22. PERVERSION HAS BEEN AROUND FOR A LONG TIME.
Genesis 19:4,5 - "Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.'"
Isn't it sad that sexual perversion has been around for so long? This event took place approximately 4000 years ago. Perhaps even more disappointing is the fact that man had become this corrupt in only 500 years after God had hit the "reset" button known as the global flood! How discouraging! We might be tempted to think sometimes that our generation is the most wicked and corrupt, but truthfully, that's hard to ascertain (cf. 6:5). The devil has held sway in this world since the beginning essentially, and although technology changes over the centuries, the human heart and mindset do not.
23. GOD'S MERCY IS CONDITIONAL.
Genesis 19:16,17 - "And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife's hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, 'Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.'"
There weren't enough righteous souls living in the cities of the plain for those cities to be spared, but God was willing to spare Lot and his family. However, the Lord's offering of mercy was conditioned upon their obedience: "Don't look back!" Lot's wife perished for failing to accept the conditions of God's mercy. God's mercy is available to all today, but it will only benefit those who accept God's conditions (namely, faithful obedience to the gospel; cf. II Thess. 1:8,9).
24. IT IS WRONG TO DECEIVE BY ONLY REVEALING PART OF THE TRUTH.
Genesis 20:10-13 - "Then Abimelech said to Abraham, 'What did you have in view, that you have done this thing?' And Abraham said, 'Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife. But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said to her, "This is your kindness that you should do for me; in every place, wherever we go, say of me, 'He is my brother.'"'"
While it is technically true that Sarah was Abraham's half-sister, it is much more significant that she was also his wife! Had Abimelech known she was married, he would not have taken her into his house with the intentions that he obviously had. Abraham was wrong to tell only half the truth in an effort to deceive. This is not to say that every situation in life requires us to tell every single bit of truth we know about a particular matter, but we should never only reveal portions of the truth (while leaving other parts out) with the intent to mislead. Such is wrong. In Abraham's case, it revealed a lack of complete trust in God and it reveals the same (or worse) in us today.
25. GOD WON'T ASK YOU TO DO SOMETHING HE IS UNWILLING TO DO HIMSELF.
Genesis 22:2 - "Then He said, 'Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.'"
This chapter is one of my favorites in the first book of the Bible. I'm amazed by Abraham's faith and willingness to trust God here (despite his deficiency we just noted from chapter 20). The point to bring out at this time is simple: God asked Abraham to sacrifice the thing that was most precious to him (i.e., Isaac). Abraham was willing to do it (although he ended up not having to do so since the Lord provided an alternative). With a great deal of foreshadowing, we should think of the cross where God was willing to sacrifice the thing that was most precious to Him (i.e., Jesus). But, there would be no substitute for Jesus--He Himself was the substitute! God may ask a lot of sacrifices of us who choose to follow Him, but there is nothing unfair or unreasonable about His requests. He's already made those same sacrifices (and more) for us!