What’s up with that – Two daughters decide to get their father drunk twice?
I received an email this past week from Linda Cochren who along with Amy Pressler serve as directors of our SPARK Preschool. Linda asked for prayer for a 10 year old girl named Kayla Allen. Kayla Allen was shot by her Dad, Kevin Allen, at a crowded Cracker Barrel restaurant a week ago last Thursday in Brooklyn, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb.[i] But the story gets worse. Her Dad shot and killed her Mom, 42 year old Katherina, and her sister Kerri. Kerri was celebrating her birthday.
AP Reporter, BARBARA RODRIGUEZ said, “Kevin Allen was married at least three times. Police records dating back nearly 20 years paint Kevin Allen as a violent man with a history of threatening his three wives among other people.” He was killed by police officers as he tried to flee the scene. Linda asked for prayer for Kayla. Can we do that? Let’s all pray for a little girl we’ve never met! “Father God, Jesus told us that even a sparrow does not fall to the ground apart from your knowledge. You know Kayla and she’s much more significant that a sparrow. She’s your creation. God, Kayla needs you. Doctors have done what they can do. Oh God, do what only you can do. May your will be done in her life and ours!” And everyone said, AMEN!
Wow! What adjectives can be used to describe that situation? Sad – Tragic – Frightening – Nasty -- Unnecessary! Unfortunately, I have another situation just as a tragic and this one is from the Bible. Turn to Genesis 12:2! Do you need a Bible? If you are visiting today I have a chocolate bar and a disclaimer for you. A man goes on a business trip and gets home late only to find his 12 yr. old daughter and 3 yr. old son sleeping with their Mom/his wife. The next morning he pleads with his kids, “When I’m gone no problem, but when I come home don’t sleep with your Mom.” He goes on another trip but this time his family picks him up at the airport. His son sees him walking towards the waiting area and shouts, “Daddy, nobody slept with Mommy while you were away this time!” That’s funny awkward. The Bible is funny awkward sometime. Here’s one of those times.
We started the life of Abraham in Genesis 12. God casts a vision for Abraham’s life in Genesis 12:2. I can imagine God saying… Imagine this Abraham! (Read 12:2-4) Now who in the world is Lot? Turn back one chapter to Genesis 11:27. (Read 27-28) Haran is the father of Lot and also the brother of Abraham which makes Lot his nephew. Lot’s father dies, so Abraham decides to make Lot his lot in life - to be a father to his nephew. How do we know that? Because wherever Abraham goes, Lot seems to follow.
Time passes by and Lot gets married and has two daughters. Turn to Genesis 19:30. (Read 30-33) What adjectives can be used to describe this situation? Disgusting? Gross? Tragic? Nasty? And I’m so sorry to say, there’s more! (Find verse 34) (Read 34- 36) (I gave my brother David this birthday card a few years ago.) Everyone give me a resounding Eeeewwww! I feel like a need a towel right now to clean my mind! I’ll say it first. What’s up with that? Now you say it, “What’s up with that?” Two daughters get their Dad drunk to do that? Remember, the Bible contains the good, the bad and the ugly. Today we look at the ugly!
Allow me to present to you a Bible Study fact. Don’t read verses in isolation. If you want to understand the end of chapter 19 you’d better read all of chapter 19. I will take that a step further. Let’s compare Genesis 18 & 19!
In Genesis 18 three visitors appear before Abraham. These three look like men, but act like angels. They have both good news and bad news. The good news is that “one year from now Sarah will have a son!”[ii] Abraham and Sarah are astonished. Sarah literally laughs out loud. The bad news is that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be destroyed. The LORD makes it clear to Abraham that the people’s wickedness is so great and their sins are so grievous that God once again will pronounce divine judgment. With Noah, God rained down rain, but with Sodom God will rain down fire. Please hear this! A man reaps what he sows. So does a woman! If you don’t want anything to do with God, then his divine judgment will come quite as a surprise!
But Abraham does believe in God and he’s a bit rattled by this announcement so he asks the LORD Almighty himself a question in Genesis 18:23. "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Can I ask you something? Who is Abraham thinking about? Turn to Genesis 13:12. Who lives near Sodom? Lot does and so does his wife and daughters. Once again Uncle Abraham looks out for his nephew Lot.
