Scripture Reading: Genesis 19:24-29
‘“Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plains, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.” (Genesis 19:27,28)
Most of us cannot grasp the extensive destruction that took place in Sodom and Gomorrah. Some of us well remember the terrible events that took place on September 11 2001, when planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The twin towers came crashing down, taking thousands of lives. And there was the aftermath — piles of rubble, smoking from deep within the ruins of those gigantic buildings. People who saw Ground Zero were left speechless and in tears.
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah must have been a similar experience. We are told — “Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah — from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus He overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities — and also all the vegetation in the land” (Genesis 19:24,25).
Abraham rose early in the morning and went to the place where he stood before the Lord. It had been less than twelve hours since Abraham stood before the Lord and interceded for the people in the evil cities. He looked at the destruction and did not say a word. He was speechless!
As I consider the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the deliverance of Lot and his daughters, Romans 11:22 came to my mind — “Behold then the kindness and severity of God, to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness.”
The severity of God is seen in His wrath. A study of a concordance will reveal more references to the anger, fury, and wrath of God, than to the love and tenderness of God. We must face the reality of His wrath as much as we desire to face the reality of His love. The Scripture is clear — “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).
We also see the kindness of God in this passage — “So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, He remembered Abraham, and He brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot lived” (v. 29). God remained faithful to His promise. He graciously delivered Lot from the destruction. God’s kindness has been extended to us as well.
“Between us sinners and the thunder clouds of divine wrath stands the cross of the Lord Jesus. If we are Christ’s, through faith, then we are justified through His cross, and the wrath will never touch us, neither here nor hereafter. Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come” (J.I. Packer, “Knowing God”).
Lord Jesus, thank You for going to the cross where the wrath of God was poured out upon You. You did this so that the wrath of Your Father will never touch me. I can never thank You enough for what You did for me. I cannot begin to comprehend how terrible it was for You when You experienced Your Father’s displeasure and wrath.
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