January 27, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 19

Is mankind essentially good but make mistakes or are they totally depraved of any goodness because of their sin? This is a theological question that many of us wrestle with on a daily basis even if we don’t always acknowledge it. The answer to this question impacts the way we interact with the world and view the people around us. If you say things like “I can’t believe they would do such a thing, or how could they be so cruel?” you might be coming from a stand point that not all men have the capacity to sin at such evil levels. However, if you think things like, “it is a blessing that I never struggled with that issue or it is a miracle that more bad things don’t happen,” then you are probably looking at things with a total depravity world view.

The story of Sodom and Gomorra is an example of what happens when men get further away from God and are given freedom to indulge their sinful passions. Every aspect of God’s design has been forsaken by the people of Sodom and Gomorra to the extent that God destroys it with fire. How bad does it have to get for God to wipe out the whole town? This is not the only time in scripture that we see an example of mankind progressively becoming more perverted and wicked. Actually, every time a society is given freedom to act on their own understanding and devices this happens. You have already read about the flood in Genesis 5-10, At the end of Judges we see the same thing (Judges 19-21) and Paul refers to this in Roman (Romans 1:18-32). We are all totally depraved because of our sin. In Ephesians 2:1-3 Paul is clear when he states:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body  and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

The very thing that saved Lot is the very thing that will save us, a relationship with a righteous man. Lot was part of Abraham’s family so God spared him. He was not good which is easy to see at the end of our chapter. For us it is only by knowing Jesus and being a part of his family that saves us and redeems us.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:4-10

By: Chad Wiles

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

10 thoughts on “January 27, 2016”

  1. Thanks Chad! I struggle with that question often. On one hand I wonder how something that God created and called “good” can be innately evil? God doesn’t create bad things. Yet I’m never surprised when seemingly normal human beings commit horrible atrocities.

    This passage is fascinating to me. When the angels came, Lot knew exactly who they were… he bowed down. Clearly he recognized the sovereignty of God. Yet he liked living in Sodom, almost preferred it. And when banished from Sodom he lived his life in fear. The Lord saved his life, but Lot became a basket case.

    I wonder what he was afraid of? And if that same sort of fear is behind some of the harsh reactions people give when presented with the truth of the gospel.

  2. “Escape 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.”
    ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭19:17‬ ‭

    Escape to the Mountain, indeed!

    “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
    Psalm 18:2

    Thank you kindly for Jumpstart today!

  3. I dislike this passage in so many ways. It’s tremendously unsettling to see how far a righteous soul can stray. The fact that Lot was righteous is confirmed in 2 Peter 2:7:
    …and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked…
    So what did righteous Lot do about how distressed he was? Joke about it to his sons-in-law? Choose comfort over obedience and the oblivion of wine over sobriety? Offer his own daughters to them? He had to know they were so debauched they wouldn’t take them anyway, but yuck!

    If Lot didn’t see his slide into compromise, do we? Do we have massive blind spots even while our souls are distressed? What can we do about how distressed we are? At what point is a distressed righteous soul no longer righteous?

    So many questions, and one more provoking thought:

    Eze 16:49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

    Sounds a lot like our world today….

    1. The Ezekiel 16:49 reference is often overlooked, but obviously so relevant to today’s reading. Thanks for bringing it up. In verse 51, God says Sodom (and Samaria) appear RIGHTEOUS compared to what Israel has done. How do we compare to them today, in America, the church, and our everyday lives? Humbled and thankful for God’s mercy and grace in this situation, indeed.

    1. Hey Mike Wilson,
      I didn’t read the article on S & G yesterday but went back today and read it. Thanks for sharing. Very interesting indeed!

  4. This one really hit home with me. A big question for me has been whether God would allow someone who seemingly knows him to be so far down the road of habitual sin that God would just “give them over” eventually to indulge to their destruction. I know someone I love who would appear to have no closeness to the Lord anymore. Years and years of alcoholism and it is now a sickness so pervasive, he is not the same person anymore. But I am so thankful that truly God is a God who saves us. Doesn’t matter how deep in the pit of sin we are, he can save. I am more energized in my prayers today for that person.
    Also, really cool. I just took a deep look into Eph. 2:1-10 just 30 minutes ago with a guy who is a new believer. So beautiful that God has saved us by his grace.

    1. That’s tough. I had someone in my life who was very close who it also seemed that God was allowing to wonder down the path of destruction. 1 Corinthians 5:5 and the story of Job seem to indicate that indeed God allows the devil to “have” certain people for a while with the intent that once they hit bottom they’ll find God again. Doesn’t make a it any easier, but it certainly helps us direct our prayers!

      1. Thanks for replying, John. I just noticed. I appreciate your thoughts. It’s certainly been one of the great tests of my faith throughout my days–seeing his struggle and pursuit of pleasure and numbing medication when the all-satisfying pleasure and Treasure, Jesus, is calling… God is good, though. All things are in his hands. Trust.

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