Genesis Chapter Nineteen

Lessons From Sodom & Gomorrah

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In our study of Genesis chapter nineteen, we look at God's judgment on Sodom & Gomorrah and the judgment that is to come.

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Genesis 19:1

The two angels came to S'dom that evening, when Lot was sitting at the gate of S'dom. Lot saw them, got up to greet them and prostrated himself on the ground.

As we saw in chapter 18, these two angels were sent by the Lord to check to see if the sins of Sodom were as bad as reported. They arrived and were met at the city gate by Lot which tells us that he had become a part of the political system because it was judges and leaders that sat at the gates of cities. We also see that he recognized that the angels were not like the people of the city.

Genesis 19:2 & 3

He said, "Here now, my lords, please come over to your servant's house. Spend the night, wash your feet, get up early, and go on your way." "No," they answered, "we'll stay in the square." But he kept pressing them; so they went home with him; and he made them a meal, baking matzah for their supper, which they ate.

The angels were going to spend the night in the city square but, knowing that the streets were not safe at night, Lot insisted that they stay with him. We see that he baked them bread without yeast and are reminded that, throughout the Bible, yeast was associated with sin. In this act, we see that Lot knew of the things of God and yet had become comfortable in this evil city. This is a picture of the compromising church of the last days.

Genesis 19:4 & 5

But before they could go to bed, the men of the city surrounded the house -young and old, everyone from every neighborhood of S'dom. They called Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to stay with you tonight? Bring them out to us! We want to have sex with them!"

The men of the city showed up and demanded that the angels be turned over to them. In this we see part of the reason for God's coming judgment on the city. They had forsaken the plan of God for men and women to be together and instead wanted to have sex with other men. This is the basis for the term "sodomy" which is used even today to describe this sin.

Genesis 19:6-8

Lot went out to them and stood in the doorway, closing the door behind him, and said, "Please, my brothers, don't do such a wicked thing. Look here, I have two daughters who are virgins. Please, let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them what seems good to you; but don't do anything to these men, since they are guests in my house."

Here, we see the battle within Lot as well as his struggle with the men of the city. Lot had his mind on protecting the men of God which was good but to do so he was willing to go against the ways of God. He was willing to give his daughters who were already engaged to other men to the mob in order to pacify them. In this, we see the way of the politician in trying to get along and compromise even when you know that the other party is out of the will of God. Lot was just a picture of what is happening in our world today. The sin of sodomy is now being sanctioned by more and more governments (politicians) by giving them "marriage licenses". As it was with Lot, Christians have a choice of trying to pacify the mob or standing up and saying no.

Genesis 19:9

"Stand back!" they replied. "This guy came to live here, and now he's decided to play judge. For that we'll deal worse with you than with them!" Then they crowded in on Lot, in order to get close enough to break down the door.

The mob admitted that Lot was different from them and they accused him of trying to be the judge. That is the problem that happens when a place rejects God as then men do not recognize any authority except themselves.

Genesis 19:10 & 11

But the men inside reached out their hands, brought Lot into the house to them and shut the door. Then they struck the men at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they couldn't find the doorway.

Lot was rescued from the mob by the angels and they protected the house by making the evil men blind but it is not that they were unable to see. They were dazed by the glare from a bright light which was a manifestation of the presence of God. In this, we are reminded that, if we are following the will of God, He will protect us from any consequences that we may fear.

Genesis 19:12-14

The men said to Lot, "Do you have any people here besides yourself? Whomever you have in the city - son-in-law, your sons, your daughters - bring them out of this place; because we are going to destroy it. ADONAI has become aware of the great outcry against them, and ADONAI has sent us to destroy it." Lot went out and spoke with his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, "Get up and leave this place, because ADONAI is going to destroy the city." But his sons-in-law didn't take him seriously.

Lot warned the men that were to marry his daughters but they refused to believe him about the coming destruction of the city. This is a reminder to us, as Christians, that we do not have the power to save anyone. All that we can do is tell them the good news about Jesus Christ and trust God to work.

Genesis 19:15 & 16

When morning came, the angels told Lot to hurry. "Get up," they said, "and take your wife and your two daughters who are here; otherwise you will be swept away in the punishment of the city." But he dallied, so the men took hold of his hand, his wife's hand and the hands of his two daughters -ADONAI was being merciful to him - and led them, leaving them outside the city.

We see that Lot hesitated to leave even in the face of destruction. Whether it was because he cared about the people that would be left behind or whether he was concerned about material things and his political position, we do not know.

Genesis 19:17

When they had brought them out, he said, "Flee for your life! Don't look behind you, and don't stop anywhere in the plain, but escape to the hills! Otherwise you will be swept away."

The angels gave Lot and his family instructions for their survival. The instructions are a good reminder for us that, when we come to Christ, we are to leave the old life behind. We are to come in repentance and flee the old as we grab onto the promises of God. Just as the angels guided Lot, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us in our journey.

