Summary: Are you caught in any Sodom? The pleasures of this world are passing clouds. Nothing is permanent except your Salvation and eternal life in Christ. Every green grass will wither and dry one day. Every peak will show you the valley beyond.
Text: Genesis 13:10-13
Theme: Fall of a Community
Introduction: Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Lord is good; His love endures forever. Our monthly theme is, Take heed, lest you fall. The Topic for this Sunday is, Fall of a Community.
Bible has several examples of fallen Nations, communities. They have earned the displeasure of God and the judgment of God upon their heads. These things had happened due to their corporate sin, it spreads from an individual or King.
Three lessons we can learn from the text based on Genesis 13:10-13:
1. Sodom and Gomorrah were wealthy cities
2. Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked cities
3. Sodom and Gomorra were wrecked cities
13:10 a -12 Sodom and Gomorrah were Wealthy Cities
We read in Genesis 13:10: “Lot looked around, and he noticed the grassy plains in the Jordan Valley looked well-watered and fertile, just as he imagined the Eternal One’s gardens might be or as he knew the land of Egypt in the direction of Zoar to be. This all happened before the Eternal destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (The Voice Translation). Three keywords are notable: Well-watered, Garden of Eden, and Land of Egypt.
Sodom looked like the Garden of God or the Garden of Eden. The word paradise is neither Hebrew nor Greek. The root word comes from Aramaic to refer to the meaning for fruitful and well-watered. The Hebrew word associated with Paradise, it refers to pleasure. The Arabic and Persian words signify a garden, a vineyard, and the place of the blessed. Peters Pett Commentary: The word ‘gan’ signifies a protected place of fruitfulness, which means garden with a ground. The Hebrew word gan, renders garden, and paradise signifies a fenced or enclosed garden. The Garden of Eden was not a cultivated, enwalled garden, but a fruitful, tree-covered area of land set apart by God for man’s use. It pleased God to provide for man, when he formed him, a proper place of reception, a garden.
As we learned the concept Eden signifies delight and pleasure. It was adorned with every tree pleasant to the sight and enriched with every tree that yielded fruit grateful to the taste and good for food (Genesis 4:16; Amos 1:5). So the cities of Zoar and such other places, probably received their name from their fertility, pleasant situation, etc. Egypt refers to wealth, popularity, safety, property, horses and establishments, wrong decisions. But Moses preferred to suffer rather than enjoy the pleasures of Egypt.
Here, we read that Lot separated from Abraham as a bachelor and chose a partner from Sodom and quickly regretted but could not come out of it, because of his wedding band. He saw only the greeneries, luxuries, and various attractions (Barnes). Lot chose an excellent future from a worldly point of view but ruined his spiritual interest with worldly advantage (Jameison – Fausset). We have many signboards on roads to know the curves and warnings signs to be cautious about our speed on the road, likewise, we have signboards in our life journey. Lot did not see the future destiny only God knows. Decisions based on monetary benefits lead to destruction.
Proverbs 14:12-14 says that there is a way appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death, even in laughter the heart may be in pain and the end of joy may be grief (Proverbs 16:25). The "prima facie"--on its face--at first appearance-at first view appears right and pleasant. Without looking at the other side, it is to be assumed as true. It does call for further honest and thorough investigation notwithstanding all this appearance of being right. The mind is very willing to satisfy itself with mere seeming.
Matthew Henry: Those who are guided and governed by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life cannot expect God's presence and blessing in their choice of relations in marriage and friends, callings or vocations, dwellings, housings, and settlements. These self-deceived men have no heart in their worship of God. Their souls are not all liquid, flowing out in praise, and full of love and heaven. There is none of the spirit of heaven in their hearts. Yet they think they mean to do right and to do their duty. It seems so to them. How often we rush in our choices. We do not have time to wait for the Lord and his counsel (Psalm 32:8).
The realities are no delights can be satisfying to the soul except those which God himself has provided and appointed. If not wherever it is, it has all desirable conveniences, without any inconvenience though no other house or garden on earth ever was so. Our pleasure comes from God through the Word of God and the anointing of God. Psalms are full of sweetness and pleasures of God for our souls and minds. Garden of Eden for us, is God’s fenced, planned, provided blessing in our lives. We need to till it, dress it to enjoy the pleasure through what God has blessed with.