A Daily Genesis

Genesis 18:16-19

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:16 . .The men set out from there and looked down toward Sodom, Abraham walking with them to see them off.[/B]

Looking down towards Sodom is probably just another way to say aiming for Sodom.

Many of us just see our visitors out the front door. But, you know, it wouldn't hurt to see them out to their cars too. Maybe even carry a few things for them.

The site of Sodom has never been found. Some believe it was at the south end of the Dead Sea; but that's really only a guess. The destruction was so severe and so complete that it's just impossible now to tell where it was.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:17 . . Now the Lord had said: Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,[/B]

Now there's a pretty good yardstick of your standing with God. Do you know what is on His agenda for tomorrow? Me neither. God doesn't confide in me for the slightest thing. I don't even know what brand of toothpaste He uses in the morning let alone His daily schedule.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:18 . . since Abraham is to become a great and populous nation and all the nations of the earth are to bless themselves by him?[/B]

Divine purposes for Abraham elevated him to a very high degree of importance above ordinary human beings; and God regarded the old boy not as a servant, but as a member of Yhvh's inner circle of confidants. In point of fact; one of His buddies (Isa 41:8). That is amazing.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:19 . . For I have singled him out, that he may instruct his children and his progeny to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is just and right, in order that the Lord may bring about for Abraham what He has promised him.[/B]

In order for Yhvh's statement to be meaningful it has to imply that Abraham possessed a knowledge of what is just and right in harmony with what Yhvh feels is just and right rather than a humanistic knowledge. The US Supreme Court's justices obviously don't have a knowledge of what is just and right in harmony with Yhvh's because they seldom agree on anything and their rulings are opinions rather than absolutes.

Getting all of Abraham's progeny to do what is just and right has been a bit of a challenge for Yhvh down through the centuries. Some have; but typically not all.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 18:20 . .Then the Lord said: The outrage of Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave![/B]

The people of Sodom weren't just your every-day, average garden variety of sinners. According to Gen 13:13, they were very wicked sinners; and not only were they very wicked sinners, but very wicked sinners against the Lord; in other words: they were insolent; which Webster's defines as: exhibiting boldness or effrontery; viz: impudence. People like that are defiant-- they make a point of standing up to others and asserting their independence to a hateful degree.

Some of Yhvh's statements, spoken to shame His people, shed additional light on the nature of Sodom's wickedness.

"Ah, Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because by word and deed they insult the Lord, defying His majestic glance. Their partiality in judgment accuses them; they avow their sins like Sodom, they do not conceal them." (Isa 3:8-9)

"What I see in the prophets of Jerusalem is something horrifying: adultery and false dealing. They encourage evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness. To Me they are all like Sodom, and [all] its inhabitants like Gomorrah." (Jer 23:14)

"Only this was the sin of your sister Sodom: arrogance! She and her daughters had plenty of bread and untroubled tranquility; yet she did not support the poor and the needy. In their haughtiness, they committed abomination before Me; and so I removed them, as you saw." (Ezk 16:49-50)

Sodom is widely reputed for its moral depravity. But as you can see from those passages above, they were a whole lot more evil than that. One of the most interesting of their sins was that they did nothing to discourage wickedness. They actually applauded evildoers and encouraged them to keep it up. Added to that was arrogance, and a lack of charity-- indifference to the plight of the poor --and haughtiness, adultery, dishonesty, partiality, insulting the glory and dignity of God, bragging about their sins, and idolatry.

Since God had not yet proclaimed any official laws specifically prohibiting the Sodomites' conduct, then He really couldn't prosecute them in that respect. So then, what was His justification for nailing them? It was for the very same attitude that nails everybody; both pre Flood and post-Flood.

"This is the condemnation: that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." (John 3:18-21)

So then, the Sodomites were not only indifferent to God's wishes; but they deliberately avoided knowing them just as Yhvh's people themselves did in later years to come.

"But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law and the words which The Lord of hosts hath sent in His spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from The Lord of hosts." (Zech 7:11-12)

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