Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 13 October 21:
Jeremiah 23:14 — But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.
2 Peter 2:5-10 — He did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned in both the Old and New Testament readings today – “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction.” (Romans 15:4) “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) “Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7)
“He rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked….” Lot was a righteous man, tormented in his heart by the perversion of his nation, which included rampant promiscuity, adultery and homosexuality. However, though Lot was a leader in his community, he apparently did little to counter the culture around him. In fact, he had become so assimilated into the culture the angels actually had to force him out of the city before destroying it; Lot lost his wife and his sons-in-law, and his daughters were completely and shockingly perverted by the culture around them.
- Mark 9:50 — Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again?
How is the church influencing society today? How is society influencing the church? What do we accept in our homes that would have been unthinkable decades ago? How urgently are we seeking to share the Gospel with those facing the Judgment of God? “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 13 October 21: Don’t be like Lot who was vexed but not valiant, influenced by not influential. Don’t be surprised by the spirit of divisiveness you see in the world today, but keep yourself in the love of God, grow in your faith, pray, and wait for and proclaim the mercy of the Lord. Speak the truth in love, and stand for the truth with confidence in the power and authority of Jesus Christ. “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Jude 1:17-23) “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'” (Matthew 28:18-20)