Genesis Chapter Nineteen

 

Read Genesis 19:1-3 – God’s Angels Visit Lot

 

v.1And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;”

 

            The two angels that had left Abraham and the Lord in their discussion have arrived at Sodom.  Lot is sitting at the city gate.  While we are not told that he had any authority in this city the gate of the city is typically where the rulers of the city and businessmen sat and conducted their business.  When he sees these visitors coming he rises up and greets them.

 

v.2And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.”

 

            As would be expected of a righteous man, Lot offers them the hospitality of his house, calling himself their servant.  He offers them the common comforts and customs of greeting and providing for foot weary travelers, water to wash their feet.

            Whether testing Lot or not, we do not know but at first they decline his invitation; stating that they would spend the night in the streets of the city.

 

v.3And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.”

 

            Lot does not accept their explanation for declining his hospitality but “PRESSED UPON” or presses them, insists that they bide with him.  They finally accept and like Abraham in Genesis 18:8, Lot provides them with the best that his house can offer, a feast, including unleavened bread.

 

Read Genesis 19:4-11Sodom’s Perversion

 

v.4-5 “But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.”

 

Genesis 13:13But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.”

 

            The entire city was involved; young and old, people from every quarter or part of the city.  They were like those who practice the sin of sodomy today; they have not only come out of the closet but boldly flaunt their sin.  The prophet wrote:

 

The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not.” Isaiah 3:9

 

Two strangers have come to the city of Sodom and these men want to know them, and they’re not talking about getting acquainted, they’re talking about carnal knowledge, the practice of homosexuality.  They definitely not hiding it, they are making a public claim to what they perceive as, not only their desire but their right.  Just like today their brethren are even trying to make their homosexual perversion a matter of law, protected, not only by the right and civil acceptance of homosexual marriage but also the protection of law as a civil right.  Their sin was so grievous in the sight of God that he destroyed them.  Their sin was so great that it represents the complete and final separation from God in scripture.  When God gets so completely fed up with men and their refusal to obey Him, God abandons man:

 

Romans 1:24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:” v.26-27For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.”

 

v.6-7And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.”

 

            Lot honors his duty to the men in his house as their host.  In the eastern world then, as in the Islamic world today, it is taught that if you have extended your hospitality to someone, and he accepts that hospitality; even if he is your enemy, you have the obligation to protect him from all others, even to the giving of your own life.  We find another example of this in Judges 19:23.  Lot tries to persuade the men of Sodom to go away and not seek to practice their wickedness upon his guests.

 

v.8Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.”

 

            Lot even goes further that we could ever comprehend to protect his guests.  He even offers the services of his virgin daughters to try to divert the men of Sodom and turn them away from their purpose.  They refuse to be diverted, they are so perverted that their natural desire is dead.

 

v.9And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.”

 

            The men of Sodom tell Lot to stand back, get out of their way.  It is obvious that they know that he is not of like mind with them.  God tells us that Lot was a righteous man, vexed by the deeds of Sodom:

 

And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” 2 Peter 2:7-8

 

Consequently the men of Sodom did not respect him; they knew that he was not “OF THEM”, he has come to their city as a sojourner, a visitor, and now he setting himself up as their judge.  They threaten to do even worse to him than they plan to do to the visitors that he has given his hospitality.

 

v.10-11But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 11And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.”

 

            Now Lot’s guests intervene to prevent him and themselves from being harmed.  They pull Lot back into the house, shut the door and strike the men of Sodom blind to the extent that they wander around the city not even able to find Lot’s door.

 

Read Genesis 19:12-14 – The Angels Mission

 

v.12And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:”

 

            First of all Lot’s visitors, knowing God’s promise to Abraham, ask about others in the city, Lot’s family that may need to be protected from God’s wrath.  God knows Lot’s heart just as he knew the heart of Noah:

 

And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” Genesis 7:1

 

And just like God did for the family of Noah, he gives opportunity for Lot to save his family.  Then they tell him why:

 

v.13For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.”

 

            God plans to destroy this place.  Their sin is so great that like the men of the days of Noah, God has had enough.  The Lord God has sent these two angels for that purpose.  Abraham has already bargained with God, begged God not to destroy this city if only how many righteous could be found?  Only 10 need be found but it was not to be.  Eventually only three were saved; Lot with his two daughters will survive God’s wrath.

 

v.14And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

 

            Lot has other daughters beside those that are still in his household.  He has daughters married to men of Sodom so he goes to them to try to persuade them to flee the city with him but they mock him.  They were like those who ignored the warning of Moses that he would bring destruction by hail upon Egypt but:

 

And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.” Exodus 9:21

 

Read Genesis 19:15-22Lot flees Sodom

 

v.15And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.”

 

            “WHEN THE MORNING AROSE” indicating that very early the next morning the angels tell Lot to get his wife and daughters and get out of harm’s way.  Just as God warned Moses to distance himself from the other Israelites that He planned to destroy:

 

Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.” Numbers 16:24

 

He now also has his angels give the same kind of warning to Lot, but Lot is hesitant.

 

v.16And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.”

 

            Like anyone told to leave his home, possessions, family and all of those things that we hold dear, Lot procrastinates.  But God’s messenger will not be denied they take the hands of Lot’s wife and daughters and led them out of the city.

 

v.17And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.”

