We hear it on the nightly news. We read about it on our CNN app on the go. We turn on the radio and we get the spiel again. Our city is in trouble. Crime is rampant. Men kill their brothers. Moms leave their kids. Husbands abuse their wives. Drug dealers get richer and richer while our young people get trapped in drugs and its commerce.
Things are so bad we just want to stay home! We go to work, do some errands, get our entertainment in and yes, we go to church on Sunday. When prayer is offered up for the city during service, sound bytes of negative media replay furiously in our minds. We pray, but we don’t want to... after all, “they’re ‘bad people’. They are getting what they deserve. Instead of being here at church, they’re out there selling drugs, getting drunk and killing each other. It’s Sodom and Gomorrah out there!”
But just when we don’t care anymore, Sodom and Gomorrah come knocking at our door. And when that happens, Sodom becomes so personal! That is just what happened to rich old Abraham in Genesis 14. He was minding his own business and looking after his vast wealth when the news came in.
‘The four kings captured all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, all their food and equipment, and went on their way. They captured Lot, Abram's nephew who was living in Sodom at the time, taking everything he owned with them. A fugitive came and reported to Abram the Hebrew.’ (Genesis 14:11-13, MSG)
The invaders had taken all of Sodom’s goods, food and most importantly something that really mattered to Abraham—his only nephew.
Without hesitating, Abraham took the 318 fighting men he had trained for war and went out to save Lot. The story has a great ending. Abraham recovers all the stolen goods and brings Lot home. But that’s not all. He also rescues the ‘women and the other people’ (Genesis 14:16) taken captive by the four kings. What a newsflash! Those ‘other people were somebody’s nephews, nieces, brothers, sisters, and wives! If he hadn’t come, they would have all died.
At home, they were just statistics on the news. In the tar pits and the valley, alongside his nephew, they were terrified souls about to die at the hands of a foreign enemy. Abraham needed to see that for himself. We need to see that for ourselves. And sometimes we don’t see it unless Sodom comes knocking on our door. How sad.
Instead of waiting for a knock that hits up close and personal, why not see our city for what it really is—a large group of people (that include our family members) in need of help and love? Sure, bad things are happening out there while we lounge comfortably and catch up on our Bible reading. Let’s not wait until Sodom comes knocking. Let’s get out there and fight for our own as well as for everyone’s son and daughter. We’re all in this together! Get a heart for Sodom.
- Mercy Alarid is the Creative Arts Pastor of Passion Church. Mercy has a Master's degree in Education. Mercy is a member of the faculty of Central New Mexico Community College, where she is an instructor in the Education department. Mercy has been married to Brian for 17 years and they reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico with their 3 children: Chloe, Colin, and Lauren.