Our Torah study group has been in the chapters of Genesis that give the account of Sodom and Gomorrah. A couple of weeks ago, the facilitator brought up the curious case of Ethan Couch, the 16 year old Texas boy who got ten years of probation for driving drunk and killing four people. Affluence and lack of proper parental guidance was the defense. Ezekiel 16:49 tells us that this was a key element that brought down the horrific judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim.
Mercy always precedes judgement. The root or base sins of pride and selfishness were at the core of the depravity that became a way of life for the cities of the plain. Clearly Lot made some bad choices, but his "conversation", his concern for the well-being of strangers was a thorn in the sides of the affluent and spoiled I-will-do-what-I-want citizens of this beautiful place. Was the visitation of the angels and Lot's response to the situation in essence one last opportunity for the people of Sodom to do the right thing? Think of Ninevah.
There is a lot of discussion about the judge's ruling in the case mentioned above. Is it really about our opinion of what should have happened, or are we being shown something? Are we being granted mercy in the form of a judgement pronounced on a sixteen year old that we all need to study and learn from?
We are being challenged to take an inventory. We do not study for the sake of study. We study to LEARN - to put into practice what we have studied. How does my life need to change to reflect Torah, the will of my heavenly Father, instead of the world and my superficial worldly connections?
OUT OF TOUCH by Sherri Rogers (1998)
The rooms of the houses are full to overflowing
but they are empty and cold
void of that which money cannot buy.
They sit in their rooms full of things,
accumulations of security
that do not love or touch or cry.
Basking in the glow of artificial light
and superficial friendships
that pass like ships in the night
Feeling manufactured love that doesn’t warm
and is slipped on and off
like a jacket for a storm.
The heart is so hard, the walls are so high
the bondage to things so difficult to be broken
The mind of reason must give way
to the Spirit of God through the word He has spoken
A heart of flesh for a heart of stone
transformed by the blood of the Lamb
The idols smashed, the alters torn down
cleansed and perfected by the Great I Am.