Why is the sky blue?
Whenever I read Genesis, I often feel like a little girl asking, “Why is the sky blue?” And her daddy answers in one of three ways:
1) He may shrug his shoulders and say, “I don’t know.” To which she also shrugs, then returns to playing with her toys. Or,
2) He makes something up that sounds completely ridiculous to him but believable to her. This usually leads to the child asking yet another question, to which he replies with the #1 shrug. Or,
3) He has actually researched this and proceeds to explain in an authoritatively scientific tone. The child is left too confused to come up with a second why, but then asks the same question again the next day.
So like a child, I had question after question while reading Genesis today. Some of them may be sensitive subjects, as child-like questions can often be. For instance, when I was pregnant with twins, my then 5-year-old son asked me, “Mommy, how did the babies get in there anyway?” After I finished choking on the water I was drinking, all I could think of saying was, “Ummm why don’t you ask daddy when he gets home?” And, just as I was hoping, he never remembered to ask again. What a relief!
But, before I list my questions below, I have to make mention of the beautiful Psalms we’ve been reading. Although my blog posts have neglected to give them equal time thus far, I’ve been in awe of the wisdom and angst that overflow from each and every line. I’m deeply inspired by King David’s pleadings in Psalms 6, and there’s a part of my spirit that weeps for him. Those of us who have lived on this planet for any length of time can relate to his feelings of depression, grief, and betrayal. I know I do!
I wonder if Lot felt any of those things when he realized he had moved his family to the worst place on earth. Or even later, when he had to flee with just the clothes on his back. I wonder how he handled losing his wife in addition to everything he owned, leaving him with two daughters to somehow support. Lot must have been truly devastated!
Which leads me to my verse-by-verse questions...
Gen. 19:1 – How did Lot know that the men were angels? What was it about their appearance that signified that? Was Lot the only one who knew they were angels? Why didn’t the men in Sodom know who they really were?
Gen. 19:3 - All of the men were after the angels?!? Young ones and old ones? What kind of place is this where the sexual cravings are so insatiable that men roam the streets at night clamoring for a shot at a couple of strangers. Where are their wives? Do they not have any? And how does Lot live day by day in such a place? Why did he raise his daughters there instead of getting out of Dodge?
Gen. 19:13 - Outcry? Who cried out against Sodom? The women whose husbands roamed the streets at night? The children whose fathers disappeared at night? Or worse, whose fathers, uncles, and neighbors violated them? If so, why weren't the victims also saved along with Lot and his family? Why did God wait for such a great outcry before acting?
Gen. 19:14 - They're considered sons-in-law BEFORE the marriage? And these guys were also outside with the men who were clamoring to "know" the strangers? Why would Lot accept these men for his daughters? Or maybe he didn’t value his daughters anyway, since he was willing to throw them to the ravenous wolves outside. Why is that? Were they already impure? Had they already been corrupted by the evil around them?
Gen. 19:16 - Lot lingered when the angels told him to leave? Why isn't he jumping at the chance to get out of this hell hole?
Gen. 19:30 - Why was Lot afraid to live in Zoar? And what happened to all the livestock and laborers Lot had when he and Abram separated? Did he lose his wealth before all of this happened? Is that why he was at the city gates? Had he become a beggar? If so, what happened to him in Sodom that would cause such a riches to rags outcome?
Gen. 19:32 - These daughters must have become a product of their anything-goes environment. Sleeping with their own father, man-sharing, plotting to get him drunk, having his babies. Scandalous!
Gen. 20:12 - Abraham and Sarah are half siblings?!? Isn't that incest? If so, then when did incest become taboo? For that matter, when did having multiple wives become a bad thing? Does God really care about such things, or are these societal norms just created by man? And why is Abraham still lying about Sarah being his wife? Aren't they 100 years old? Was 100 the new 30 back then? Or did she just look really good for her age?
Gen. 20:17 - Did God sanction enslavement, or was it another societal norm created by man? Is there a difference between the definition of slave during ancient times and the definition of slave in modern times? It confuses me to think that the God I love, and who loves me, allows for the very thing that caused, and continues to cause, such harm and detriment to people everywhere. Or, perhaps this is just another form of sin that exists on earth. Maybe it’s not how God designed it, but it is one of many consequences of the Fall of Man.
So, these were just some of the questions I had as I read in Genesis today. I’ve asked my Father for clarity, and I trust Him to provide the answers I need in order to continue growing in knowledge and wisdom. But, I fully expect that some questions will remain unanswered, just like my 5-year-old son’s question about how I became pregnant. Eventually, as he continued to grow, he came to understand how babies are made. In the same way, as I continue to grow spiritually, the Father will know when I’m ready to receive His answers with understanding.
What were some of your questions? Feel free to comment below, or by visiting my Facebook page.
*Welcome to my one-year trip around the world of Scripture. You’re invited to take this journey with me, as I meditate on God’s Word day and night. Each morning, you’ll find a post on my Facebook page encouraging my new #Biblebuddies along the way. And each night, I’ll be writing my impressions right here at listen2leslie.com. I’d love it if you’d share your comments, to spark some fruitful discussion. The only passport you’ll need for this journey is the Read Scripture app which provides us with our daily itinerary. You’ll love this app because it contains videos by The Bible Project that serve as our tour guide. Traveling is so much better when you have someone to share the experience with, so please join me, will you?
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