Archive for the ‘Genesis 19’ Category

PART 5 – GENESIS 19:1-38 – HAPPILY EVER AFTER – NOT!

Happily Ever After?

Julie and the kids were on their way home from the park when it happened. Ben was only about 5 years old and happily walking and running ahead on the edge of the road. There was no footpath beside the road but he was still on the grassy area. Then he must have seen our house on the other side of the road and headed towards it, edging onto the road just as a car roared up from behind him. Julie screamed for him to stop but there was not enough time.

To this day, Julie does not understand how it happened. He should have been run over. It looked to her as if Ben was picked up and thrown out of harms way onto the grass. She believes a guardian ANGEL PROTECTED HIM.

We have sought to bring our children up in the ways of the Lord. They have an understanding that they are important to Him and to us.

In Genesis 19 ANGELS SAVE LOT, his wife and his girls from the angry gay mob. Mind you, the angels have their work cut out for them in trying to get Lot and his family out! Judgment, DRAGON-LIKE, is just about to be UNLEASHED AND SWEEP DOWN upon the city and Lot is arguing with the angels about which way to escape? Figure.

MY CHOICES DETERMINE MY DESTINY.

Lot was saved because God ANSWERED Abraham’s prayer back in Genesis 18:23-32. James 5:16 (NLT) says “…The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” 

So Lot starts afresh and they ALL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. NOT!

Lot had argued with the angel about escaping to the mountains. When he sees the destruction of Sodom and his wife, his life is now RULED WITH FEAR and he decides to obey the original suggestion and hives it up into the mountains, living in a cave with his daughters.

From BIG MAN in the city with servants and livestock, sitting in the gate negotiating business to being a frightened little man with a drinking problem. From exercising leadership and power to having NOTHING but the daughters he had tried to offer up to the men of Sodom. God has a way of impressing on Lot what is IMPORTANT in life, but he KEEPS MISSING IT. Here’s a brilliant opportunity to get to know his girls and bring them into relationship with God.

Lot’s girls, having been protected from being raped from the men of Sodom think that they will now never have children, unless they can RAPE THEIR FATHER while he is drunk. SKEWED VIEW OF SEX from the cities they had lived in and a view of themselves based no doubt on the poor view their father has of them! Talk about DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY!

Proverbs 22:6 (NLT) “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” The opposite is true too. Lot doesn’t seem to direct his children in anything but in DESTRUCTIVE PATTERNS.

IT’S WHAT DIRECTS MY LIFE THAT DETERMINES MY DESTINY.

Lot is a believer but he is ruled by his CIRCUMSTANCES! Ruled by FEAR! Ruled by ALCOHOL! Obviously Lot agrees to GET DRUNK. Can’t blame this on the girls. The girls saw this as the way to get him to sleep with him. Lot may have been a righteous man (a believer) but certainly not disciplined enough not to get drunk.

It happens twice. DRUNKENESS is not unfamiliar to Lot. What I want to know is how come they have so much wine in the cave? Where did it come from? Did they escape in a distillery truck or something? What is it that makes bringing wine up to a cave a priority? Is Lot an ALCOHOLIC?

MY PRIORITIES WILL DETERMINE MY DESTINY.

God bless you Church as you continually CHOOSE to live in obedience to God, and refuse to let the pattern of your life be DIRECTED your sinful actions. May your PRIORITIES be God’s priorities. Seek first His kingdom and you’ll live happily ever after? Well no. Happiness comes and goes. A life full of a deepseated joy in serving the Lord. Yes!

Pastor Ross

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PART 4 – GENESIS 19:1-38 – JUST CAUSE! GAME OVER!

Just Cause! No Chances Left!

Genesis 19 reads like a VIDEO GAME. It opens with a powerful weapon in the arsenal – Abraham’s prayer (Genesis 18:23-32) which provides firecover throughout the story. The two angels that come into town are the heroes on a RESCUE MISSION from HIGH COMMAND called “JUST CAUSE”.