Abraham does his best Monte Hall impersonation on God. “Hey God, let’s play “let’s make a deal!” I know you are way too merciful. If you can find 50 righteous people you would surely spare the entire city right? And God says yes. But then Abraham has the nerve to drop the number from 50 to 10! God, certainly if 10 righteous people exist you wouldn’t sweep them away, right? Now why 10? Because Abraham is thinking about Lot’s family. Surely Lot has at least 10 family members among others who fear God, right? Lot can make the quota, right? WRONG!
Abraham apparently does not know just how wicked this city really is. Go back to Genesis 13:13. The Bible explains this wickedness in detail. Let’s now go to Genesis 19! Abraham had three angels visit him, Lot had two. Abraham’s angels come during the day, Lot’s came at night. They both brought good news and bad news. Here’s Lot’s angels urgent good news. “We’ve come to rescue you Lot, because a righteous man’s prayers are powerful and effective.” But here’s the bad news. Sodom, Gomorrah and Zoar are going to be toast in a matter of hours. You and your family have to get out now. Here’s how this whole situation unfolds. The two angels want to sleep in public in the town square. Lot insists they go to his house and for good reason. Is there anyone who thinks sleeping on a park bench in downtown Columbus is a good idea? Turn to Genesis 19:4. Here is the Bible in vivid detail. (Read 4-7)
Let’s talk wickedness for a moment. A wicked person is someone who chooses to live life without boundaries or guardrails. They willingly choose not to fear God. “A wicked person is physically, socially or morally bad. They afflict, displease hurt and harm.”[iii] Two examples: Violence and Sex. The world is getting more violent. (Girls beating each other and 4 HS students who killed a homeless man for a $1.) God created sex. But the best sex has these guardrails: Only between a husband and a wife. Mutual and exclusive. Not with animals, not with the dead, not with children/family and not with the same sex. But please, don’t limit wickedness to violence & sex only! Go to verse 8.
Lot is pushed to the limit and stress often reveals a man’s integrity! (Read vs. 8) That is a wicked idea. That’s completely disgusting. Why didn’t Lot just volunteer himself? The angels have had it! This incident proves that God’s divine judgment is right! They rescue Lot twice. They pull him back inside his house and blind the wicked. But that’s not all… Find Genesis 19:12. (Read 17-26)
Let’s get back to Lot’s daughters. They have been through alLOT! Their father offered them up to some lust crazed men and they would have been gang raped. Their future husbands thought this whole judgment thing was a joke and they died. The towns where they knew people are now dust and ashes and to make matters worse – their Mom was assaulted, (SORRY), either she was encased in salt or crumbled into salt. Either way, she’s dead too. To make matters worse – out of fear their Dad moves them from a house to a cave!
Have you ever heard of Post-traumatic stress disorder? The Mayo Clinic defines (PTSD) as “a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”[iv] Lot’s daughters didn’t see one, but four terrifying events! You remember us praying for that little Kayla Allen, right? If she survives I wonder if she’ll ever want to go back into a Cracker Barrel restaurant. What will future birthday parties be like for her? Truthfully, what are we supposed to do with this? Jesus tells us. Turn to Luke 17:28. (Read 28-33) Jesus is referring to his second coming. He’s asks, Name your allegiance - me or this world? Lot exists to exist. His daughters exist to have children. What about us? I know for me the world looks awfully good sometimes. I like Rock music. But I have to be careful about the words. Words influence. I’m not naïve enough to think that Def Leppards song, “Pour some sugar on me” is about cereal. It’s not. I must constantly remember my allegiance is to Jesus Christ! The world, that is what people think & do are in direct opposition to God. The world is without hope which means it’s typically negative, argumentative and filled with complainers. Please come to grips with this. One day there will be a reckoning! God sent angels to Lot because he was merciful. God sent Jesus to us because he’s merciful. Now are we going to ignore God’s mercy or will you run to it? “God we pray that you would show mercy to Kayla Allen!”
[ii] Genesis 18:10 (NIV)
[iii] www.e-sword, Genesis 19:7