I write this on a Sunday afternoon, unusually, I just needed to stop and reflect, to remind myself why we are committed to preaching through books of the bible chapter by chapter. I am mentally and spiritually spent because of preaching this morning, and I’m pretty sure I’ll spend hours this evening questioning whether I was sensitive enough on this point, or should have phrased that better, or brought more comfort to this group of people.
As a church we are committed to preaching through books of the bible and this morning was one of those passages where I kind of wish we weren’t. Genesis 19 is brutal not just distasteful, sickeningly sinful not just mildly disturbing. It is a passage that if it wasn’t for our commitment to preach through the Bible book by book, chapter by chapter I would love to have avoided. But I believe all of the Bible is God’s word and it is all profitable.
It was also a chapter that reflects the brokenness and sickness of our world, our humanity and our community. It is a chapter rife with abuse, godlessness, and failure to love your neighbour or love God. With half-heartedness and compromise and its consequences displayed in all their gory detail.
As such it has been a hard week in preparation. It has been a hard morning in preaching. Aware even as I did so of the painful wounds this passage opens up for so many people. But also acutely aware of the amazing nature of the message of grace and God’s saving the undeserving and our need, my need, to hear this message again in the midst of all my, all the churches, and all our societies brokenness.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” And that applies to Genesis 19 as much as to John 3.