Here’s how it plays out for SODOM AND GOMORRAH. The two angels are not hired by THE AGENCY but they are on a MISSION FROM GOD. And they are here to RESCUE Lot and his family and DESTROY the city. Along the way they will BLIND a marauding mob, and then they will DESTROY Sodom with firepower that can only be described as volcanic. In the EXPLOSIVE BEDLAM that takes place, the question is “WILL LOT AND HIS FAMILY ESCAPE?”

The angels are doing their thing and the whole town is IGNITING like an errupting fuel dump, DETONATING everything around them as the city is TORCHED and panic is the order of the day. 

If this was a video game of “JUST CAUSE” these angels would be racking up the POINTS as an enormous amount of devastation obliterates everything in sight. The official orders are “civilian casualties are regrettable but sanctioned. In fact neuk the whole town!” (my translation) as hot lead (fire and brimstone) rains down on Sodom. This is not DIGITAL CHAOS but the real deal. And the judgment of God is NO VIDEO GAME!

9/11 for Sodom and Gomorrah! A Terrorist attack? No! A terrifying example of the judgment of God. Jude 1:7 (NLT) says “Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.” 

EARTHQUAKE, VOLCANIC ERUPTION, SULPHURIC GASES, ASHES, UPHEAVAL, DESTRUCTION, CATASTROPHE!

2 Peter 3:9 (NLT) “The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 

Why would a loving God rain down fire and burning sulphur from the sky on SODOM? Perhaps a better question is “Why does He NOT rain down fire and burning sulphur on SYDNEY?” Or any city for that matter? I would. Turn a few politicians and anyone else who I feel deserves it into PILLARS OF SALT! If God was FAIR according to our standards we wouldn’t be here. Lot’s wife pits herself against God’s ABSOLUTE JUSTICE and loses. PILLAR OF SALT! GAME OVER!

Why did the angels go to all the trouble of bringing them out of Sodom if Lot’s wife was going to become a pillar of salt? Lot’s wife runs out of chances! ONLY ONE LIFE in this game. Hebrews 9:27 (NLT) says “…each person is destined to DIE ONCE and after that comes JUDGMENT” 

Jesus said in Luke 17:32-33 (NLT) “Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.” It seems Lot’s wife was trying to cling onto her old way of life in Sodom, lagging behind. IT ONLY TOOK A SPLIT SECOND! MINERALISED! GAME OVER! NO MORE CHANCES!

When Jesus speaks of His return He says in Luke 17:28-30 (NLT) that “the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business-eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building-until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”  

God bless you Church as you trust in Christ who like angels of old also came on a mission from God to rescue us from Judgment.

John 3:16-18 (NLT) “For God loved the world so much that He gave His One and only Son, so that everyone who BELIEVES IN HIM will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to SAVE THE WORLD through Him. “There is NO JUDGMENT against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has ALREADY BEEN JUDGED for not believing in God’s One and only Son.” 

Pastor Ross

Part 3 – Genesis 19:1-38 – TWO WRONGS AND A RIGHTEOUS MAN

One Way3.jpg

“One Way” © Picture created Ross Cochrane

Sodom and Sydney have much in common. When a mob of men from their “gay mardi gras” demand to sexually abuse Lots guests (two angels in human form) in Genesis 19:7-8, Lot goes out to them and says “Please, my brothers, don’t do such a wicked thing. Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can DO WITH THEM AS YOU WISH. BUT PLEASE, LEAVE THESE MEN ALONE, FOR THEY ARE MY GUESTS AND ARE UNDER MY PROTECTION.”

I am disgusted and revolted by these men but equally by what Lot says as he offers up his daughters. What! Does he think that his daughters will be safe in the hands of this mob because they’re homosexuals? My mother used to say “TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT!”

HOMOSEXUALITY, RAPE, DRUNKENNESS, INCEST, DISOBEDIENCE! We find it all in this passage. Who deserves judgment? THEY ALL DO! Lot included!

Yet 2 Peter 2:8 says “Lot was a RIGHTEOUS MAN who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day”.

He still has a CONSCIENCE and it is working overtime. He is TORMENTED by what he sees and hears, but I still flinch at the word “RIGHTEOUS” being used of Lot, because it sounds as if he should ACT ON HIS BELIEFS and put the “TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT” principle into action.

