Today we meditate on divine justice in times past. We are given three examples of God’s punishment to the wicked. Peter starts off by recalling how disobedient and rebellious angels were exiled to Tartarus. (See Jude 6 and Genesis 6:1-4) Since Peter has converts from paganism in his audience, he references Greek mythology when using the term “Tartarus.” This is a place in Greek mythology that is like the hell of Christian theology. The angles’ condemnation is secured until the final judgment.
He goes on to remind his audience of the flood that destroyed the ancient world. God regretted making man because he saw how great their wickedness was. In Genesis 6:7-8 we read about God’s plan of wiping out all creatures, men and beast alike, with only Noah and his family to be spared.
Finally, we’re reminded of the destruction of two cities that represent sinfulness: Sodom and Gomorrah. We see that within divine justice there is always mercy. This is apparent when God spares Lot and his family from being destroyed in Sodom and Gomorrah.
If you haven’t seen the Bible Series that’s been coming out on Netflix, I highly recommend it. It’s a great series that does its best to stay true to biblical authenticity. There’s a great scene dealing with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot and his family have been spared the wrath of God because of their hospitality to two angels. The angels lead them out of a city roaring in flames. They are told by the messengers to NOT LOOK BACK. Yet what does Lot’s wife do? She looks back!! Grrr.
I’ve been asking myself this question for the past few weeks. Why did she do it? Why couldn’t she simply do as she was told? Why did she have to look back when she knew she would be turned into a pillar of salt?
But to be completely honest, I can relate to her.
It’s so easy for me to look back on past hurts and dwell on them. But this never helps any. In fact, looking back makes it harder to live an abundant joyful life in the HERE AND NOW. Dwelling on past hurts, makes it difficult for me to count the blessings I have staring me in the face!
Some of the best advice I ever got in college was from one of my brilliant female theology professors. We just finished a heart to heart and were walking away from each other when she half shouted, “Catherine, don’t look back lest you trip!” I can’t tell you how many times I have to repeat this to myself when I get into a pity party. So, I pass on the same kernel of wisdom to you.
Don’t look back lest you trip (or become a pillar of salt)! <3 God bless you <3