Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed
He looked out across the plain toward Sodom and Gomorrah and watched as columns of smoke rose from the cities like smoke from a furnace.
I wonder how Abraham felt as he looked upon the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Though Genesis 19 confirms the pervasive evil of these cities, Abraham had hoped for their deliverance. In fact, in the previous chapter he had bartered with God, trying to keep God from destroying the cities. In the end, God had agreed to spare the cities if ten righteous people were found there. But Genesis 19 shows this to have been wishful thinking on Abraham's part. Nevertheless, I wonder if Abraham felt sad when he witnessed God's judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. Perhaps he wished he had could have done more to prevent their destruction.
There are many times in life when people we love reap the sorry fruits of their labors. Persistent sin can lead to painful results: broken marriages, public disgrace, financial ruin, fatal illness. Even though we can see how people have brought such tragedy upon themselves, we nevertheless feel sad for them and perhaps disappointed that we couldn't have helped them earlier.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever been in a situation like that of Abraham in Genesis 19? How did you feel? What did you do?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, when I read this story through my own eyes, it's easy for me to feel disdain for Sodom. But when I try to put myself in Abraham's place, I wonder if he felt sadness, even pity.
Help me, Lord, to acknowledge your justice. At the same time, help my heart to remain tender to people. Even if my enemies get what they deserve, help me not to be mired in hatred for them. Committed to your justice, help me to have a compassionate heart. Amen.