What does it mean when it says that Lot is RIGHTEOUS? One thing is obvious. It doesn’t mean he is PERFECT. It seems both Lot and Abraham have some skewed ideas about women.

LOT IS A RIGHTEOUS MAN but he fails in the FATHERHOOD department, big time. There are times when he GETS THINGS WRONG, really wrong. ME TOO! When I am faced with wickedness, what do I do? Sometimes the decisions aren’t all that easy, and whatever I choose to do seems to be the wrong thing. Romans 3:10 is right when it says that by ourselves “NO ONE IS RIGHTEOUS-not even one…”

Righteousness is not based on some RELIGIOUS, SELF RIGHTEOUS, SANCTIMONIOUS, HOLIER THAN THOU, COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIAN LIFE.  

So how can I be MADE TO BE RIGHTEOUS? Romans 3:22-25 tells me clearly. Listen to this! This gives me a whole lot of HOPE...

“We are made RIGHT WITH GOD (righteous) by PLACING OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. And this is true for EVERYONE who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we ALL FALL SHORT of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, DECLARES THAT WE ARE RIGHTEOUS. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are MADE RIGHT WITH GOD when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. …God did this to demonstrate HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, for He Himself is fair and just, and He DECLARES SINNERS TO BE RIGHT in His sight when they BELIEVE IN JESUS.”

The invitation is to ask that all important question that Lot should have asked himself long before opening the door. WILL MY CIRCUMSTANCES DRIVE MY DECISION-MAKING OR MY BELIEFS?

Pastor Ross

Part 2 – Genesis 19:1-38 – SAVED BUT STUPID!

Close Call!

How amazing was the news story of the 15-month-old boy who survived the train accident in May this year.

It all took place in a split second but for the grandmother who looked away for just a moment from the pram she was pushing, it must have seemed like eternity. When she turned back, the pram was rolling off the platform at Tooronga station (Sydney, Australia). The pram fell onto the tracks into the path of an oncoming train.

I have grandsons and I can’t imagine how that grandmother was feeling – the SICK FEELING OF DREAD as this transpired before her and there was nothing she could do. When they pulled the baby from under the train, everyone thought that it was a MIRACLE he was alive. A few scratches and that was it. Talk about a CLOSE CALL. Some say the grandmother should have been more careful. Easy for us to say.

Have you read Genesis 19 lately? Talk about a CLOSE CALL! By the absolute merciful grace of God Lot and his immediate family is saved when Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. It is a MIRACLE they survive at all.

Lot is told to gather his family and bring them out of the city before the angels destroy it. Here’s an opportunity to OBEY GOD AND BE SAVED. He speaks to his sons-in-law and they think he’s joking. As you would. You try telling your family that you’ve been told by two angels that they are about to destroy Sydney and they need to leave everything, and take the Pacific highway out of town. Lord, if such a time comes, would You mind telling them personally? They’ll think I’m mad.

Nevertheless I find it strange that few people today take the message of judgment seriously. Sometimes in the seconds remaining between life and death, they are laughing that hell exists rather than acting on what God has said about salvation. STUPID!

It took all night for Lot to try to convince his family and when morning dawns, the angels are on Lot’s case to leave or be “SWEPT AWAY in the punishment of the city” (Genesis 19:15).

Even then there was EQUIVOCATION. They gave Lot opportunity to take the initiative and leave. Lot HESITATES and the angels have to seize the hands of his family in order to DRAG them outside the city. SAVED BUT STUPID!

Even when they are outside the city one angel saysESCAPE FOR YOUR LIFE! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.”

CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS! But Lot says to them, “Oh no, my lords! What is going on here? He asks to flee to Zoar instead. This isn’t time to come up with a new plan? Sometimes I am just plain stupid. I want to come up with an ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTION to what God says in His Word, when I just need to be QUICK TO OBEY. By the grace of God the angels don’t strike Lot down as an example to the others. 

