Minimalist Bible: The Covenant – Sodom & Gomorrah Destroyed

Written by Chad -

God has given me the idea to pursue a personal design project of creating minimalist posters to share the awesome stories of the Bible. If you missed out on previous posters, don't worry, I have created a landing page where you can easily catch up. Check it out here.

This poster series comes from the book of Genesis. It is a story filled with tests of faith, promises and miracles. I'm excited today to reveal The Covenant: Sodom & Gomorrah Destroyedpart six of an eleven part series.

The Covenant: Sodom & Gomorrah Destroyed begins in Genesis 19:15-29 (NLT) which says,  "At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. 'Hurry,' they said to Lot. 'Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!'

When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, 'Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!'

'Oh no, my lord!' Lot begged. 'You have been so gracious to me and saved my life, and you have shown such great kindness. But I cannot go to the mountains. Disaster would catch up to me there, and I would soon die. See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don’t you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved.'

'All right,' the angel said, 'I will grant your request. I will not destroy the little village. But hurry! Escape to it, for I can do nothing until you arrive there.' (This explains why that village was known as Zoar, which means 'little place.') Lot reached the village just as the sun was rising over the horizon. Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation. But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.

Abraham got up early that morning and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the Lord’s presence. He looked out across the plain toward Sodom and Gomorrah and watched as columns of smoke rose from the cities like smoke from a furnace. But God had listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain."

The Importance of Being Obedient

When I was a wee little boy, we had rules on the farm. One of the rules was "no swearing" and the punishment for such a crime was a bar a soap for dinner and extra chores for dessert. I remember well the day I broke that rule.

After a long day of being out in town with my mom, my brother and some friends, I became very irritated with my brother. I can't fully remember why I was so upset with him, but I was mad enough that I found it necessary to break the "no swearing" rule. Technically, I didn't break the rule verbally. It was more like sign language. Either way, my brother noticed my colorful expression, he told mom, which was the end of my day. When we got home, mom pulled me out of the van and told me to go to my room, to shut the door and to sit on my bed until she came in to get me. So, I waited and waited and waited. A couple of hours went by and I heard my door knob start to turn. That's when I started to shake like a Chihuahua on a cold day. My mom came into my room and sat down right in front of me and that's when the tears started to flow.

My mom asked, "Why did you flip off your brother?"
Through tears, I mumbled, "I thought it was cool." 
Sternly my mom replied, "Well, it's not cool. What you did was rude, inappropriate and unkind. I always tell you to use your words and not your actions to solve situations. You can't go around flipping people off. It's not allowed. You need to apologize to your brother and let him know that you will be covering his chores for the next couple of weeks." 
Through tears, I screamed, "That's not fair! Why do I have to do two weeks worth of chores for my brother? That's not fair!"
"Because you disobeyed me," my mom said as she left my room. 

BOOM! What my mom said felt like a nuclear warhead going off in my chest. I disobeyed my mom. Worst. Feeling. Ever. I disobeyed my mom because I thought something was cool. I wonder how many times I have disobeyed God because I wanted to do something that was "cool"?

The obvious thing about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is that God destroyed the cities and villages because of the wickedness of the people who lived there. Now, I'm not going to start a deep discussion about why these people were destroyed. For me, the story keeps coming back to the importance of obedience and how critical it is in my walk of faith with God.

This concept is laced throughout Scripture: 

  • Jesus said to his disciples in John 14:15, "If you love me, obey my commandments."
  • James wrote to the early church in James 1:22, "But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves."
  • Samuel said to Saul when he disobeyed God in 1 Samuel 15:22, "But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams." 

In my relationship with God, he has revealed to me that obeying is an all or nothing kind of thing. I can't give only part of me; he wants the whole thing. I've seen the fruit of being completely obedient to God, but often, I have been on the receiving end of his corrective hand. Don't get me wrong, I don't like it at all when he calls me out, but I know that his corrective hand is reshaping me into something better.

God is in the business of receiving glory. He wants all the glory and he wants his followers to obey him so that he can even receive the glory from the work we do. You see, he is GOD—the Creator. He deserves all the credit! He expects a lot out of us and when we screw up, he's there to correct us. God demands that we obey him. It's a hard road, but he is such an amazing God. Why risk disappointing the Creator of the universe just to do something we think is "cool" at the time?