He Sees and Examines

Old Testament Reading: Genesis 17 & 18

Psalm Reading: Psalm 11

New Testament Reading: Matthew 10

Yes, indeed. You can be guaranteed, God sees (you can review yesterday’s devotion if you missed it). For many people in innumerable situations across the centuries, the fact that God sees has given reassuring peace and comfort. The oppressed, the grief-striken, the helpless, the victim, and the fatherless have all been introduced to the God who sees and His Son who changes lives.

In today’s Psalm 11 it even records, “He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine the sons of men. The LORD examines the righteous.” (Psalm 11:4b, 5a NIV). He examines the righteous – that’s much more than a casual “see” and walk on. It gives me a picture of a kind, thorough, knowledgeable doctor. He has listened to your list of ailments and what you hypothesize might be needed but his careful examination will reveal the true issues and in wisdom he will prescribe and deliver what you really need at just the right time. “The LORD examines the righteous.”

It is a comforting first half of Psalm 11:5. The verse doesn’t end there. We are reminded that it is not ONLY the righteous God sees. And when he sees the unrighteous – he also takes action. “…but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur, a scorching wind will be their lot. For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face” (Psalm 11:5b-7 NIV).

God sees.

God examines.

God acts.

God loves justice.

In our Genesis passage we see God seeing Sarai and Abraham. He has been promising that Abraham will be the father of many descendants, a great nation and kings. But they are old – with no child of their own. Sometimes it’s hard to keep believing that God sees. God reminds them, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14 NIV). Sarai tries to get away with a little lie – saying she didn’t laugh at the crazy idea that within the year she, an old woman, would have a baby. But God sees even the little laugh. He examines the righteous (not the perfect – but the righteous). Don’t try to fool the all-seeing God.

Then the story turns…to God preparing to visit Sodom, a city full of sin . He has heard of their wickedness. Is it time for Him to act? Is it time for justice? We will have to see tomorrow when we read Genesis 19. But, if you want a little hint, recall what the Psalmist said regarding what God will do to the wicked: he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur. Even in our Matthew passage, where Jesus is preparing his disciples to go out into the towns of Israel, knowing full well that many will not accept them or the message they bring, he references Sodom and judgment.

God does see.

It is reassuring to the righteous.

It is judgment for the wicked.

What does He see in you?

He isn’t fooled. He sees. He examines. He loves justice.

-Marcia Railton

Reflection Questions

  1. What does God see in you? What might His examination reveal are your true ‘health needs’ to be addressed, and the remedies He is offering? Are there any areas where you have been trying to lie to God?
  2. Matthew 10 is one of those chapters you could read every day for a week or more and still find new insight. Jesus is preparing his disciples to share the good news of the kingdom in a world that sometimes/often rejects it. What is helpful for you to hear from Jesus? Are we to just give up and keep silent if the world rejects the message?
  3. In today’s Scripture reading you see God is ________.

As in the Days of Sodom and Gomorroh

Today’s Bible Reading – Genesis 19 & 20 and Matthew 10

I think we can assume it is universally known that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire from heaven for their wickedness.  In Genesis 19:1, we read that Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city.  Historically, important people, like city elders, would sit in the gateway of a city to judge between parties in a dispute, or businessmen would congregate there to transact business.  

2 Peter 2:7 tells us that Lot was a righteous man.  And yet, there he was sitting at the gate of a very wicked city.  This suggests to me that he was assimilating into the wicked city.  I think Lot’s decline started in Genesis 13, when Lot and Abraham had to separate because the land couldn’t support all their flocks and herds.  Lot greedily chose to live in the lush fertile valley near Sodom, and left the barren, rocky heights for Abraham to graze his flocks.  In Genesis 13:12, Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom.  In Genesis 14:12, he lived in Sodom, here, in Genesis 19:1, he was sitting in the gateway of the city, easing his way into assimilating into the sinful city.

Even though Lot was a righteous man, he apparently didn’t exert much Godly influence over the locals.  In Genesis 18:32, God said He would spare the city if only 10 righteous were found there.  As it was, only Lot was considered righteous.  Not only did he not convert others in the city, he couldn’t even convince his own future sons-in-law to leave the city with him.  (And arguably, he didn’t have much positive influence over his own daughters.  Read Genesis 19:30-38 as proof.)

