January 07

Read Genesis 19 -- 21

In Today's Reading:

Fire and brimstone destroyed the Sodomite sinners and consumed Lot's wealth. It is encouraging to know that the vile sinfulness of Sodom vexed his righteous soul (2 Peter 2:6-8). Your faith in God's sovereign protection over His chosen ones will be strengthened as you read the beautiful, touching narration of how God personally protected Sarah when the promised son was born to a family in conflict and how God protects the offender and the offended.

Verses for Today:

The Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven. . . . But his (Lot's) wife looked back . . . and she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:24).

Highlights:

Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed; Lot and his daughters; Abraham's deception to Abimelech, King of Gerar (south of Gaza); the birth of Isaac; Hagar and Ishmael sent away; the agreement between Abraham and Abimelech.

When Lot warned his sons-in-law that their city would be destroyed, he seemed as one that mocked (Genesis 19:14). They did not take him seriously. Through Abraham, Lot's wife had learned to worship the One True God and depend on His guidance. Added to this, angels had come to her home and urged her to leave Sodom and took hold of her hand to take her out of the city, saying: Escape for your life: do not look behind you (19:17). But Lot's wife looked back and was destroyed with the wicked. Although Sodom was known for its sexual sins, nothing is said about Lot's wife being a lesbian or an adulterous sinner. It may seem that her sin of disobedience was unimportant, but her judgment came as a result of her love for the things she had to leave behind. From her example we can see why so few people are saved from eternal Hell. Their love remains on the things of this life instead of on a desire to please God.

To emphasize this fact, Jesus cautioned: Remember Lot's wife. Whoever shall seek to save his life (for his own desires) shall lose it; and whoever shall lose his life (give up his way of life to do the Lord's will) shall preserve it (receive eternal life) (Luke 17:32-33). This underscores our need to take God's Word seriously.

The people of Sodom were destroyed by fire because of their sinful lifestyle. But Jesus said that all unbelievers will be cast into a place of eternal torment, with weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:42; 24:51; 25:30; Revelation 20:11-15).

These shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (Matthew 25:46).

A Thought from Proverbs: Let not mercy and truth forsake you: bind them about your neck; write them upon the table of your heart: So shall you find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man (3:3-4).

Christ Portrayed:

By Isaac, the promised son of God's Covenant (Genesis 21:12) -- in contrast to Ishmael, son of a bondwoman (Galatians 4:22-31). Life in Christ sets us free from bondage of the Law because God made a new Covenant through Christ's blood (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; see also Hebrews 12:24).

Word Studies:

19:3 pressed upon = urged them; 19:4 compassed = surrounded; 19:5 know = rape and abuse; 19:8 shadow = protection; 19:13 is waxen = has become; 20:6 suffered = allowed; 20:16 a covering of the eyes = compensation; reproved = vindicated; 21:15 cast = placed; 21:18 hold him in thine hand = take care of him; 21:26 wot not = know not.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA) and Rep. John Thune (SD) · Pray for the President · Country: Myanmar (formerly Burma) (48 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Burmese and ethnic languages · Limited religious freedom · 87% Buddhist; 5% Protestant; 4% Muslim; 3% spirit worship, Hindu, and other Asian religions; 1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Trust the Lord; He will never forsake you (Psalms 9:10).

Optional Reading: Matthew 7

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:3