Genesis 19-21:Eyes Wide Open

I don’t know why it is that I often seek rational explanations for supernatural events that are outlined in the Bible, but I do.  The description of God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah sounds a lot like a volcano eruption…with fire and brimstone.

I have always wondered about Lot’s wife.  I thought surely something had been lost in translation somewhere.  Who ever heard of a human being turned into a pillar of salt?  Yet that is the account given in the Bible; Lot’s wife turned and looked back at the cities as they were being destroyed, so she turned into a pillar of salt.

But guess what?  Pillars of salt do exist, especially around the Dead Sea which is in the area of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The climate in that region is so hot that the Dead Sea, which is fed by the Jordan River, evaporates at a very high rate, leaving behind piles, or pillars, of salt.

So…stay with me here.  What if the angels did destroy those cities with a volcano-type eruption?  And what if Lot’s wife lingered at the seashore?  The extreme heat would have evaporated much of the water…is it far-fetched to think that the ash and molten lava essentially burned her up, too, leaving behind salt from the sea?

Regardless of how it happened, Lot’s daughters were left without husbands and without their mother.  How would their family line continue?  Rather than waiting on God, they, like Sarah, decided to take matters into their own hands…only on a much more wicked scale: they seduced their own father.

It’s interesting to note that the two sons that came from those unholy unions were the start of two very wicked, idol-worshipping nations: the Moabites and the Ammonites.  It makes me wonder…if only they had waited on the Lord…

At this time, Sarah and Abraham finally have their Isaac, but Sarah is not exactly acting with love towards Issac’s half brother Ishmael.  In fact, Sarah tells Abraham to kick her and Ishmael out of the household (yet another reason polygamy isn’t a good idea!).  Abraham was reluctant to do so; after all, Ishmael was his son, too.

Here’s where I find some application to my life: a reminder that God himself is in control and has a plan that I can’t see.  He provides for both Hagar and Ishmael in a way that Abraham had never anticipated.  They could have died out there in the desert.  But look at what happened instead:

1 This upset Abraham very much because Ishmael was his son. 12 But God told Abraham, “Do not be upset over the boy and your servant. Do whatever Sarah tells you, for Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted. 13 But I will also make a nation of the descendants of Hagar’s son because he is your son, too.”

14 So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar’s shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba.

15 When the water was gone, she put the boy in the shade of a bush. 16 Then she went and sat down by herself about a hundred yards[c] away. “I don’t want to watch the boy die,” she said, as she burst into tears.

17 But God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, “Hagar, what’s wrong? Do not be afraid! God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants.”

19 Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.

20 And God was with the boy as he grew up in the wilderness. He became a skillful archer, 21 and he settled in the wilderness of Paran. His mother arranged for him to marry a woman from the land of Egypt.

The scriptures tell us that God opened Hagar’s eyes.  Doesn’t he do that with us even today?

He opened my eyes today through the wisdom of my husband, and what started out a stressful school day ended up a joyful time of togetherness with the family.  I have been struggling lately with balance between homeschool, our CC co-op, and family life.  Today was MLK day, a holiday for my husband.  This morning I was feeling stressed out to the nth degree about our homeschool efforts, and I was going to bite the bullet and do school today even though my husband was home.

Well, he nixed that idea.  I am so glad he did!!  We ended up going as a family to an aquarium in the city and had a wonderful time observing the animals and just being together.  Sometimes in the nitty gritty of homeschooling I forget the importance of life lessons.  Not all education happens with our noses in books.  In fact, some of our best lessons are learned “in the field,” so to speak. That’s why college students do field work!

God used my sweet husband to open my eyes wide this morning.  I am so glad He did…and I’m so thankful that HE is the one in control.

2 thoughts on “Genesis 19-21:Eyes Wide Open

  1. I like your volcano theory! I have always been a questioner, a seeker, myself!

    When I read these stories, I swing back and forth from dismay (Lot offered his virgin daughters!) to confusion (like you, Lot’s wife turning into pillar of salt) to amusement (Lot protested going to the mountains only to eventually settle there out of fear anyway!) to wonder at Isaac being born AT THE VERY TIME GOD HAD SET. Truthfully, (again!) the Old Testament is difficult to me, to the point of almost being a stumbling block at times!

    NEVERTHELESS (one of my favorite words) onward I press, trying to develop my faith enough to just accept and move on…

    1. I never have understood the whole offering of the virgin daughters thing. But maybe what happened later (the incest) was a consequence of sorts for that kind of thinking? And their offspring ended up being idol worshipping nations.

      Wonder….confusion…glory…it’s all wrapped up, isn’t it?

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