9 But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.
By the time we get to the story of Lot at Sodom, the story has gotten about as ugly as we ever see it. God is planning to destroy a city for the rebellion of the people. What I notice is the sickness of rebellion.
During the exchange between the men and Lot, who honestly looks no better to me, the angels God sent to the city blind the men of Sodom. What grabbed my attention is what the men did next.
Just imagine. You have been rebelling against God. You are doing something that is pretty obviously inappropriate. As you try to do it, God strikes you blind. You are now unable to pull off the evil you intended to do. Would you not think that you would stop? But the Bible says to us, “so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.” They wore themselves out trying to finish the evil action they had started. This is utter madness!
Here we see something about the sinfulness of sin. We see something similar in the book of Revelation when people, after suffering the plagues of God, refuse to repent. When we are stuck in our sin, we do not learn. We, as often as not, double-down.
Do you grasp how gracious this shows us that God is? You and I could have been left in our sin. With each successive sin, we could have, instead of turning from it, doubled-down and gone for more. With each hurt in our lives, instead of learning, we could have been hardened in our dead hearts until we earned the fire of God just as the men of Sodom did.
If you are saved, know that it is only by the grace of God that you did not become someone who was like the men of Sodom. I’m not here talking about their perversion or aggression, but generally about their utter sinfulness. You could have become so covered in sin that there was no hope that you would ever let a genuine conscience help you not do foolish things. You could have been blinded, but still groping for the chance to sin a little more. This would be us all without the sovereign grace of God making our dead hearts alive and pulling us back from the brink.
What also caught me this morning is that God shows us that he does hold people back from their sin from time to time. In Genesis 20:6, God said to Abimelech, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her.” God is sovereign. He chooses some to rescue. Others, he allows to continue on their way, their chosen path to destruction.
Lord, I confess to you that my heart, if left alone, would not be better than that of the men of Sodom. I see, from your word that humanity, when given over by you, simply becomes more and more sinful. Thank you for grace. Thank you for rescuing me. Thank you for holding me back from the destruction I would have walked into. Thank you for Jesus’ sacrifice to rescue me. Your grace is astounding.