Genesis 19:18-22

Lot said to them, "Please, no, my lord! Here, your servant has already found favor in your sight, and you have shown me even greater mercy by saving my life. But I can't escape to the hills, because I'm afraid the disaster will overtake me, and I will die. Look, there's a town nearby to flee to, and it's a small one. Please let me escape there - isn't it just a small one? -and that way I will stay alive." He replied, "All right, I agree to what you have asked. I won't overthrow the city of which you have spoken. Hurry, and escape to that place, because I can't do anything until you arrive there." For this reason the city was named Tzo'ar.

Lot did not see how he and his family could run all the way to the mountains for safety and so he begged the angels to spare a little town called Zoar. They granted his request and we are reminded that God only asks us to do what we can and He will do the rest. Like Lot, many Christians walk around in fear that they still will not make it to heaven because they do not act perfectly. We are reminded that God spared the little town because that was where Lot and his family were going to be. Jesus has saved us where we are and He does not want us to fear the coming destruction.

Genesis 19:23-25

By the time Lot had come to Tzo'ar, the sun had risen over the land. Then ADONAI caused sulfur and fire to rain down upon S'dom and 'Amora from ADONAI out of the sky. He overthrew those cities, the entire plain, all the inhabitants of the cities and everything growing in the ground.

When Lot reached Zoar, the judgment began with the raining of sulfur on the plain. The evidence suggests that God caused massive earthquakes which released tar and gases from the ground as the cities were located in an area with tar pits. The tar and gases exploded and rained back down on the earth in fire.

Genesis 19:26

But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a column of salt.

Have you ever wondered why she was turned into salt and not stone? Lot's wife looked back at what she was leaving because, even though the place was filled with evil, she was comfortable there. Salt is used to preserve things and she was wishing that the city and their way of life there could continue. Therefore, God made her a preservative (salt).

Genesis 19:27 & 28

Avraham got up early in the morning, went to the place where he had stood before ADONAI, and looked out toward S'dom and 'Amora, scanning the entire plain. There before him the smoke was rising from the land like smoke from a furnace!

We can only guess what Avraham was thinking and feeling as he saw the thick smoke rising from the plain. He must have thought that Lot had died along with the others as the Lord had promised to spare the city if ten righteous people were found. The rising smoke made it clear that there had not been ten righteous men and the Lord had said nothing of saving only Lot and his family. If you have ever been to the funeral of a relative without knowing whether they accepted Christ, you can probably understand what Avraham was thinking and feeling.

Genesis 19:29

But when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Avraham and sent Lot out, away from the destruction, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.

For the sake of Avraham, God rescued Lot and his daughters from that judgment. We must understand that they were saved from that destruction but, to escape the final judgment of Hell, the only way for them as well as us is faith in Jesus Christ. God still operates in the same manner today. Maybe, He has spared someone you know and love because He remembers you in the same way that He remembered Avraham. If you have a loved one tell you of a miraculous escape and they do not know Jesus Christ, you can explain this story to them and share the good news of Jesus Christ.

Genesis 19:30

Lot went up from Tzo'ar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, because he was afraid to stay in Tzo'ar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave.

Zoar was a little town at the southeast end of the Dead Sea in what is now the Ghor es-Safi region of Jordan. Even though he had been spared from the judgment (and the little town with him), he was still afraid and left to live in a cave. What was Lot afraid of? It is clear that the little town was filled with evil and Lot was afraid that God was going to destroy it as well as Sodom & Gomorrah. We must remember that fear is not of God and is the opposite of being blessed. As we shall see, this fear will have consequences that reach even into today's world.

Genesis 19:31 & 32

The firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there isn't a man on earth to come in to us in the manner customary in the world. Come, let's have our father drink wine; then we'll sleep with him, and that way we'll enable our father to have descendants."

Here, we see that Lot's lack of faith (fear) opened a door to Satan. Because they fled, his daughters looked around and did not see any men that could give them a family. Therefore, they decided to sleep with their father which is wrong.

Genesis 19:33

So they plied their father with wine that night, and the older one went in and slept with her father; he didn't know when she lay down or when she got up.

We see that Lot drank the wine and that provided the opportunity for the girls to proceed with their plan. He could have said no and avoided the whole situation but did not.

Genesis 19:34 & 35

The following day, the older said to the younger, "Here, I slept last night with my father. Let's make him drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him, and that way we'll enable our father to have descendants." They plied their father with wine that night also, and the younger one got up and slept with him, and he didn't know when she lay down or when she got up.

The older daughter convinced the younger to do the same thing that she had done and they got Lot drunk the next night. Once again, he had the opportunity to do the right thing and refuse to drink and get drunk but he did not. He had been a part of Sodom & Gomorrah and had probably got used to the partying and didn't think anything of it. This is a picture of what the devil is doing in the world today. We are around so much unholy behavior that we often do not even notice it or its effects on us.

Genesis 19:36-38

Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. The older one gave birth to a son and called him Mo'av; he is the ancestor of Mo'av to this day. The younger also gave birth to a son, and she called him Ben-'Ammi; he is the ancestor of the people of 'Amon to this day.

Now, we see the lasting effects of Lot's decisions. The Ammonites and Moabites became enemies of Avraham's descendants (the Israelites) and their legacy lives on even today. This is a reminder that our faith (or our lack of faith) can have lasting consequences.

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