Friday, January 18, 2013

January 18 – Genesis 19-21

Today’s reading comes from Genesis 19-21. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word.

One thing I love about God is he always places a hedge of protection around his people. Today’s reading really exemplifies that fact. We begin our reading where we left off the day before, God is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham was bold enough to ask God to spare the cities, but not enough righteous people were there. I like to think that Abraham was pleading because he knew that his nephew Lot called Sodom home. Abraham has not forgotten Lot and neither has God.

Before destroying the city he sends two angels to rescue Lot and get them out. Upon their arrival we see the righteousness of Lot … insisting that they stay at his home that night … up against the sinful depravity that had consumed Sodom … men beating down Lot’s door to sleep with the two male visitors to their town. The next morning Lot and his family safely escape the city. A little side note, when following God, he wants you all in or all out. Lot and his family were told not to look back, which Lot’s wife did not follow and she turned to a pillar of salt. God remembered Lot and his family and protected them from destruction.

Our story continues with Abraham’s wife Sarah being taken as a wife to king Abimelech. This lie … which we learn is a partial lie … Sarah and Abraham share the same father but not mother … is a recurrence of a previous lie told to the king of Egypt a few short years before. God again places a hedge of protection around the promise he has made to Abraham. If Sarah would have consummated the marriage with Abimelech then the child she is about to have with Abraham … question; is she already pregnant with Abraham’s child and just not showing? … might be called into question. Is this child Abraham’s or Abimelech’s. God wanted no questions asked, and so he stopped this marriage before it ever began. (This may also give us a little hint into when a marriage actually takes place … not at a ceremony, but at consummation. This incident is not enough by itself to make an entire rule, but with other passage it is more fuel for the discussion.)

Think about your life. Have you seen the hedge of God’s protection wrapped around you? As we have seen in our stories today, God allowed bad decisions to take place, but he protected Abraham from completely jumping off the cliff. Maybe bad has happened in your life, but without God’s hedge of protection it would have certainly been much worse. Do not forget to praise God for the love, grace, and protection he provides for your life.

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