Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Teaching Moment

"The LORD said, 'Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall become a great & mighty nation... No, for I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness & justice...'"
 (Genesis 18:17-19)

The infamous "destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah" is about to take place.  Thus far, God and Abe have spoken a few times and they seem to have an amiable relationship.  But something big is about to go down.  Now God doesn't owe Abe anything... no explanation... no rationale for his actions... no warning, even.  Sure, Abraham's nephew, Lot, is an inhabitant of Sodom... but God has never promised Abraham that Lot would be covered under the same blessing that Abe was under.

Anyway, as soon as I read this today, my soul paused.  Did I just read that correctly?  God is operating out of a "Big Picture" view of things (which is how God always operates, actually!)... and has decided to make this a TEACHING MOMENT.  I remember when my kids were in preschool, and we were encouraged to use "teaching moments" to pass on life lessons whenever they popped up! 

So instead of simply doing what he needed to do to Sodom & Gomorrah, God chose to let Abe in on the plan.  Not because God wasn't sure about it... or needed a consultation... or even because he wanted to see if Abe would try and "bargain him down."  No, God wanted Abe to understand that there are consequences for our actions.  God had heard the "cries" that were raised because of the sinfulness of those two wicked cities.  And God knew how important Abe would be to the future generations.  How Abraham raised his children would set the precedence for countless people to come.  God didn't want to spare Abe the discomfort and pain of knowing what was about to happen... so hopefully, as the future leader of a 'great nation," Abe would comprehend that which leads to destruction.  God taught Abe so Abe could teach his kids so they could teach their kids, etc.

Wow.  Divine teaching moments.  I bet they're not only found in the Bible, are they?!

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