Jun 27, 2009
In Genesis we have the telling of the tale in which God decides to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. So he appears before Abraham; he is pleased with what he sees. Abraham and his family have honored the contract of the original Covenant and obeyed it religiously.
Note that he appears "at the appointed time". God has set a "check in" clause for the Jews for when he will fulfill the confirmation of the contract (Covenant). Something of an "all mighty parole officer." :->
But Sodom and Gomorrah? He has deemed their sin "great and exceedingly grievous" and thus he plans to destroy them.
Now, God does a curious thing here. He essentially invites Abraham to be part of the judgment of the City. He even makes a point of stating he isn't hiding his actions from him, he's allowing for "full disclosure" which is somewhat out of character.
He then goes even further and allows Abraham to engage him in an argument over the execution of his Judgment on the City. A lengthy debate begins over just how thorough God's destruction will be.
It is written in a style which suggests that Abraham is getting God to reluctantly concede that if there are ANY righteous in the city, then they shouldn't be killed with the rest of Sodom and Gomorrah.
It is clear that God thinks Abraham's judgment on the morality of Sodom and Gomorrah is in error; but out of love of Abraham he allows his servants (Angels) to go down and take stock of the situation.
But if God is all knowing then he already KNOWS if there are any righteous in the City. One can only conclude that he is humoring Abraham due to his affection for him.
There is actually a suggestion that God and Abraham leave each other's company rather miffed with each other; God departing abruptly in "divine irritation" and Abraham turning his back to him, a physical action that especially back then signified at the best displeasure, at the worst a grave insult.
Which leads us to Lot.
Now, first; let me define what the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is. Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the favorite stories quoted by those who would lead you to believe that God destroyed the city due to homosexual behavior and thus God hates Homosexuals.
But this isn't so. The actual crime of Sodom and Gomorrah is the breaking of the basic rules of hospitality. The favored passages for the homosexual argument is;
gen19:5 " ...bring them out unto us, and we know them.' "
gen 19:9: "...now, we do evil to thee more than [to] them;' and they press against the man, against Lot greatly, and come nigh to break the door."
The crimes described here are crimes of violence and breaking of the guest right. (If there is any sexual activity, it is one of Gang Rape, NOT consensual sex, be it heterosexual or homosexual).
Lot is clearly worried that these men will come in and do his guests harm because they have come into his house and he has provided food and drink for them, which is the standard Old World invoking of the Guest right which details that a person has become a guest in the house and is entitled to specific rights.
HOWEVER, we come to the crux. Lot is NOT a man without sin. He OFFERS his daughters to the crowd in an attempt to bribe them NOT to harm his guests!
He does NOT trust in God to provide protection (regardless of whether he knows the two visitors are Angels or not; his duty is to fulfill the rules of the Covenant, regardless of the outcome).
He offers his daughters to an unruly mob who realistically will come in and do as they please anyway.
Yes, you can argue that his sin is a lesser sin than those of the men outside (In the context of the rules of society of that time). But it is STILL a sin and a breaking of the rules of the Covenant.
So, based on the above technicality, God allows Lot and his family to escape the City before its destruction (minus one salt pillared wife).
And Lot goes to hide in the mountains out of fear (of what? God? If he is an honest man, why should he fear?).
And while residing there his daughters decide to get him drunk so that they may commit INCEST and birth a child by him. Yet another sin (if it is not a sin, then why the need to get him drunk first?).
This leads to the birthing of Moab who founds the nation of the Moabites.
And as we see, the Moabites were a people who were often "guilty" of leading the Israelites into casual sex, idol worshipping, and war-like behavior despite their peaceful nature.
Did God allow his love of Abraham to lead him to go against his own judgment in allowing Lot to live and produce a tribe of people who were, in the end run, sinners? By making this decision he essentially invalidated the decision of destroying Sodom and Gomorrah to wipe the "Grievousness of their Sin" from the face of the earth.