2 Corinthians 6:2 (NLT) says, “Indeed, the “RIGHT TIME” IS NOW. TODAY is the day of salvation.” DON’T PUT IT OFF!

It gives me a whole NEW APPRECIATION of what it means to be SAVED BY GRACE (Ephesians 2:8-9). NONE OF US deserve it.

God bless you as you seek to see things through the eyes of the Cross and gain a true picture of what it means to be saved by grace. “Lord, help me to be QUICK TO OBEY AND SLOW IN BEING STUPID”.

Pastor Ross

 

Part 1 – Genesis 19:1-8 – SOLD OUT!

Sold Out!

Her father gently tries to persuade her with promises of a better life. She cries and shudders but does not move. As tears stream down her face He becomes angry and manhandles her out the door. She becomes hysterical. A sharp slap across her faces shocks her into silence and she shakes uncontrollably as the only security she has known is being BARGAINED AWAY in American dollars.

She is coerced into submission to face her visitor. There is an anxious twinge of emotional pain in the pit of her stomach as her resolve is battered by her father’s CALLOUS TRANSACTION.

After she is SOLD for a pitiful $45 dollars, she is never seen again by her family, and ushered into the world of PROSTITUTION. In high demand, she is sexually exploited by Western Tourists in Cambodia. She is only 12 years old.

WHAT FATHER WOULD ALLOW THEIR DAUGHTERS TO BE USED LIKE THIS?

We meet another man such as this in Genesis 19. I find him SITTING AT THE GATE of the city. Lot was a rich man with many servants when he came to Sodom. WITH WEALTH COMES POWER, especially in a corrupt city such as this. Is it his wealth that enabled him to sit at the gate as a city judge? Big businessman, judge and city leader. A GREAT MAN IN A CITY DESTINED FOR DESTRUCTION. When he came to Sodom, he certainly received a better reception than the TWO MEN who became his guests that evening!

Two angels in human form receive from Lot the same GRACIOUS HOSPITALITY that Abraham afforded them. He is QUICK TO BE GENEROUS and AVAILABLE TO SERVE. Same HUMBLE AND GENUINE welcome. Sacrifice and servanthood characterise both Abraham and Lot. But it seems his respect for his guests OUTWEIGHS his respect for his own daughters. The city judge is about to be tested in his decision making abilities.

A large group of men know Lot has two guests. They are most likely drunk and surround the house demanding that Lot bring them out. They make it clear that they intend to SEXUALLY ABUSE them (Genesis 19:4-5).

Lot goes out to them. He calls them his brothers. He is trying to stop them from ACTING WICKEDLY (Genesis 19:7). That’s commendable, but what he says next makes MY BLOOD RUN COLD.

In Genesis 19:7-8 Lot says to this group of homosexual men “Please, my brothers,” he begs, “don’t do such a wicked thing. Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can DO WITH THEM AS YOU WISH. BUT PLEASE, LEAVE THESE MEN ALONE, FOR THEY ARE MY GUESTS AND ARE UNDER MY PROTECTION.”

What kind of suggestion is this? What father would offer his VIRGIN DAUGHTERS to men such as this? What city judge arbitrates like this? Who even thinks that this is ACCEPTABLE? Was this a kind of a JOKE? Is he being SARCASTIC? Was this trying to STALL FOR TIME? Did he really mean this? Was he trying to HIGHLIGHT THEIR WICKEDNESS by making an equally shocking and wicked suggestion? What amount of DESPERATION could allow a father to take such action even in a crisis? Sold out, big time.!

It shows me that in a CRISIS SITUATION my selfish fears and faulty reasoning can threaten others, including my family! In the crisis I am prone to reveal the SKEWED THINKING AND ATTITUDES of my heart, even in the presence of angels. It shows me how much I NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT AND GOD’S WORD TO GIVE ME A NEW HEART AND MIND. Jesus told His disciples in John 16:12-14 “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.”

Romans 12:2 (NLT) says “Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

God bless you Church as you have your thinking transformed. I know my prayer is “Lord, give me the perspective to make decisions that will help me change my world and not add to it’s corrupting influence!”

Pastor Ross