Monday, 28 January 2013

Reading the Bible 9: Gen 19: 1-29

Reading the Bible 9: Gen 19: 1-29
Lots of material here (pun intended) so I am reading chapter 19 in two parts.  There is more than one theme in this passage.  We have the theme of family values which was introduced earlier.  It is interesting that Lot offers the men from Sodom his two daughters ‘who have not known a man’ as a way to save the visitors from the abuse of the crowd.  I find it interesting that there has been little said in relation to the story of Sodom about the potential sacrifice of the young women by their father.  Not a good example of family values.  In addition there is nothing in the account to reflect how Lot felt about his wife being turned into a pillar of salt for the heinous crime of looking back as they fled the destruction of Sodom.  In my view these are not models for how a family should live according to biblical values. 

The other theme is hospitality which was addressed Reading the Bible 8.  Hospitality seems to be a much more important value in biblical times than it is perceived to be today.  Abraham certainly set the standard for hospitality in his welcoming the messengers (angels) from God who affirm the covenant between Abraham and God.  Lack of hospitality is also seen in some circles as the sin for which Sodom was destroyed rather than the usual one which is derived from the name of the city.  Jesus addresses this in the account in Matt: 10: 14-15 where Jesus is sending out the disciples as apostles.  He expects that they will not be received hospitably in some places. 
Matthew 10:14  And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

The challenge for us today is to determine what it means for us to show hospitality to others.  How are Christians to be hospitable in a secular, multi-cultural society?  It is not a time for evangelism in the traditional sense.  The hospitality of evangelism could be a very interesting value to explore for fully another time and place.

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