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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

November 18, 2015

Genesis 19:1-29

  1. Verse 1. The text informs us that two angels came to Sodom “in the evening.” The evening scene is deliberately contrasted with the day/noon time scene when Abraham met these same angels (cf. 18:1). These angels approached Lot at the “gate/gateway of the city.” The city gate was the place where the civic leaders met to finalize legal and business transactions. It was a place of prominence and influence. The implication is Lot had achieved social influence. The fact that Lot had worked his way up to become one of Sodom’s leading citizens indicates that he was accepted and not a threat to the way of life in Sodom. You do not get honored in Sodom unless you have decided to be quiet about your faith.

  2. Verses 2-3. Lot invited these visitors into his home. When they refused his invitation, Lot "insisted strongly" to enter his home. Lot would not take "no" for an answer. He did some major arm-twisting until they said "yes." Lot knew the wickedness of his city (Judges 19:18-20). Undoubtedly, he had witnessed the abusive behavior of his fellow Sodomites toward other unsuspecting visitors. So he insisted that these two angels in disguise spend the night in his home. Unfortunately, if Lot had hoped his guests had entered his home unnoticed, he was tragically mistaken.

  3. Verses 4-7. The text emphasize that every man and boy in Sodom came to the house. This seems over the top. After all, most little boys do not practice gang rape. How was the perversion so widespread? We may not like the answer. Evidently, the older men trained the children in sexual deviance. Undoubtedly, there was sexual abuse in the home that caused the little boys to respond like they did. This tragic storyline continues today. Sodom and Gomorrah have become a proverbial symbol of wickedness, perversion, and moral depravity. In 18:16-33, we addressed some sins that Sodom was guilty of that aren’t always spoken of: arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease that resulted in being unconcerned about the poor and needy (lsa 1:10, 17; Ezek 16:49-50). Yet the Scriptures also mention that they were guilty of rejecting God's Word (Luke 10:8-12), adultery, lying, and abetting the criminal (Jer 23:14), and here sexual perversion (Ezek 16:44-59; Jude 6-7; 2 Pet 2:6-7).

  4. Verses 8-11. Lot responds to the Sodomites with a startling suggestion: " l have two daughters who have not had relations with man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." This offer is horrible and cannot be justified. We understand it a little more when we consider the low place of women in the pre-Christian world and the very high place of any guest in your home. It was understood a guest was to be protected more than your own family. Even though Lot believed in God, he had been contaminated by the culture in which he lived. Fortunately, the sick Sodomites did not take Lot up on his offer. Rather, they told him to, "Get out of our way." Lot may have had a degree of social influence and power, but his spiritual influence-was pathetic. The men of Sodom identified him as "a foreigner." Instead of being the salt of the earth, Lot had lost his saltiness and ability to influence for God. The men of Sodom were trying to break down the door, the two angels grabbed Lot, shut the door, and struck the perverts with blindness.

  5. Verses 12-14. In those twilight hours before sunrise, we can only imagine Lot's frantic effort to convince his own family of God's impending judgment. But because of his spiritual compromise, only his wife and two daughters were able to leave the city. Compromise had destroyed his testimony. In fact, Lot had lost such credibility with his sons-in-law that they treated his message as a joke. Notice that we are not told that they refused to believe Lot so much as they did not even take him seriously. It is one thing to warn men and have them reject our message. It is far worse for them not even to consider our words as spoken seriously. The most serious moment of Lot's life was ridiculed by his children. This is logical though, when you possess a weak testimony, your family is always the first to pick up on it! Do you have a sense of urgency when it comes to spiritual matters? Do your children and loved ones know that you are dead serious about escaping God's wrath? Do they know that you are banking everything on the person and work of Christ?

  6. Verses 15-16. ”With the coming dawn or when morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, ‘Hurry, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.’ 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." The angels warn Lot. They tell him there are great consequences for sin but he delays responding to God. One would think that Lot would have been so overcome with gratefulness that he would have immediately obeyed the command to flee for the mountains; but urban life had its icy fingers around his throat. Lot was so attached to this present world of family, friends, power, and material things that he just could not bear the thought of leaving it all behind (see 1 John 2:15-17). He felt more secure inside an evil city than outside of it with God. Never hesitate when God is trying to protect you.

  7. Verses 17-23. The angels tell them to leave and not look back. Of course Lot wants to go to another sinful town. Lot is saying, "I'll run out of Sin City, but can I run to Sin Town." He just can't shake the city life. Lot flees temptation and then leaves a forwarding address. Amazingly, the angels give Lot over to his sinful behavior (Rom 1:24, 26, 28). This is yet another example of how divine grace, not human righteousness is the basis of God's deliverance.

  8. In 19:24-25,”The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. [The sun motif is an Old Testament picture of God's salvation.] Then the LORD-rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. In the midst of God's deliverance, we see His judgment. Three times in these two verses, Moses points to God's sovereign initiative and judgment in obliterating these cities. He did was the work of His hands. Yet, many Christians like to say, "I am a Christian, but I'm not the "fire and brimstone" type. The problem with this statement is the Bible is full of God's judgment. Thus, whether we like it or not, we must be “fire and brimstone" Christians. God is a God of judgment.

  9. In 19:26, we come across an intriguing verse: "But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt." The Hebrew verb translated "looked back” signifies an intense gaze, not a passing glance (cf. 19:17). Furthermore, in Luke 17:28-32, Jesus implies that Lot's wife returned to Sodom. She lost her life because of her reluctance to let go of her household stuff. She was a wife after Lot’s own heart. Her sorrow over her goods so fixated her that she could not or would not move. Perhaps she decided that she would be better dead than separated from her possessions.

  10. In 19:27-29, Moses provides a parenthetical comment for us. "Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the LORD; 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. 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." The substitution of Abraham for Lot in the phrase: "God remembered Abraham," (19:29; cf. 8:1) makes an important theological point. Lot was not saved on his own merits but through Abraham's intercession. This is the second time Lot owes his life to his uncle (cf. 14:12-14). Previously, he was delivered from capture and now from death. Abraham prays and then trusts the Lord with the results. God hears and answers prayers.

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