Pillar of Salt

What are we becoming?  A modern day Sodom and Gomorrah?  Compare Genesis 18 and 19:

So the Lord told Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. 21 I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.”

And then, in Genesis 19, the three men who had previously visited Abraham went to see Lot in Sodom.  The villagers were so crazy with lust for these men that they tried to break down the door and harm Lot who was trying to protect them.  Lot even offered (if you can believe it!) his virgin daughters to try to appease the crowd, but they didn’t want a woman.  The situation deteriorated very quickly:

“Stand back!” they shouted. “This fellow came to town as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!” And they lunged toward Lot to break down the door.

But the two angels reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.

Meanwhile, the angels questioned Lot. “Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” they asked. “Get them out of this place—your sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else.  For we are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the Lord, and he has sent us to destroy it.” At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. “Hurry,” they said to Lot. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!”

When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape…or you will be swept away!”

Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation.  But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.

God heard a “great outcry.”  Who was it who he heard?  Does God “hear” sin in the same way we “see” it?  Or were the prayers of the outnumbered righteous people the ones that he heard?  It’s worth mentioning that the “righteous” one who God spared committed a sin himself when he offered his virgin daughters to the mob.  Rather than calculated and cold, I can picture him being frantic and worried and ready to say just about anything to get the mob away from his guests.  What must his daughters have felt?  Perhaps they knew that this crowd had no interest  in male/female trysts and thus believed their father’s offer was an empty one.  The angels acted quickly before Lot’s mouth got him in more trouble and brought him inside to safety.

Fast forward to 2009.  Take a look at the lead from a story, titled “Work that Tiara, Boy!” that appeared in the Washington Post yesterday:

Spend time with George Mason University senior Ryan Allen and it’s clear why he’s a Big Man on Campus. He wears size 12 pumps.

Allen is now — as of halftime at Saturday’s sold-out basketball game against Northeastern at the Patriot Center — the school’s homecoming queen. He received more votes than the two women who vied for the crown.

My dismay at this story may  surprise you.  I am actually hurting for Ryan Allen.  I feel so sad that he is trapped in a pit of sin that is not much different than the pits I am constantly trying to climb out of.  My pits are many — anxiety…selfishness…materialism…depression…self-reliance rather than leaning on God…laziness, and the Lord knows probably many more that lurk in my heart.  The difference is in the fact that I KNOW I am a sinner and have turned to Jesus to set me free.  I KNOW I am in a pit, and when I reach my hand out to Christ, he hauls me back up and sets me back on my feet.  Because of Christ living in me, I feel my feet slipping and sliding and take courage and strength to resist the pits.  Does Ryan Allen even know he is living in a pit?  Do those who voted him in as “queen” realize it?

No, my dismay is that our nation is so blind!  Our need for a savior is made so evident in stories like these….stories in which sin is glorified because the people are living in darkness.  I do not cry out to God to destroy us or to destroy those who are living deep inside the pit.  I cry for a way to be made that they will see the truth and freedom that is in Jesus.  That college administrators touting “diversity” will no longer equate “diversity” with “immorality” or even “amorality.”  I cry out for a  spiritual awakening — and I ask God to soften hearts and open eyes to truth….and to show me and use me in the purpose for which he made all of us, which is to glorify him.

…lest we all, in the name of tolerance and diversity, turn into a giant pillar of salt.

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