Genesis 19:1-29 examines the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. People who would have heard the text for the first time would have understood the text differently. Some would have understood the text as a lesson about sexual immorality and others obedience. This would have depended on how they interpret the text. The rationale of the book is to educate Christians about sexual ethics. Many people do not know what is considered sexually ethical in the society and they end up sinning because of lack of knowledge. God wanted to teach Christians more about sexual ethics to prevent sexual sins.
God punishes people for committing sexual sin as evidenced by Sodom, Gomorrah and the surrounding towns. Gomorrah, Sodom and the adjacent towns encouraged sexual immorality and perversion. Though Lot was clean, people in Sodom, Gomorrah and the nearby towns were not clean as they committed sexual sins. This is exemplified by their actions after Lot hosted the two angels in his house. The two angels reached Sodom at dusk and Lot was resting at the entrance of the city. Lot was willing to help strangers instead of taking advantage of them like other people in the city. Lot respected the two angels and welcomed them to Sodom. Lot invited the men to his house and gave them to spend a night in his house. In addition, Lot prepared a meal for them to eat before they went to sleep. This was in contrast with other people in Sodom and Gomorrah as they did not respect and appreciate the angels because of their sexual immorality (Wenin, 2001).
Sexual immorality was prevalent in Sodom and Gomorrah as exhibited by the actions and behaviors of the residents (David, 2008). Both old and young men engaged in sexual immorality. After Lot welcomed the two angels in his house, all the, en from Sodom came to his house demanding that they be allowed to have sex with the angels. This is shown in verse 4 to 5 of Genesis 19. In this two verses, the men force Lot to let the men outside so as to meet their demands, but Lot does not agree with them.
Lot did not agree to their demands as he did not encourage sexual immorality. Lot did everything to prevent sexual immorality in Sodom. For instance, Lot aid no to his friends after requesting that they have sex with the angels. Lot termed the act as wicked as it was not inline with the will of God. Lot opted to give the men his two daughters to sleep with them instead of the men (Wenin, 2001).
Genesis 19:1-29 educates Christians on the effect of sin like death and punishment from God. God punishes those who do not obey him by destroying them. God punishes those who sin by destroying them. Sodom, Gomorrah and the neighboring cities are an example of punishment of external fire. The Lord protects Lot and his family from the destruction as they are clean. Lot’s daughters and his wife are saved from the fire as the two men ask them to leave the city of Sodom before they are destroyed by the fire. The two men grabbed Lots hands together with his wife’s and daughters hands as the lord is merciful to them. However, the lord does not have mercy on Sodom and Gomorra are destroys them. God destroyed the cities by raining down blazing sulfur from heaven. The fire destroyed the residents and the vegetation. Therefore, the text shows the effect of sin including sexual sin and how God is merciful to those who hear him (Balch, 2000).
Moreover, the text shows the importance of being obedient. God wants his people to be obedient and follow his commandments. Many people are not able to follow Gods commandments and they end up suffering and being punished. This is exemplified by Lot’s wife. Lot, his wife and daughters were told to leave Sodom without looking back, but his wife did not listen. Lot’s wife “became the pillar of salt” because of disobedience. Further, people would argue that the text teaches about the importance of being hospital to visitors as Lot was willing to welcome the two angels and provide them with everything they needed (Wenin, 2001).
There are verses in Genesis 19:1-29 that are striking and appear unusual. Genesis 19:4-5 is unusual as all men from Sodom come to Lot’s house and force him to bring the two men outside so that they can sleep with them(David, 2009). Also, Genesis 19:7-8 is also unusual as Lot agrees not to meet the demands of the men and instead to give the men his two daughters. He claims that practicing homosexuality is wicked as it is not inline with God’s word. Lot offers to protect the men instead of his daughters Balch, 2000).
The verses are unusual as the facts contained in the verses are unacceptable in the society. Though homosexuality is common in the society, homosexuals do not behave as evidenced in Sodom (David, 2009). Homosexuals do not make demands to have other men in the society like the men from Sodom and Gomorra did as they are secretive. Additionally, it is hard for fathers to give away their daughters in order to protect men from sexual abuse by other men or prevent homosexuality. However, Lot offered to give the men from Gomorra his daughters to do anything with them instead of giving them the two men. Fathers are always protective and will protect their daughters from any kind of abuse including sexual abuse. They will not make decisions that affect their daughters including giving them to men (Balch, 2000).
Genesis 19:1-29 is relevant to today’s world as it teaches people in the society about sexual immorality. It helps people know what is ethical sexually and what is not. Currently, sexual immorality is a serious concern in the society as people have different views regarding sexual immorality. People have different opinions about homosexuality in the society. Some believe homosexuality is not immoral and others claim it is unethical. The text acts as guidance to all people in the society including church leaders and politicians when making decisions concerning sexuality. The text sheds light on important sexual issues in the society like homosexuality as evidenced in Sodom. In addition, the text is relevant to Christian life as it teaches the importance of obedience in the society. People should be obedient to God and authority as disobedience has negative consequences on the individual and society in general. Disobedience leads to destruction of individuals and entire society (Balch, 2000).
Balch,D.L.(2000). Homosexuality and the Plain Sense of Scripture.Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
David,C.C.(2008).International Bible Lesson Commentary, NIV. David C Cook
David, C. C.(2009).NIV Bible Lesson Commentary 2009-10. The Essential Study Companion for Every Disciple.David C Cook
Wenin,A.(2001).Studies in the Book of Genesis: Literature, Redaction and History. Peeters Publishers