Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” – Gen. 18:20-21 NIV
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The Almighty God had heard so many allegations against the people of Sodom and Gomorrah and had taken the decision to confirm all the allegations before deciding on what to do. He therefore mandated three angels to go on the mission to confirm all allegations and they were on this mission when they were sighted and invited over by Abraham, who pleaded that they come into his abode to freshen up – Gen. 18:1-15. The angels in the process of relaxing in the comfort of Abraham’s hospitality revealed to him the intention of the Almighty God to bless him with a son through Sarah, his wife, a prophecy which both of them could hardly believe, considering their advancement in age, but which nevertheless, was later fulfilled – Gen. 21:1-7. It was on their way out of Abraham’s home that the angels thought it right to let him know their destination and the purpose of their mission – Gen. 18:16-19.
In the scripture that is the foundation of today’s Devotional, they made it known to him that so much outcry against the grievous nature of the sin of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah had gotten to the Lord and they were on a mission to verify if the allegations were as grave as was been presented to the Almighty God. They eventually arrived Sodom and Gomorrah and it did not take them too long to confirm all the allegations to be true and so they quickly did the needful, which was to destroy the entire city except Lot and his family members, on whose behalf Abraham had earlier pleaded for mercy, although the wife of Lot could not complete the escape as she disobeyed the instruction that none of them should look back – Gen. 18:16-33; 19:1-26.
This episode reveals the typical processes that precedes the intervention of Jehovah in the affairs of men, either positively or negatively. Using this particular event, the following points become apparent.
- There were several outcries from the people, caused by the activities of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, that got to the Almighty God. The outcries being several may have gotten to him at the same time or He only chose to react after repeated outcries but this was obviously the case of multiple action by the people, which the one inflicting such pain cannot claim to be unaware of, but yet, refused to change. It was just the case that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah did not care how much discomfort their action brought on the people. To them, it was either a case of complete disdain for the reaction of the Almighty God to their grievous sins or belief that the outcry of the people had no impact in the spiritual realm or a conviction that the Almighty God will not be interested in what happens to the people.
- Whatever may be the case, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were disappointed as indeed the Lord heard the cry of His people in the city and decided to investigate their complaints. Being a fair judge, He was not going to act only on the complaints of the people. He instead arranged for the complaints to be investigated and verified by sending angels with the Instructions for them to do the needful, should they eventually confirm the complaints to be true. They did confirm the complaints and went ahead to implement the appropriate judgement as instructed by Jehovah.
Worthy of note is the fact that the Almighty God did not send angels to Sodom and Gomorrah simply because of the several atrocities, but mainly because some people kept complaining to the Lord in prayer about these atrocities which the scripture described as “grievous sins”, as revealed in today’s foundation scripture. No one knows how long they had to complain for, before the Lord decided to act but the of the word “several” indicated that the outcry in reference here was not one or some, but was many. During this period when the number of outcries before the Lord was mounting, the people seeking the intervention of the Lord may have become discouraged or chosen to believe that the Lord had become very permissive of evil.
In a related fashion, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah may have concluded that the Almighty God was not going to react to these grievous sins of theirs since he had not done so all these while, despite the number of victims of their grievous acts.
What needs to be made clear to all is that when it comes to maintaining His standards, the Almighty God remains the same yesterday, today and forever. His seeming delay in addressing such issues should never be seen as his being tolerant of them as He will definitely come into such situations at His own time. The probable assumption by the people of Sodom and Gomorrah that they could get away with evil probably encouraged them to continue in their negative acts until they were destroyed.
There are so many people today, Christians inclusive, whose conduct is very much similar to that of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Very deep in many grievous sinful acts, they care less about the effect of such acts on their fellow beings. In a manner that disregards the discomfort that their actions brings to their fellow brethren, they behave like the victims of their actions have no god that can rescue them or they are licensed to inflict pain and discomfort on anyone of their choice. The victims of their negative acts are mocked when praying for spiritual intervention just as some of the victims begin to get frustrated in prayers and sometimes, choosing to react in a manner outside the directives of the Lord. As much as they may give the excuse of frustration to explain such acts, it will never be a right decision to make, as the appropriate thing to do will be to continue to wait for the time of the Lord’s intervention. This is because the Lord will always show up and at a time that is never late to mete out judgement on those who without remorse, continue in grievous acts, especially such that make victims cry out to the Lord.
No wonder, there are several people today who used to be in positions of authority and leadership but have been reduced to the status of “living dead”, simply because of the way they managed their positions of authority with the Lord Himself, in reaction to the outcry of their victims, using fellow human beings to mete out appropriate penalty. In such scenarios, an unexpected enemy, who is empowered by the Lord, suddenly rises up and will not cease hostilities until the judgement of God is completely implemented – 1Kgs. 11:14-25.
Unfortunately, when it happens in our world today, such begins to target and battle the divine tools, not realizing that in doing so, it is the Almighty God that is been battled. The real solution in such instances would be a honest soul searching to determine if anyone has been crying out to the Lord, requesting for His intervention and pleading that they be delivered from the negative impact of the evil actions of such a person. If indeed such people exist, for such a person to follow this awareness up with stopping such evil actions, if they are still in a position to do so, while at the same time seeking for forgiveness of God and man, for all the negative acts that may have been perpetuated against their victims.
No one can pull down the one that God has uplifted except the Lord Himself and this He usually does for a reason, that the one in such a situation must find out and seek to address. The prayer of people against the one that God has lifted up cannot pull such down unless the Lord proves the allegation to be true. Avoid discomforting people unjustly with your position or actions if you intend to retain your divine advantages, else, if they cry out to the Almighty God, He may indeed take a while to respond but He will surely hear and administer justice, if He confirms their complaints and allegations to be true.
For the one who feels discomforted by the act of another, avoid being the judge in your case, but continue to wait for the intervention of the Lord. He will never arrive late in that situation and He will surely administer true justice. May God grant us the right spirit to use our position and authority in a manner that will not make people cry out in complaints to the Lord in Jesus name. Amen.