Ezekiel, chapters 15-17

“This was the error of Sodom your sister: She and her daughters were proud and had an abundance of food and carefree tranquility; yet they did not support the afflicted and the poor.”
~Ezekiel 16:49

Why was Jerusalem, the Holy City, compared to Sodom?
Sodom had been notorious not only for its immoral practices, which Judeans now surpassed, but also for its hardheartedness. (Eze. 16:47,48,50)
Over a hundred years before Ezekiel, the prophet Isaiah had also compared the inhabitants of Jerusalem to Sodom and Gomorrah, which led to his execution (Isa. 1:10; Isaiah’s Prophecy I: “Let Us Set Matters Straight; footnote)
Jesus, referring to the inhabitants of his day who ignored the signs that he was the messiah, stated: “It will be more endurable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on Judgment Day than for that city.” (Matt. 10:11-15)
What about ourselves?
Do we respond to the Bible’s message with pride and hardheartedness?
As Christians, does our moral lifestyle include giving more of ourselves toward those who are spiritually, emotionally and physically in need? (Jas. 1:27)

Genesis, chapters 17-20

The point I’d like to highlight from my reading last week is the story of Lot as related in Genesis ch. 19.
Lot did not have an easy life. His is basically a riches to rags story.
In ch. 13 we see he is so financially prosperous that he needs to separate his livestock and herders from Abraham’s in order to conserve the peace between the two households.
However in ch. 14 he and his entire household are kidnapped.
By the time we get to ch. 19, he is living among the lawless people in the insecure town of Sodom.
When two angels come to avert him of the oncoming destruction, he goes to warn his daughters’ fiances who do not take him seriously (Gen. 19:14).
His wife evidently has a predominantly materialistic inclination, which ends up costing her her life (Gen. 19:26).
And once they are “out of danger” dwelling in a cave, his daughters get him drunk and rape him (Gen. 19:30, 33-35).
Even though Lot was not respected by those around him, 2 Peter 2:7-9 demonstrates he had God’s approval by qualifying him as someone “righteous” and as having “godly devotion.”
This demonstrates that the hardships we face in our lives are not an indication of God’s neglecting us, but rather opportunities for us to exercise our faith in him.