.
Now as we move on to verse 15 we have:
II. The Deliverance of Lot’s Family (vv 15-22)
Take a look at:
A. The Exhortation of the Angels in (v.15)