Despite Lot’s poor judgment in choosing where to live, God was very merciful to Lot by sending two angels to lead Lot and his family out of the city before sending judgement.  Once they were clear of the city, God rained down fire and burning sulfur on the cities of the plain, and everything and everyone was destroyed.  Everything Lot had owned, everything he had worked for literally went up in smoke.  Unfortunately, Lot’s wife looked back, presumably longing for what she had left behind.  She died as a result of this.

We’re told in 2 Peter 2:6, “… he (GOD) condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly…”  This story in Genesis 19 is an example of what will happen when Jesus returns, when He will save the righteous, and destroy the wicked by fire.

In Luke 17, Jesus is talking about conditions before the second coming of Christ.  Luke 17: 28-32 says, “It was the same in the days of Lot.  People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.  But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.  It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, no one who is on the roof of his house with his goods inside should go down to get them.  Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.  Remember Lot’s wife.”

I think there are several applications for us.  

First, if you don’t have a relationship with the Lord, it’s imperative you fix that right now.  Isaiah 55:6-7 says, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.  Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”

Second, If you do have a relationship with the Lord, continuously work on strengthening that relationship with the Lord.  Especially since we don’t know when Jesus will return and we don’t know when we will die.  We should live in such a way that we would always be ready to give an account for our lives.  2 Corinthians 5:10 reminds us:  “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

Next, we should all carefully choose the situations in which we find ourselves, and seriously consider whether we are being conformed to the patterns of the sinful people around us, or if we’re influencing others for the Lord.

Finally, we should not become too attached to the world or anything in it.

1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”

I’ll close by challenging you to follow Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

–Steve Mattison

Follow the 2021 SeekGrowLove.com Bible reading plan to read the Bible in a year – with an Old Testament and a New Testament/Psalms/Proverbs reading each day. Together let’s Seek God, Grow spiritually and Love Him and others more and more!


Genesis 19-21

Genesis 19 16

Have you ever gotten your car stuck before? Growing up, my brothers and I often went over to our grandparents’ farm. In high school, I started helping out with keeping up around the place. I would load up in the old beat up farm truck and head to the places that need to be looked after, which sometimes took me down into the swampy parts of the property. Some days, I could maneuver just fine through the trees and brush, but on others, I would begin to sink. If the truck got into a place where the tires couldn’t get traction, then they would start to spin, sinking the truck even deeper into the muck.


Lot has got himself stuck in a similar situation. In Genesis 13, Lot chose the edenic land close to the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, while Abram moved further away from him. Abraham, through his prayers and his concern for his nephew Lot, convinced God to relent in destroying the city in chapter 18. But, even so, we see the depth of the evil of the city in chapter 19, where the angels could not even find 10 righteous people. Because of this, the destruction God had planned was set to occur. God was going to destroy the city with burning sulfur (Gen. 19:23-26), an epic and troubling display of God’s wrath.


In the midst of these verses, filled with despicable actions and God’s judgment of them, we also see the tender portrayal of God’s forgiveness and compassion. While getting ready to destroy the city, the angels, who God had sent, grabbed Lot’s hand and pulled him out of the city. This was done “because of the Lord’s compassion for him” (Gen. 19:16). Lot was stuck in his ways, stuck in the lifestyle of sin created by the place he was living in. He was stuck in the filth and mud. God however loved Lot too much to leave him in this place. He grabbed Lot and brought him out of his former life.


So often, we are like Lot. We thought we chose the best path for ourselves when we survey the options in front of us. Sometimes though, what looks best to us may lead us too close to the lifestyle of sin. We get into that swampy place and spin our tires – stuck even if we wanted to get out. It’s in these moments that God reaches in and pulls us out. It may be painful, but it is so so worth it to leave behind those sinful places and follow God out of what is destined to be destroyed.


Do you feel like you are stuck in sin? Pray for God’s salvation today.


-Cayce Fletcher
Read or listen to today’s Bible reading here – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+19-21&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s reading will be Genesis 22-24 as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan
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