Lights of Vegas
"Let your light shine before men in such a way
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
It's called Sin City. It's described as oppressive, dark, and unforgiving. Not surprisingly, the city that doesn't sleep is a cavern for those enticed by gambling and illicit rendevous--on one corner a chapel selling instant marriage; on the other a gentleman selling instant girls. In case you didn't hear, what happens in Vegas apparently stays in Vegas.
"It is all that is bad in our society rolled into one place," said one. "Everything smells like smoke," said another. "Welcome to Fake," said a third. The obvious demise was, well, obvious. But what bothered me more than the obvious?
It was the tangling of beauty and baseness. The luscious gardens, the stunning architecture, the flashing lights, the fascinating fountains, the Venetian and Roman replicas, the massive sculptures, and gargantuan brilliance set against a backdrop of spiritual decay, debauchery, drunkenness, sensuality, and provocation. Sweet smelling aromas and tantalizing delicacies mingling with hell's fires.
Joseph was taken to Egypt as a prisoner but triumphed as ultimate redeemer. Daniel was whisked off to Babylon, yet remained purely and wholly devoted to the Lord. It was Lot who chose Sodom. He pushed his tents right up to this wicked city, and he sat at Sodom's gates. The Lord spared Lot twice perhaps on behalf of his uncle Abraham. Lot's wife died during their hasty departure as she pined for Sodom, and later both his daughters, who, by the way, were not esteemed by their father, returned the sentiment through incestuous relations with him. (Ammonites and Moabites, anyone?)
There is precedent to believe that if the Lord leads you to Vegas, you can stand firm. "...what fellowship can light have with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14). If you elect to go to Vegas, well, that's a different story. Could the "light" within you be darkness? (Luke 11:35).
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
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