November 19th, 2021 – Friday Late Afternoon
“Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.” ~Genesis 19:29
God’s justice, wrath, grace, and mercy are all seen in this short summary of what transpired in the previous 28 verses. His justice demanded that He deal with the sin of the abundantly wicked Sodom & Gomorrah; His wrath is seen in the terrible judgment He brought down on them; and, His mercy and grace (and justice) are seen in how He remembered Abraham and delivered Lot and his family from experiencing His wrath.
The word “remembered” that is used in this passage is the same one that is used of the LORD back in Genesis 8:1 in relation to how He remembered Noah and every living thing and the animals in the ark. It has the idea of remembering someone with kindness, granting requests, protecting, delivering, etc. In our passage today, it seems that the LORD remembered Abraham (and Abraham’s plea to not destroy the righteous with the wicked) and He responded to him by sending Lot and his family out of Sodom before He overthrew it. It truly is amazing when we remember the infinite and omnipotent nature of the LORD – in the very midst of His awesome wrath (which was just), He remembered Abraham and acted in His mercy and grace (which was also just).
This reminds me of the passage which says (as part of a prayer): “In wrath remember mercy.” I couldn’t remember where it is from, but a simple search brings up Habakkuk 3:2 (a passage that we recently studied at church): “LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.” The thought I just had is that God’s wrath is so overpowering and terrifying that whether it is Abraham (a friend of God) or it is Habakkuk (a prophet of God), they were so overcome by the thought of it that they pleaded with the LORD for His mercy to the righteous even in the midst of the outpouring of His anger. It didn’t change His character (as if He could be unjust) when they cried out to Him, but it serves as a reminder that He is to be feared and trusted.
Do we fear God as we ought to? Do we live in such a way that it is evident that we desire His mercy? Do we actively seek that He will indeed give grace and mercy to the humble – even in the midst of the outpouring of His righteous wrath?
Praise the Lord that He is just and righteous – that He deals with sin and wickedness! Praise Him that He is gracious and merciful – remembering those who trust in Him!