Scripture Reading: Genesis 18:16-21
“Then the Lord said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached Me.'” (Genesis 18:20,21)
We must come to realize the gravity of sin. God said of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, “Their sin is so grievous that I will go down and see.” God Himself says sin is grievous. We must never underestimate the way God looks at sin.
The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah was indeed great. Remember that these were large cities. You can image in what God heard from the people in those wicked cities — the cry of an old man being assaulted, the cry of a wife being abandoned by her husband, the cry of an abused child, the cry of an addict, the cry of the homeless on a cold, dark night. These cries are just a fraction of the millions of cries that are rising up to God every minute of every day from every city and village in the world. There is a sense of great comfort found in this passage — God hears the cries and He feels the pain.
The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was exceedingly great. The people of these cities had witnessed the power and grace of God more than any of the other cities of Canaan. When they were defeated by Kadarlaomer of Elam, it was God through His servant Abraham who who rescued them and delivered them from slavery (14:13-17). They had heard the testimony of Melchizedek, the king of Salem and Priest of the Most High (14:18-20). They had witnessed the example of Abraham as he honored God above all earthly spoils, giving Melchizedek a tithe. Yet none of these things had any affect on the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. They were exceedingly wicked. The sinfulness of Sodom and Gomorrah involved extreme displays of sexual depravity, arrogance, abuse of the poor, along with a host of other sins.
Sin wounds the heart of God. It grieves the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Sin alienates us from God and elicits God’s wrath and displeasure. God must punish sin. This is where the gospel takes effect. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. But God acted graciously by sending His sinless Son into the world. Jesus took our sins upon Himself and was punished in our place. Jesus bore the wrath and displeasure of God on our behalf. Jesus Christ is our only hope for deliverance from the penalty of sin!
Lord Jesus, forgive me when I take the gravity of sin too lightly. I confess that I often make excuses for my sins and fail to remember what my sinful actions and thoughts cost You. Thank You for taking all my sins upon Yourself, going to the cross, and paying the penalty I rightly owe Your Father. Grant me strength to resist sin and to live in a way that brings glory and honor to You.
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