Scriptures

Genesis 19

Introduction

‘The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. ‘My lords,’ he said, ‘please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.’ ‘No,’ they answered, ‘we will spend the night in the square.’ But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.’ Genesis 19:1-3

In Chapter 18 we saw the Lord and the two angels coming to Abraham, after some hospitality we saw Abraham standing near the Lord appealing with Him to save the righteous who were in Sodom and Gomorrah. Whilst they were chatting the two angels headed off towards Sodom.

It’s now that Moses identifies the other two visitors as angels. Notice Lot’s journey so far, when Abraham gave him the choice of area to move into, he went toward Sodom, Genesis 13:10, he then built a tent near Sodom, Genesis 13:12 and then he moved into Sodom, Genesis 14:12. Now he’s here at the city gate, which meant he had a very important job within the city.

Lot was the one who welcomed the visitors at the city gate, they wanted to stay on the streets to see for themselves the wickedness of the city but and after a strong persuasion, he persuaded the two angels to go to his house.

It’s clear that Lot didn’t think they knew how bad the city was, he thought they weren’t aware of the real threat of being in the city square. It’s always helpful to remember that Sodom and Gomorrah weren’t only immoral, but they were cities of crime and violence.

‘Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.’ Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, ‘No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.’ ‘Get out of our way,’ they replied. ‘This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.’ They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.’ Genesis 19:4-11

Notice that both the young and the old surrounded Lot’s house, this tells me that the young were learning all their sinful behaviour from their fathers. Make no mistake about what these men wanted to do with the two angels in human form, they were practising homosexuals, they wanted to have sex with them, they wanted to rape them. This is a small insight to the wickedness which reigned within these cities, Leviticus 18:22 / Leviticus 20:13 / Romans 1:26-
28.

I’m certain that Lot now knows there was something different about his two visitors, he now knows they are messengers from God, which can be seen in the fact that he offers the men his two daughters. It’s not easy to understand why any father would offer his daughters to be gang raped by a mob to protect these two visitors, maybe in his mind, he was thinking of the least evil.

Despite now living in Sodom with his family and having a position at the city gate, when push came to shove the local residents didn’t see him as a resident but as a foreigner who moved in, who now thinks he’s the judge. It’s clear these men have no respect for Lot even though he called them his friends.

I can imagine Lot being in panic stations now as everything he tried failed to protect his two visitors, and so there is some divine intervention required. All the men, young and old were struck blind which would have caused a lot of confusion and so the judgement has begun.

‘The two men said to Lot, ‘Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.’ So, Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, ‘Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!’ But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, ‘Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.’ When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, ‘Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!’ But Lot said to them, ‘No, my lords, please! Your servant has found favour in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.’ He said to him, ‘Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.’ (That is why the town was called Zoar.’ Genesis 19:12-22

Lot has no time to negotiate with the angels like his uncle Abraham did with the Lord, Genesis 18, he had to act now. Despite pleading with the men of the city and after pleading with his relatives who thought he was joking with them, the two the angels commanded Lot to take only his wife and two daughters and run as fast as they could from Sodom.

It seems that Lot still didn’t understand what was about to happen because the angels more or less drag him away from the city. A God sent disaster was about to come upon the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, Genesis 10:19 / Genesis 14:2 / Genesis 14:8 / Deuteronomy 29:23 / Hosea 11:8, and Lot and his family needed to head for high ground.

There are times as Christians we need to be careful of where we’re living and the company we keep, there are times we simply need to get as far away from them as possible.

Fearing that some evil might come upon him in the mountains, Lot requests that he take his family to a small city named Zoar. Seems like Lot isn’t totally following the commands but I’m sure those who lived in Zoar were grateful because this would mean they would be spared the upcoming destruction.

‘By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the LORD rained down burning sulphur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus, he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.’ Genesis 19:23-26

Here we see the power of God, as burning sulphur rained down from the heavens. This must have been a terrifying sight to witness but not as terrible as being killed by it. The same idea will happen when the Lord returns but on a global scale, 2 Peter 3:10-13, and the wicked will finally be destroyed, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9.

This is a testimony of God’s judgement and His grace because of those who were saved, thanks also to Abraham, Genesis 18. The place which was once such a beautiful fertile area, Genesis 13:10 has now become a place where nothing will grow.

Why did Lot’s wife look back?

We don’t why Lot’s wife looked back, maybe she just wanted to see the destruction, maybe in her heart she wanted to return there to live, maybe she wanted to see if her friends and sons in law survived the destruction. We simply don’t know, but whatever her reasons were, it cost her, her life, Luke 17:30-33.

I’m sure because she became a pillar of salt, until it weathered away at least, that this would have stood as a memorial and a reminder for future generations of what took place in Sodom, Gomorrah and the surrounding cities.

‘Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. So, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.’ Genesis 19:27-29

We can almost imagine the heartbreak in Abraham’s eyes as he sees the immense smoke rising from the land, we can imagine him thinking about if his nephew Lot managed to escape the destruction. Little did he realise at this point that God remembered him and it was because of Abraham’s sake that Lot was saved.

‘Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, ‘Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.’ That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older  daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. The next day the older daughter said to the younger, ‘Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him, so we can preserve our family line through our father.’ So, they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again, he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.’ Genesis 19:30-35

There must have been something unsettling about the small city of Zoar, maybe it was their wickedness, but whatever it was he decided to take his two daughters with him to live in a cave. The event concerning Lot and his two daughters on the surface seem to be troubling, haven’t they learned anything from the evil which happened in Sodom?

They come up with a plan which involves incest, but the question is, why? It’s possible they believed that there were no other males around after the destruction and so they wanted to keep their father’s prosperity going and their family line going. They obviously were desperate and so out of desperation they got their father drunk, possibly because they knew he wouldn’t agree.

Lot was totally oblivious as to what happened because of his drunken state and both of his daughters slept with their father.

‘So, both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him BenAmmi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.’ Genesis 19:36-38

Although we aren’t told, we have to wonder what Lot must have been thinking as he saw his two daughters growing and developing with their children inside of them. He must have wondered who the fathers were.

The story about the actions of Lot’s daughters are written to show the historical posterity of Israel. From the birth of Moab came the Moabites, and from the birth of Ben-Ammi came the Ammonites, Ruth 1:1-5.

Over time the Moabites and the Ammonites were going to become enemies of the Israelites and because of Lot’s desire for material things, he lost everything. One sin led to another.

But why does the Bible say that Lot was a righteous man?

Although 2 Peter 2:6-9 tells us that Lot was a righteous man, we must remember we only have a few moments of Lot’s life recorded in our Bibles and we don’t know how he ended his days. We do know that while living with Abraham he saw the humility, kindness, and faithfulness to God, which Abraham had, Genesis 12:1-4 / Genesis 13:8-9.

He also knew that Abraham wasn’t ‘perfect’, he knew his uncle had sinned at times but I’m also sure he saw his uncle repent, Genesis 12:12-20 / Genesis 13:1-5.

When we read 2 Peter 2:6-9 we can’t deny that Lot was considered righteous, like most of us he had his weak moments and he sinned, but he certainly must have loved the Lord. We mustn’t forget that he did try everything within his power to save the angels from being raped and he clearly tells the men of Sodom that what they were plotting was evil, Genesis 19:7.

Who knows, maybe when he lived in Sodom but was constantly speaking out against the wickedness of the city. Whatever the reason or reasons are for Lot being classed as righteous, I don’t think it’s too hard to imagine that he repented later on in his life and so, God forgave him, 1 John 1:9.

Go To Genesis 20

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

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