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Genesis 19:1-38

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Background
Last week we saw God come down and visit Abraham in the form of a man, along with two companions. Abraham demonstrated kind hospitality towards the strangers, and incidentally entertained angels. God reiterated His promise that Sarah would bear Abraham a son, to which she laughed in disbelief. After this exchange, the two companions leave the scene before Abraham pleads with God to spare the righteous in Sodom.
Genesis 19:1–3 NASB95
1 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” 3 Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
Before going forward, let’s look at the context:
Genesis 18:16–17 NASB95
16 Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
Genesis 18:20–23 NASB95
20 And the Lord said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” 22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 23 Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
TIMELINE
We see now the men who accompanied God are angels, set out to accomplish what God intended.
We cannot forget the holiness of God - His just nature must punish wickedness.
Recall the blood of Abel crying out to God from the ground (Gen. 4:10). It cried out for justice, to the one who is just and judge.
So too recall that the state of Sodom was well known even years prior.
Genesis 13:13 NASB95
13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the Lord.
God knew all that took place in Sodom, He has no need to physically inspect anything. Recall the Tower of Babel.
Psalm 139:1–4 NASB95
1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. 3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
God knows what will take place, as do His angels. Nonetheless, God chooses to interact within the physical world in a way that is meaningful to humans.
With Abraham, with Lot, and with the men of Sodom.
The angels arrived near the time of sundown and went into Sodom with the intention of staying the night in the town square.
Once again, we see hospitality take place, in very similar fashion to what Abraham did in 18.
Lot was motivated by more than hospitality. He also knew what would happen if the men stayed in the square:
2 Peter 2:7–8 NASB95
7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),
Lot lived in the midst of wickedness, and the Bible tells us he was tormented because of what he saw.
Genesis 19:4–11 NASB95
4 Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; 5 and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” 6 But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. 8 “Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.
The men of Sodom were looking to debase the visitors staying in Lot’s house.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: homosexuality. According to Scripture, this act is sin.
Leviticus 18:22 NASB95
22 ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
Leviticus 20:13 NASB95
13 ‘If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.
Jude 7 NASB95
7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
Romans 1:25–32 NASB95
25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
1 Corinthians 6:9 NASB95
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
Notice that Sodom had other sins as well:
Ezekiel 16:49–50 NASB95
49 “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. 50 “Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.
This goes back to the holiness of God - He will not idly let sin go unchecked.
The angels defended Lot from attack and struck the men of Sodom with blindness.
Genesis 19:12–23 NASB95
12 Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; 13 for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the Lord will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting. 15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city. 17 When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.” 18 But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lords! 19 “Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die; 20 now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) that my life may be saved.” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also, not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken. 22 “Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the town was called Zoar. 23 The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar.
The angels have now revealed themselves to Lot, and gave him specific instructions so that they may live.
MAP
Lot’s warning went unheeded. This is just as it is today - people ignore the warnings that God gives to them.
Notice that even in hesitation and negotiation, God’s mercy prevails. But also note that they were not to look back.
Genesis 19:24–25 NASB95
24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
There are geographical evidences for this event taking place by the Dead Sea, including the sea itself.
2 Peter 2:6 NASB95
6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;
Sodom and Gomorrah are in fact examples, well known, of God’s judgment.
Deuteronomy 29:23 NASB95
23 ‘All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.’
Luke 17:28–30 NASB95
28 “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; 29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 “It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.
Genesis 19:26–29 NASB95
26 But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 27 Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the Lord; 28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace. 29 Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.
We can see now that God, though He destroy the city of Sodom, upheld the heart of Abraham’s bargain - he spared the righteous from judgment.
Unfortunately, Lot’s wife looked back. This was not a simple looking out of curiosity, but a turning back to what was lost.
Luke 17:32–33 NASB95
32 “Remember Lot’s wife. 33 “Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
2 Peter 2:20–22 NASB95
20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”
Once we have repented from our lives of sin, we must not look back to the worldly lifestyle we once lived.
Christians cannot serve 2 masters - we must hate the world and what it offers, or by default we will end up hating God.
According to Scripture, Christians can choose to return to their lives of sin.
Hebrews 6:4–6 NASB95
4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
The fear of God can only take us so far. We must choose to be obedient.
Genesis 19:30–38 NASB95
30 Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; and he stayed in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31 Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth. 32 “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34 On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day.
This story is often skipped over, understandably. However, we have already seen a very similar circumstance to this incident in Noah’s story.
Noah’s son Ham dishonored him by revealing his father’s nakedness.
Lot’s daughters debased him in their wrong thinking.
It appears they believe that Lot is the last man living on earth, due to the calamity that has taken place.
APPLICATION
We cannot forget the holiness of God - His just nature must punish wickedness.
Christians cannot serve 2 masters - we must hate the world and what it offers, or by default we will end up hating God.
Next week, we will continue the story of Abram's sojourning.
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