I often laugh when I hear people talking about how corrupt our culture has become. Perhaps there is truth to the statement in comparison to where the United States was a century ago, but when compared to the stories of the Old Testament, the latest trashy MTV show is a far cry from the moral depravity that takes place in the reading for today. We have all of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah trying to rape angels, Lot giving up his daughters to an angry mob, Lot’s daughters getting him drunk and sleeping with him, Abraham lying about Sarah as his sister, and the list goes on and on.
Even in the midst of such behavior, I love Genesis 21:1, “The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised” (emphasis added). It’s so important to see that God’s promises will be fulfilled regardless of our behavior (that is, unless the promise carries a condition). The bottom line is that God can be trusted. He will do all that He has promised, and we can place our confidence in Him. That doesn’t mean there are no consequences for our behaviors. After all, the children of Lot’s daughters ended up fathering two nations that were snares to Israel. Abraham’s son, Ishmael, became the father of the Muslim nation. Choices carry consequences, and even though God forgives us, we still reap what we sow. However, God’s promises are, thankfully, not contingent on our behavior.