God hates me. God would/could never love me. God doesn’t care about me. No one can measure up to that standard.
Any of those sound familiar?
When we read stories such as Sodom and Gomorrah it is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer immensity of destruction. Yet, there in the story there something important to read.
Abraham’s questions about the 50, 45,40, 30, 20, 10 and the response to the question gives us some insight. From all appearances, there was one righteous man…Lot. Even Lot’s “righteousness” might have more to do with Abraham’s and not Lot’s (see Genesis 19:29).
From our human perspective, what happened seems out of proportion. The ways of Sodom and Gomorrah were obviously long wrong. God did not do this on a whim. Yet, in the middle of all the wrong, 10 righteous people would have prevented disaster.
As the end of the glory of Judah approached, there, too, was an opportunity to change everything. All it would have taken is one righteous person. As the Scriptures show, however, that was not to be.
What does this say about us? Paul tells us that it is the very unrighteousness of humanity that displays the righteousness of God. Even in that, there is grace.
There is a long list that is part of Paul’s words. It is a list (Romans 3:10–18) condemning humanity for its response to God. Why would God want such creatures?
If you had someone who constantly said bad things to you, tossed your gifts at your feet (or the garbage), and gave credit everyone but you about the good things you’d done for them, what your response be?
God’s answer was through the cross. Truth? We aren’t worthy by any measure of that sacrifice. Truth? God did it out of love.
Jesus, thank you for the cross. Father God, thank you for your mercy on us. Holy Spirit, thank you for drawing us to you. Amen.
1) When you read Paul’s list, how does it feel? To you feel condemned or judged? Or, do you feel something else?
2) How does grace and redemption feel in the face of that list?
3) What do you think your ongoing response should be as a result?