And Abraham gat (got) up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld (saw), and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.Genesis 19:27-29
I once worked in the public works department for Calumet City, Illinois. I was a hustler, so I performed a variety of jobs there and was available to do anything they told me. Over the months, I found my way on the garbage truck and that seemed to be a good spot for me.
Throwing trash was not a job I dreamed about as a little boy in grade school, but I grew to love it. We encountered a lot of bad alleys and there were some routes that were worse than others. Trash in the bad alleys was not relegated to the cans, but was thrown all over the place. You can tell a lot about a neighborhood and people by their trash and where they threw it.
One morning, we pulled up to a house in which the husband and wife had gotten into a fight and had been evicted from the home. I had never seen so much trash in all of my life. The backyard, which once possessed dying grass, was now covered with black garbage bags. The sea of bags was two or three feet high, and the house was in utter shambles. We started to throw the garbage into the truck until we realized this mess was far beyond our capacity. If we remained at this house, we would never get to the other alleys that day, or quite possibly, that week. The garbage bags contained personal belongings, rotten food and memories of what once was a home. We called in for the pay loader to come in and clean up the mess, and the house was later condemned and torn down. Every time we went down that alley, I remembered that couple and it made me sad to think about what had been. The place that once contained a house and a family was now just an empty lot.
I think of Sodom and Gomorrah and the ruinous heap that was left behind. The wickedness of those cities was quieted, and only the smoke was left to show that there was anything that had previously occupied that space. God chose to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for the evil that took place within those cities. Sin always brings about ruin and destruction, and sin cannot be tolerated by almighty God. We often think we can sin without God noticing, but soon the “bags of trash” build up to the point where we can hide them no longer and our lives are destroyed. James 1:15 states, “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished (full-grown), bringeth forth death.”
Where are you today friend? Do you keep your account current with God or are you allowing the trash to build up? Do you realize God is waiting with open arms for you to come back to Him, and He will remember you like He remembered Abraham? Sin is evil and separates us from our God, and only brings about ruin and destruction. What will it take for you to leave the love of sin? Will He have to pull you by the hand away from that which is killing you? Will you have to face the grave consequences sin brings about for you to depart from it? May we flee from sin when convicted by the Holy Spirit, and may we avoid the ruin and destruction that sin brings.