Eternity Daily Bible Study

The Life Of Abraham


Number:567

Verses: Genesis 19:12-26

Topic: The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

Date: 8th February 2006

 

Genesis 19:12-26 MKJV And the men said to Lot, Have you anyone here besides yourself? Bring your sons-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whatever you have in the city, bring them out of this place.  (13)  For we will destroy this place because great is the cry of them before the face of Jehovah. And Jehovah has sent us to destroy it.  (14)  And Lot went out and spoke with his sons-in-law, who married his daughters, and said, Get up and get out of this place, for Jehovah will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked to his sons-in-law.  (15)  And when the dawn rose up, then the angels hurried Lot, saying, Rise up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the city.  (16)  And he lingered, the angel laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters (Jehovah being merciful to him), and they brought him forth and set him outside the city.  (17)  And it happened when they brought him outside, He said, Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, nor stay in all the plain. Escape to the mountain lest you be consumed.  (18)  And Lot said to them, Oh no, Lord, (19) please now, Your servant has found grace in Your sight, and You have magnified Your mercy, which You have shown to me in saving my life. And I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me and I die.  (20)  Behold now, this city is near to flee to, and it is a little one. Oh let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.  (21)  And He said to him, See, I have accepted you concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken.  (22)  Hurry and escape there! For I cannot do anything till you have come there. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.  (23)  The sun had risen upon the earth, and Lot entered into Zoar.  (24)  Then Jehovah rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire, from Jehovah out of the heavens.  (25)  And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.  (26)  But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

 

God rescues Lot – even sending angels to physically drag him out from the city and the impending judgment. But even then Lot hesitates and his wife looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt. This is truly the story of “a brand plucked from the fire” (Zechariah 3:2) and illustrates the workings of God's careful salvation of the righteous. Lot is timid and vacillating yet the Lord saves him. This is grace – for none of us are saved for our merits and all of us are saved despite our sins and our weaknesses.

 

Lot was different from the other inhabitants of Sodom in that he clearly possessed a conscience and a clear sense of the right treatment of other people and was hospitable, self-sacrificing and kind. He stood out from the predatory licentiousness of Sodom, and was removed from the judgment that fell upon that wicked city.

 

The judgment came when the righteous had left the city. When Christians leave a certain place then judgment often follows. For instance, as Christians have left the inner cities of America, drugs, crime and lawlessness have moved right in.

This has huge implications for the Middle East where the Christian population is emigrating as fast as they can – partly due to the opportunities afforded by globalization and partly due to the rise of militant Islam. In many places such as Israel, Iraq and the Palestinian territories the Christian population is a half or even a tenth of their previous traditional levels.

 

In today's world educated people have a choice about where they can live and they are leaving the disorderly nations and heading to the peaceful nations. On the other hand, the pirates, terrorists and smugglers are leaving places with effective policing and moving to failed states, rogue states and countries run by corrupt military elites. Thus the world is slowly but surely sorting out into two camps – the righteous and the wicked, those who desire the rule of law, and those who wish to escape the rule of law.

 

Without setting dates, it is still obvious that this world is being prepared for an imminent final judgment and that God is slowly but surely beginning to deal with some of the major obstacles to the gospel - such as militant Islam, atheistic Communism and controlling anti-Christian dictatorships.

 

The final verses of the book of Malachi talk of such a final judgment and promise that:
Malachi 3:18 HCSB  So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

 

Jesus takes up this theme of final separation in the parable of the wheat and the tares and the parable of the dragnet:

 

Matthew 13:47-50 HCSB "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a large net thrown into the sea. It collected every kind of fish, (48) and when it was full, they dragged it ashore, sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but threw out the worthless ones. (49)  So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out, separate the evil people from the righteous, (50) and throw them into the blazing furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

In Sodom the separation was relatively easy – the removal of Lot's family from the city that was about to be destroyed. At the end of the age this may involve a rapture in which “some are taken and some are left” - those that are left face the wrath of God just like the inhabitants of Sodom did.

 

Matthew 24:37-42 HCSB As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. (38)  For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. (39)  They didn't know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be: (40) Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one left. (41)  Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and one left. (42)  Therefore be alert, since you don't know what day your Lord is coming.

 

Lot's wife is a person who should have been saved, but was not. She was called, but not saved because she did not appreciate the urgency of the hour or the value of her salvation but instead looked back with her heart set upon the things of the world.

 

Lot's wife represents the carnal Christian who devalues the things of the Spirit. It is interesting that the angels grabbed the hands of Lot and his two daughters but nothing is said about them grabbing hold of Lot's wife. She was the one who was free to choose, the one given “free will” and who in exercising it doomed herself. God's constraints are for are our good and for our salvation, and the angels that drag us away from destruction are really our friends.

 

In Luke's gospel Lot's wife is used by Jesus as an illustration of how NOT to behave in the last days:

 

Luke 17:28-37 HCSB It will be the same as it was in the days of Lot: people went on eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. (29)  But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all. (30)  It will be like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed. (31)  On that day, a man on the housetop, whose belongings are in the house, must not come down to get them. Likewise the man who is in the field must not turn back. (32)  Remember Lot's wife! (33)  Whoever tries to make his life secure will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. (34)  I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken and the other will be left. (35)  Two women will be grinding grain together: one will be taken and the other left. (36) [Two will be in a field: one will be taken, and the other will be left."] (37)  "Where, Lord?" they asked Him. He said to them, "Where the corpse is, there also the vultures will be gathered."

 

When Jesus returns we must flee as Lot fled Sodom without any turning back. There is a holy urgency to salvation of all sorts and we should flee the world and run to Christ every day.

 

 

Blessings,

 

John Edmiston (johned@aibi.ph)

 

 

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