 

            When the angels get Lot and his family out of the city they tell them flee for your lives.  Just like Elijah when he saw the plans that the wicked queen had for him and fled the wrath of Jezebel:

 

And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.” I Kings 19:3

 

The angels tell them, “LOOK NOT BEHIND YOU”, don’t look back, why?  The most logical explanation is that looking back would display a love for what they were leaving.  They are being removed from one of the most wicked cities that ever existed on God’s earth; they should be rejoicing that they are escaping it’s destruction.  They, like us, once we have made our decisions, once we have set our course must go to work to do what we have set out to do.  If we look back we will falter and perhaps even grow discouraged and fail.  This is why Jesus said:

 

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

 

They are told to flee unto the mountains, to hide themselves in the rocks from the wrath of God.  But Lot again hesitates because he is more afraid of what may be in the mountain than he is of God, because he being stripped of everything that he knows and holds dear except for his wife and daughters.

 

v.18-19And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast showed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:”

 

            Lot says he appreciates everything that the angels of God have done for him and his family.  He knows that he has found grace or favor in the sight of God but he can’t go to the mountain because he’s afraid.  There may be some evil there that would take his life.  While he is counted as a righteous man, his faith is weak.

 

v.20Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”

 

            Lot wants to go into a nearby city, a small city or town.  If he can but get into this small city he will be content and have no fear for his life.

 

v.21-22And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. 22Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.”

 

            The angel tells Lot that he will allow him to flee to this small city, “I HAVE ACCEPTED THEE CONCERNING THIS THING”.  This city was apparently also one that was to have been destroyed but God will spare it for Lot’s sake.  Again Lot is encouraged to make haste and escape because the angels cannot carry out their purpose until Lot and his family are out of harm’s way.  Lot then goes to Zoar, one of the cities that was mentioned as being in league with Sodom and Gomorrah in chapter 14.

 

Read Genesis 19:23-29 – The Destruction of the Cities

 

v.23The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.”

 

            It was obviously very early in the morning, before daylight, when the angels removed Lot from Sodom.  Even with Lot’s hesitation and the time to travel on foot we’re told that it is just after sunrise when Lot entered Zoar.

 

v.24-25Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.”

 

            As a reminder of the wrath of God the Israelite nation is told that if God curses them and their land that they would become such as Sodom and Gomorrah:

 

And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:” Deuteronomy 29:23

 

God not only destroyed the cities themselves but destroyed the ability of the land to sustain any re-population of this region, everything that grew upon the ground.

 

“HE TURNETH RIVERS INTO WILDERNESS, AND THE WATERSPRINGS INTO DRY GROUND; A FRUITFUL LAND INTO BARRENNESS, FOR THE WICKEDNESS OF THEM THAT DWELL THEREIN.”

 

This great destruction is referred to in many places in scripture to remind us of the wrath of God and his hate for evil: Psalms 10:33-34

 

Amos 4:11I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”

 

II Peter 2:6And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;”

 

v.2626But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

 

            We’re told to “REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE”, why?  For the same reason that Lot and his family was told not to look back; so that we are not tempted to return to that old life, that old man that we put to death and abandoned when we become a new creature in Christ.  Her punishment was immediate, ours will come at the judgment.

 

v.27-28And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: 28And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.”

 

            Abraham got up early in the morning and goes about his business of the day.  He is anxious about the destruction of the cities, he goes down to the spot where he had talked with the Lord in Genesis 18:22-33.  He cannot see the cities themselves from where he is but he can see the smoke of their destruction.  It is described as being as that that rises from a furnace.  We do not know exactly were Sodom and Gomorrah were in relationship to Hebron and the plain of Mamre but it was several miles, yet Abraham can readily see the signs of their destruction.

 

Read Genesis 19:30-38 – The Origin of Moab and Ammon

 

v.30And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.”

 

            Lot had resisted going to the mountains and, with God’s blessing, went to the city of Zoar instead.  Now that he has seen the wrath of God manifested by the destruction of its neighboring cities, he decides to obey God’s first instruction.  He flees to the mountain with his two daughters and lives in a cave.

 

v.31And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:”

 

            The daughters of Lot are in a quandary.  The cities and all of the men that they know have been destroyed.  Their father is old and not likely to want to leave his new-found place of security.  Living in a mountain cave they are not likely to find husbands, nor do they seem to be willing to leave their father to look for marriageable men.  So they devise a plan to produce offspring.

 

v.32-33Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 33And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.”

 

            They get their father drunk and the oldest, claiming her right as the oldest daughter goes in to her father.  He didn’t even know when she came in nor when she left.

 

v.34-36And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 35And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.”

 

            The second night the younger daughter does the same thing.  They wish to preserve the seed of their father; to provide offspring that they cannot provide without having men to marry and that their sister or sisters cannot provide because they were destroyed in Sodom.

 

v.37And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.”

 

            The firstborn son of Lot is Moab.  Moab was protected by God from Israel and they were forbidden to make war against them.

 

And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.” Deuteronomy 2:9

 

Ar is Arnon the chief city of the Moabites.  In addition Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David was a Moabitess.

v.38And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.”

 

            The son of the younger daughter was Benammi, the father of the Ammonites.  Again their land was restricted by God from being overtaken by Israel because He had given it to the descendants of Lot.

 

And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.” Deuteronomy 2:19