Sooner or later, archaeology tends to validate the biblical record. Take this research being done in the lower Jordan valley, the area of Genesis’ description of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction. Archaeologists have found evidence in a layer of soil of a cosmic air burst from around 3,650 years ago. A cosmic air burst is when a meteor explodes while still in the atmosphere, which can cause devastation on the ground resembling a nuclear bomb, such as occurred in the Tunguska Event in 1908 Siberia. The research on the site in Jordan goes on to describe cataclysmic temperatures, in excess of 2,000 degrees Celsius:
In addition to the debris one would expect from destruction via warfare and earthquakes, they found pottery shards with outer surfaces melted into glass, “bubbled” mudbrick and partially melted building material, all indications of an anomalously high-temperature event, much hotter than anything the technology of the time could produce.
Not also was there a fiery disaster from the sky spelling the end of the cities in the area, there’s also a connection with salt:
The airburst, according to the paper, may also explain the “anomalously high concentrations of salt” found in the destruction layer — an average of 4% in the sediment and as high as 25% in some samples.
The salt was thrown up due to the high impact pressures,” Kennett said of the meteor that likely fragmented upon contact with Earth’s atmosphere.
If this is indeed archaeological evidence of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, then we now have a little more information about what kind of means God used in this particular judgment: a meteor, exploding before it hits the ground. If so, it’s not that we now say that God wasn’t really actively carrying out a judgement of sin, since we now have some evidence that it was a meteor – something that naturally occurs. Nor do we have to reject this kind of evidence, insisting that God’s judgements in history must be purely “miraculous.” Rather, here we see an example of how God can sovereignly judge through natural means. A meteor – set on its cosmic track countless years beforehand – explodes above the lower Jordan valley at the appointed time, when the outcry against cities’ sin has reached its full pitch, and just after Lot and his family are rescued. And thus God’s sovereign action in history and the (super)natural workings of the universe are seen once again to go hand in hand.
“All the observations stated in Genesis are consistent with a cosmic airburst,” says the quoted professor. Yes, we may not always see how, but the record of scripture and the record of the soil will ultimately align. The archaeologists may be surprised. But we shouldn’t be.