Outcry Over Grievous Sin (Advent 7, 2020)

No more flood.  Got it.  God remembers.  But it doesn’t mean God doesn’t get fed up.  There’s a point at which everything reaches a boiling stage, and something must be done.  But now instead of a worldwide flood, there will be local interventions.  Divine Interventions.

Such is the case with Sodom and Gomorrah. 
God didn’t need an outcry to know what was going on.  He knew. 
Sometimes the outcry is so we’ll know where we are and what is becoming of our world.

Genesis 18:16 When the men (visiting Abraham) got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way.  17 Then the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?”

Hello.  Abraham was walking with them.  Somehow, Abraham knows what God is saying.  Obviously, the answer is No.  Can’t hide it after saying “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?”  Hiding isn’t the point.  Displaying His “friendship” and concern for Abraham by God’s actions that speak “Of course not!”  For starters, He was elevating Abraham by including him. Why?

“18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”

By saying “Shall I hide?” and then telling Abraham, God is causing a laser focus on the necessity of Abraham and his family’s doing what is right and just.  That’s the point.

Genesis 18:20 Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous  21 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.”

Questions for further thought:

  • If God already knows why does He tell Abraham He’s going to check it out and know? 
  • Think about the words Capricious and Considered.  Think about the words Callous and Consequences.  Why would it be important for Abraham to see God’s character? 
  • Read the rest of the passage (Genesis 18:22-33) as Abraham interacts with God’s clear intent.  How is this “bargaining” to be understood?  Is it insolence on Abraham’s part?  Or is God honored by our engagement with His Divine Interventions?
  • How does it speak to God’s character, love, and respect for the Creation He has made?

Father God Almighty, we praise You for Your plan overall, specifically for Your plan of salvation. We praise You that Your judgments against us are not rash or capricious but are considered as consequences of rebellion against You. We praise You that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day at the pinnacle of this Advent season.

We celebrate His birth as Your Divine Intervention to keep us from being punished for the sins that we commit. Certainly the outcry of what the world is doing, what we are doing to ourselves and to each other…O Lord, and to You… surely that outcry has reached You, Lord. Surely You are just as grieved by what is going on now as You were back in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.

We thank You Lord that Your judgments are righteous and holy, that You are a good and loving God, and that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We thank You that no one can come to You except by the blood of Christ. We praise You for the Way You have made…that by faith in Him, by obedience to You and Your word, that we have this hope of Salvation. This hope You provide is secure; it’s an anchor for our souls; and we praise You, Lord. Help us to see during this Advent, the vast importance of living holy and righteous lives, knowing that there is a day of Judgment coming. May we preach the good news of salvation to those in our circle of influence who do not know You. Be with us, strengthen us, give us words, and give us a heart for the world that You died to save. Do all these things we humbly ask, not only for our sake but importantly for Your glory, for it is in Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.

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Advent 2020 began Sunday, November 29th and continues to Thursday, December 24th as we celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and look forward to His Second Coming.  “Divine Intervention” is this year’s devotional study. By signing up on the sidebar of my Home Page you can receive these daily devotionals. Or they will be reposted on SeminaryGal’s Facebook page as well.

Together we will see how God has been actively involved all along as Divine Intervention for a hurting world and nations in tumult– Intervention for you and for me when our status as sinners required nothing short of a miracle.

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Acknowledging inquiries about an entire season’s devotionals for your study group’s planning purposes, Seminary Gal’s prior seasons’ Advent devotionals can be accessed via the archives to the right and are as follows: 

  • Last year’s Advent Devotional Series God’s Christmas list explored what might be on God’s Christmas list, learning what He wants from us. It began December 1, 2019.
  • Storyteller began December 2, 2018 and entered into the Christmas story through its telling.
  • The 2017 series Still Christmas, began December 3, 2017 and was the Advent complement to the Lenten series, Be Still and Know that I AM God.
  • The 2016 season devotionals were called Timeless: The Message of Christmas for All Ages” and explored how the message of Christmas is timeless truth, for all ages of people, and for all ages at all times.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love as we looked into the Word, saw the face of our Lord Jesus, and experienced restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless. The 2016 devotionals began November 27, 2016.
  • The 2015 season devotionals were titled Incarnation and involved digging deep–and yes, I mean deep– in this important mystery of Christian theology.  They began November 29, 2015.
  • Carol Me, Christmas! remains one of my most popular offerings and tells the Christmas story through our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.  You can access all of the numbered devotionals from 2014 via the archives.  They began November 30, 2014.
  • The 2013 series was Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up in Person and examined the Prologue to the Gospel of John.  It began December 1, 2013.
  • The 2012 series focused on Expecting the Unexpected…the unexpected, unlikely, and uniquely divine qualities of God’s perfect plan outlined in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.  It began December 1, 2012.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 5, 2020

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