1999-01-02 - Genesis
The Story of Abraham continues and the Story of Lot Ends
Genesis 18:23-33 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou consume the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there are fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the wicked; that be far from thee: shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And Jehovah said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sake. And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, who am but dust and ashes: peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, I will not destroy it, if I find there forty and five. And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for the forty's sake. And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for the twenty’s sake. And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake. And Jehovah went his way, as soon as he had left off communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.
Abraham's concern for Lot ( 2333).
Abraham had such love for Lot in spite of the man’s worldliness and unbelief. Abraham was not pleading the grace of God, but the justice of God: how could God destroy the righteous with the wicked? At the cross of Calvary God punished the Righteous One instead of the wicked. Persistently and tenderly Abraham interceded on behalf of Sodom. If only ten believers could be found- God said he would spare the whole city. In the very next chapter it indicates that Lot had at least two married daughters (vs. 14) and two single daughters (vs. 30) so, with his wife and son-in-laws, there were eight in the family. If Lot had won his own family, plus only two neighbors, God would have spared a whole city! But he failed to meet even those conditions.
Genesis Chapter 19 And the two angels came to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face to the earth; and he said, Behold now, my lords, turn aside, 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 way. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. And he urged 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. But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out unto them to the door, and shut the door after him. And he said, I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters that 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, forasmuch as they are come under the shadow of my roof. And they said, Stand back. And they said, 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 drew near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And 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. And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whomsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of the place: for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxed great before Jehovah: and Jehovah hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons-in-law, who married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for Jehovah will destroy the city. But he seemed unto his sons-in-law as one that mocked. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters that are here, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being merciful unto him; and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And 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. And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my lord: behold now, thy servant hath found favor in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy lovingkindness, which thou hast showed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest evil overtake me, and I die: behold 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. And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow the city of which thou hast spoken. Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot came unto Zoar. Then Jehovah rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before Jehovah: and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the Plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt. And 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. And the first-born 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: come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the first-born went in, and lay with her father; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the first-born 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. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. And the first-born bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.
THIS verse indicates that Lot was a saved man. He had union with the Lord, but not communion; sonship, but not fellowship. He was “saved, yet as by fire”
I Corinthians. 3:1415 If any man’s work shall abide which he built thereon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire.
Note that Lot had lost his tent. For at this time he lived in a house (vs. 3), and there is no mention of the altar. It was evening when the angels arrived, and most of the chapter events take place at night. Lot was not walking in the light. Not only had worldly Lot lost his tent and altar and his fellowship with God, but he had also lost his spiritual standards; he dared to suggest that his single daughters go out in the street to satisfy the lusts of the crowd! Lot had also lost his testimony with his own family (vs. 1214). Where did it all start? When he “lifted up his eyes”
Genesis 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the Plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before Jehovah destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt, as thou goest unto Zoar.
AND CHOSE his land. He started walking by sight, not by faith, living for the things of the world. He must have married a worldly woman, for her heart was in Sodom and she could not bear to leave the city behind.
That morning dawned bright and beautiful. People started about their daily tasksand then judgment came! The wicked cities were completely destroyed. Only Lot and his two single daughters escaped alive. Sodom’s fate is a picture of the wrath to come. When men think there is peace and safety, then destruction will fall.
I Thesalonians 5 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that aught be written unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief: for ye are all sons of light, and sons of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep, as do the rest, but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night: and they that are drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, since we are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God appointed us not into wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
Lot’s rescue, meanwhile, is an illustration of the rapture of the church prior to the pouring out of the wrath of God. The Lord rescued Lot for Abraham’s sake
Genesis 19:29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.
AND He will deliver His church from the wrath to come for Jesus’ sake
I Thesalonians. 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivereth us from the wrath to come.
Lot’s final days were full of darkness and sin as he committed incest in a cave. He forsook a tent for a house in the city, and ended up in a cave, made drunk by his own daughters! The children of this horrible scene, the Moabites and Ammonites, have been enemies of the Jews for centuries, illustrating that the flesh fights against the Spirit. We must be sure we are in the will of God when we settle down with our family. Lot chose the wrong place and ruined himself and his loved ones. It is interesting to contrast the two visits in chapters 18 and 19. Christ Himself visited Abraham, but only the angels went to Sodom to visit Lot. Christ had a message of joy for Abraham and Sarah, but the angels gave a message of judgment to Lot. Abraham was visited in the daytime but Lot in the evening. Abraham was at a tent door; Lot at the city gate. Abraham had power with God but Lot had no influence even with his own family. Abraham saw Sodom destroyed and lost nothing, but Lot lost everything. Only his life was spared. Abraham brought the world blessing, but Lot brought trouble into the world (the Ammonites and Moabites). Anyway, my friends, what kind of life are you really living? Which of these two would you be most like Abraham or Lot? Remember when all is said and done the truth will be all that is left. Perhaps you may wish to adopt a few simple rules I share often with my children. Do what is right and be faithful today. If we honestly do that then we are never to proud to humbly change when we know we should. Keep looking up and remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem this year.
In His Service,
All Scripture is taken from the 1901 ASV unless otherwise noted