If Genesis 17 won the award for most awkward chapter so far, Genesis 19 wins the award for most “R-rated.” Or maybe, most likely to be directed by Michael Bay.
Never let anyone tell you the Bible is boring. What other book has angry mobs, attempted gang-rape, daring escapes, heroic rescues, massive destruction on an epic scale, tragedy, cave-men, sisterly bonding, incest, and the joys of motherhood all in one chapter?
Wow. That was exhausting! So where do I start?
“I’m an Analrapist”
Shout out to all my Arrested Development fans!
I would love to highlight a some major contrasts I see in this chapter. Lot (and Abraham in the previous chapter) shows the visiting men very thoughtful hospitality. They make food, offer them a place to stay, and wash their feet. This is good. This is admirable. But all the men of Sodom, and I do mean ALL, seem to be hell-bent on raping the visitors. I am going to go ahead and say that this is not very hospitable.
A quick note: To boil this down to a simple argument against homosexuality would be a total misreading of the text. This is about hospitality and rape.
Remember my thoughts on circumcision? Well, all the men in Abraham’s camp have submitted their sexuality to God. All the men of Sodom haven’t. The contrast couldn’t be more stark. God’s command for circumcision is making a lot more sense right now.
A Lot of Trouble
It has been a while since we saw Lot. He was collateral in chapter 14 but really, the last thing he did was move to Sodom. How’s that going for him I wonder? He has lived there for along time. He has raised his family there. When he is told to leave, he doesn’t really want to. His wife is so sad to leave that she looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt.
Lot made a choice many years ago to leave Abraham and move to Sodom. And it ended up costing him everything. I wonder how his life would have been different had Abraham just gotten rid of some of their stuff? What do you think? How do choices we make every day affect us long-term?
These two girls don’t really have the greatest time in chapter 19. Things get so bad that they decide basically rape their father in order to get pregnant. But lest we unfairly place blame on them, let’s take a quick look at what we know of their lives:
- They grew up outside of Sodom. Given what we know about that place, it must have been a blast!
- They are engaged to men who take their father very (as in, not at all) seriously.
- Their father offers them up to be raped by a mob. Awesome.
- Their fiances are killed by a spectacular and highly understated display of sulfur and fire.
- Their mother is killed by being turned into a giant salt-lick.
- Their father takes them to live in a cave; which we all know is every teenage girl’s DREAM HOUSE!
And after all that they decide the best course of action is to have their father get them pregnant. Honestly, that sounds like one of the more sane things in their life. Ok, not really.
God’s punishment has come up again. First the flood, and now this. I am curious to learn about the “outcry” that he heard. Who said it and what were they saying? Whatever the case, it is comforting in an odd sort of way to know that God doesn’t let what happened in Sodom go unnoticed or unpunished.