I’ve been reading Genesis in the Bible over the past couple days and having a bit more of a look at it. I’ve read it before, but so far, I’m up to chapter 23 and I’ve already noticed some interesting things that I hadn’t realised before, including a life lesson.
In chapter 4 from verse 17 through to 22, we get introduced to the immediate decendants of Cain. According to verse 17, Cain’s first son was named Enoch. Going down four more generations, Lamech is born, a direct descendant of Cain.
Go over to chapter 5 and we look further at the immediate descendants of Adam’s son Seth. His first son was named Enosh, remarkable similar to Enoch. To my understanding they are both derived from the word Enos which I believe means man. Head down a few generations and we have Jared who’s son is named Enoch. This is the Enoch that walked with God and was the father of the oldest man to live, Methuselah. Now, Methuselah had a son named…Lamech.
I may be the only one that finds it interesting that the only two Enoch’s and only two Lamech’s mentioned in the Bible are so closely related, but hey, I find little things like that interesting.
Another thing I noticed is that when Lot and his family flee Sodom, his wife was not turned into a pillar of salt whilst fleeing from a burning city, as is stereotypically presented. In actuality, the destruction of Sodom did not even begin until Lot and his family reached the town of Zoar. Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there. From Genesis 19:22 NKJV. It goes on (NKJV):
18 Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords! 19 Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. 20 See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”
21 And he said to him, “See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.”
Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. 24 Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
Looking at verses 23 and 24 here, it’s clear that Lot and his family had already reached Zoar before Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. It is not until verse 26 that Lot’s wife looks back at the destruction and is turned to a pillar of salt. But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. From Genesis 19:26 NKJV.
Further on, Lot and his daughters continue, fleeing to the mountains. However, it makes no sense that Lot’s wife could have been turned to salt prior to reaching Zoar, aside from it being out of chronological order, it was in the early hours of the morning (verse 15) that they fled, there would not have been much to see or anything to draw attention back until the sun had risen upon the earth (verse 23) and fire came down on the cities (verse 24).
The life lesson I mentioned earlier on is one that is fairly common sense really, but it’s something that we don’t often think about, and in today’s society, it’s even easier than back then to find it happening, especially given how much easier it is to keep in contact with people from all walks of life.
In Genesis chapter 19 from verse 30 through to the end of the chapter, we read about the deception of Lot by his daughters where they get him drunk in order to get themselves pregnant. The justification they give is that it is to continue the family line (verse 32).
Lot’s daughters pretty much grew up in Sodom, and Lot spent much of his life there. The influences of the people of the city had to have rubbed off on them. This ties in well with a sermon by Herb Larson that I was listening to earlier this afternoon where he compared our social interactions and environments to hypothermia.
As your extremities, your fingers and toes start to get extremely cold they sting. Similarly, when you first find yourself in a situation you find disagreeable. Such as a co-worker letting rip a string of profanities, or even just one or two dropped here and there. Initially they may offend you. After a while, your extremities go numb to the pain. Similarly you get used to and are no longer offended by the language. Soon, the stinging moves up your arms and legs and eventually goes numb there too. This can easily be compared to moving from just hearing your co-workers or friends swearing regularly to you doing it as well. Initially you don’t feel right doing so, but as you keep going you get over it and there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it anymore. Lot and his family were saved from the destruction of Sodom because they were the only righteous people in the city. Ultimately though, the constant, consistent influence of the people within the city had taken it’s toll though, just like it will with us if we aren’t careful.
Now of course, that’s not to say we shouldn’t hang out with friends that might drink excessively, do drugs, etc, but we do need to make sure that they are not the only people we spend all our time with and that there are other influences in our lives that don’t have the same afflictions, especially remembering to keep a tight relationship with God. After all, what better influence is there than Him?