Genesis 19v12-29: The Destruction of Sodom

Gen 19:12  And 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:

Gen 19:13  For 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.

Gen 19:14  And 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.

Gen 19:15  And 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.

Gen 19:16  And 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.

Gen 19:17  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.

Gen 19:18  And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:

Gen 19:19  Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

Gen 19:20  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.

Gen 19:21  And 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.

Gen 19:22  Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

Gen 19:23  The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

Gen 19:24  Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

Gen 19:25  And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Gen 19:26  But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Gen 19:27  And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:

Gen 19:28  And 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.

Gen 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 the which Lot dwelt.

The angels told Lot who they were, and what the mission that had brought them to Sodom, and they charged him to flee from the city with his wife and his four daughters, two of them married, and two betrothed. Lot communicated their bidding to his sons-in-law, and they mocked at him, and said: “O thou fool! Violins, cymbals, and flutes resound in the city, and thou sayest Sodom will be destroyed!” Such scoffing but hastened the execution of the doom of Sodom. The angel Michael laid hold upon the hand of Lot, and his wife and his daughters, while with his little finger the angel Gabriel touched the rock whereon the sinful cities were built, and overturned them. At the same time the rain that was streaming down upon the two cities was changed into brimstone.

When the angels had brought forth Lot and his family and set them without the city, he bade them run for their lives, and not look behind, lest they behold the Shekinah, which had descended to work the destruction of the cities. The wife of Lot could not control herself. Her mother love made her look behind to see if her married daughters were following. She beheld the Shekinah, and she became a pillar of salt. This pillar exists unto this day. The cattle lick it all day long, and in the evening it seems to have disappeared, but when morning comes it stands there as large as before.

The savior angel had urged Lot himself to take refuge with Abraham. But he refused, and said: “As long as I dwelt apart from Abraham, God compared my deeds with the deeds of my fellow-citizens, and among them I appeared as a righteous man. If I should return to Abraham, God will see that his good deeds outweigh mine by far.” The angel then granted his plea that Zoar be left undestroyed. This city had been founded a year later than the other four; it was only fifty-one years old, and therefore the measure of its sins was not so full as the measure of the sins of the neighboring cities.

The destruction of the cities of the plain took place at dawn of the sixteenth day of Nisan, for the reason that there were moon and sun worshippers among the inhabitants. God said: “If I destroy them by day, the moon worshippers will say, Were the moon here, she would prove herself our savior; and if I destroy them by night, the sun worshippers will say, Were the sun here, he would prove himself our savior. I will therefore let their chastisement overtake them on the sixteenth day of Nisan at an hour at which the moon and the sun are both in the skies.”

The sinful inhabitants of the cities of the plain not only lost their life in this world, but also their share in the future world. As for the cities themselves, however, they will be restored in the Messianic time.

The destruction of Sodom happened at the time at which Abraham was performing his morning devotions, and for his sake it was established as the proper hour for the morning prayer unto all times. When he turned his eyes toward Sodom and beheld the rising smoke, he prayed for the deliverance of Lot, and God granted his petition–the fourth time that Lot became deeply indebted to Abraham. Abraham had taken him with him to Palestine, he had made him rich in flocks, herds, and tents, he had rescued him from captivity, and by his prayer he saved him from the destruction of Sodom. The descendants of Lot, the Ammonites and the Moabites, instead of showing gratitude to the Israelites, the posterity of Abraham, committed four acts of hostility against them. They sought to compass the destruction of Israel by means of Balaam’s curses, they waged open war against him at the time of Jephthah, and also at the time of Jehoshaphat, and finally they manifested their hatred against Israel at the destruction of the Temple. Hence it is that God appointed four prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Zephaniah, to proclaim punishment unto the descendants of Lot, and four times their sin is recorded in Holy Writ.

Though Lot owed his deliverance to the petition of Abraham, yet it was at the same time his reward for not having betrayed Abraham in Egypt, when he pretended to be the brother of Sarah. But a greater reward still awaits him. The Messiah will be a descendant of his, for the Moabitess Ruth is the great-grandmother of David, and the Ammonitess Naamah is the mother of Rehoboam, and the Messiah is of the line of these two kings.

-The Legends of the Jews, By Louis Ginzberg

 

Gen 19:12  And 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:

Gen 19:13  For 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.

Gen 19:14  And 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.

Gen 19:15  And 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.

 

Lot – Righteous man, unrighteous choices

The Bible calls Lot a righteous man, but his actions so far have said something that seems completely different.

First we saw that Lot moved toward Sodom and that eventually Sodom moved into him.  Now we see that his actions have hurt his relationships with his family and with His God.

 

  1. His family scoffs at him

 

Lot goes to his sons in law to warn them but they scoffed at him.  That is a striking example of how our actions speak to those around us.  First the men of the city tell him to stand back, or get out of the way and now his sons are scoffing at Lot.  We can say all the religious things that we want but our actions tell the truth

 

Gen 19:15  And 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.

Gen 19:16  And 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.

 

  1. His failure stops him

 

Lot lingers because he truly doesn’t want to leave the city, even after he has been warned so many times.  Finally the angels TAKE Lot and his family out of the city

 

Gen 19:17  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.

Gen 19:18  And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:

Gen 19:19  Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

Gen 19:20  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.

Gen 19:21  And 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.

Gen 19:22  Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

Gen 19:23  The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

 

  1. His fear stalls the work of the Lord

 

Zoar means little one

 

Lot, still acting out of fear, asks the angels if he can go to another city, even though they tell him to go to the mountains.  Now Lot has lost belief in the Lord.  Sin always starts with something “little” that grows into something big that causes us to run from the Lord.

 

Gen 19:24  Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

Gen 19:25  And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Gen 19:26  But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Gen 19:27  And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:

Gen 19:28  And 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.

Gen 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 the which Lot dwelt.

 

  1. His faithlessness hurts his spouse

 

As they are fleeing for their safety, his wife looks back and she is turned into a pillar of salt.  His family is affected by his bad choices.  It not only hurt his son’s – in – law and his wife but we will see that it also hurts his daughters.

 

Many times we might feel like Lot and we can allow ourselves to be:

 

Deflated by your situation

Or dejected by your surroundings

And defeated by your society

 

But through the Lord we will be

 

Fed by Scripture

Filled with the Spirit

Fulfilled by the Son

 

Many scholars say that this episode is a picture of the rapture, Lot being the type of Christians in the future who are carried away before destruction comes to this sinful world.  Regardless of what you believe about the end times, Lot still can stand as an example for us by showing us the enormous amount of grace that the Lord shows to us, especially when we lose our way. 

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About Clint Rodgers

I am a father of 2 wonderful children and the husband of a beautiful woman who has taught me more about compassion for goofballs than I could have ever learned. I have know Jesus for many years but about 5 years ago I truly met Him and now I do my best to follow Him as I walk in this world
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