“The destruction of Sin”
II. Vs. 1-11 What’s the world coming too?
III. Vs. 12-38 Getting the World out of us
You are hard pressed to find a more depressing chapter in the Bible then the 19th chapter of Genesis; homosexuality, attempted rape, prostitution, incest and the love of a city in which the practice of such things was thought of as normal are all a part of this chapter. One wonders why such a chapter is included in scripture. Several things need to be mentioned up front:
- Because the Bible reports such sins is in no way suggestive that God is in favor of them.
- When the Bible reports events like these it does so to show us two things:
- What sins lie in the flesh of un-repentive man, Paul write as much in 1 Cor. 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man”.
- Second, the Bible mentions them in full view of what the outcome of such behaviors are both practically as well as spiritually! God has seen fit to record these event in order that we might see in others the ugliness of sin, the eventual outcome of sin, death and judgment.
In the world these behaviors are glorified and even encouraged without any thought given to the repercussions of their continual practice. In the Bible, we see how morally degrading people become who live life without any restraints. The world does not need reform; it does not need education on how to perform practices in ways that does not cause personal harm. It needs to be changed, turned from behaviors!
II. Vs. 1-10 What’s the world coming too?
Vs. 1 These are the two angels that we were in 18:22 that turned and went toward Sodom. Upon arriving in Sodom they quickly find Lot, “sitting in the gate” which was the place where the leaders of the city would come and handle the complaints of the city; today we would call it “city hall”. Finding Lot at “city hall” reveals the steady progression of compromise in Lots life.
- 13:10 Lot was looking toward Sodom.
- 13:12 Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom.
- 14:12 Lot is living in Sodom.
- 19:1 Lot is a civic leader in Sodom.
All of this had taken place within a span of 30 years which shows that a people fall happens through a series of compromises, not all at once. Lot’s testimony for the Lord towards the world was destroyed by his compromise with it!
Vs. 2-3 Lot offered the same hospitality to the two angels as did Abraham yet the urgency in which he offers it is vastly different.
- Abraham offered hospitality with urgency for the sake wanting to spend time with the Lord.
- The words “insisted strongly” caries the idea that “Lot wouldn’t take NO for an answer!” Lot offered hospitality with urgency to keep them safely away from the world in which he had compromised with.
Just because someone is aware of sin and even grieved by it does not indicate that they are an influence for righteousness around it! Based upon the words of verse 9 telling us that Lot “kept acting as a judge” we know that he was vocal against the behavior of Sodom yet while he was compromising with it he was not demonstrating his conviction with the way in which he lived among them. Lots house was no doubt a pleasant place to stay at. It may have had some bible verses on the fridge, some religious art work on the walls, yet the truth of Lots conviction needed to be more than just inside the walls of his home it needed to be visible in every corner of his life! We can’t proclaim the truth of the gospel to the lost if we ourselves are living outwardly just like them!
Vs. 4-5 One of the sins in which this city is connected is here mentioned for the first time in the Bible. Several things need to be mentioned in light of this based upon the text:
- We are told that this sin included ALL the men of the city such as they were.
- They were totally consumed with the practice of it, as they wasted no time in arriving at Lots door.
- The practice of this sin had crossed all social lines of society as we are told that “old and young, as well as those from every quarter of the city” came to Lots house.
- There can be no question as to the sin as we are told that it was so that they could “know them carnally”. That is they wished to have sexual intercourse with them.
Today this sin is either treated as the worst of all sins or it is treated as something a person is born with like the color of their hair; it is neither. Here is what the Bible has to say about it:
- Lev. 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”
- Rom. 1:26-28 “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;”
- 1 Cor 6:9 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites”.
There is nothing “gay”, happy or carefree about this CHOOSEN lifestyle which has these statistics:
- Homosexual advocates promote their lifestyle as being exactly like everyone else except that they are attracted to people of the same sex. Yet their conduct does not bear witness of their statement.
- 43% of homosexuals say they have had 500 or more sexual partners in their life time compared to only 1% of heterosexuals who have said they have had four and under sexual partners in their life time. The Department of Health and Human Services surveyed Homosexuals where 77% said that they regularly had sex in a public park, 62% said they regularly engaged in sex at homosexual bars, 61% said they did so regularly in a movie theater & 31% said they did so in a public bathroom. Only 28% of homosexuals when asked said they had known their sexual partners for at least a week before participating in sex.
- Homosexual advocates proclaim that over 10% of the population is homosexual but the most reliable statistics show that only 2.3% of men in their 20’s & 30’s ever report to having had a homosexual experience & only 1.1 % say that they are exclusively homosexual.
- Romans 1:28 again says that because man “did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting.” Thus it is no surprise that some 2% of our society is practicing the sin of Homosexuality as it no longer retains the knowledge of God. Perhaps one finds this sin more among men than women because males wish to pursue uninhibited sex without rejection and sex with other men offers an easier path to this?
Now the good news is that the sin of homosexuality like any other sin is one in which a person can repent of and be changed, washed, sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus by the Spirit of God.
Vs. 6-8 The response of Lot to the sinful actions and suggestions of the men of the city reveals several things about Lot.
- As he goes out to face a mob and shuts the door behind him show courage as well as care for the guests he had.
- Yet with calling this homosexual mob “my brethren” it shows that perhaps Lot had adopted a “live and let live” attitude towards their behavior.
- Vs. 8 The fact that he suggests the willingness to sacrifice his virgin daughters could be understood on several levels:
- He had obviously maintained some order in the home, as they were still virgins.
- It reveals how they viewed hospitality as being of greater importance then family relations.
- It shows the low state that women occupied in that society.
- Lot understood that these men had a bent towards homosexuality and would not want his daughters, so he was just buying time.
- It also reveals that through compromise Lot had become confused on how to handle a sinful world so he suggests a wrong to correct a wrong.
- Finally it could be that Lot understood who his guests were and was hoping that they would intervene.
Vs. 9-11 The words of the homosexual mob “stand back” in the Hebrew can mean “you just come near” which shows the little effect Lot had had upon the citizens of Sodom. He had been little more than the “censor” of Sodom to which they had tolerated for some time probably because of his relationship to Abraham who had saved their city. So they made him a leader in the city and even give room for his rhetoric but now unless Lot gives over his angelic guests to be raped they will have their way on him. Compromise had not changed or even impacted the city. The striking of the physical blindness led them to obvious mental confusion to which they became weary in finding the door to Lots house. How appropriate is this that physical blindness matched moral and spiritual condition?
III. Vs. 12-38 Getting the World out of us
Vs. 12 The angels now enquire as to Lots family so they may be spared judgment because of their relationship with Lot. It is interesting that not only those that were related to him but those that belonged to him were included. Remember back in chapter 13:6-7 that Lot had herdsmen yet none of these men leave with him.
Vs. 13 The angels announce in plain terms the plan for Sodom:
- The Lord is the one that sent them to destroy Sodom and its surrounding towns.
- The reason for the destruction was that the “outcry against them had grown great” in other words they had increased in wickedness.
Vs. 14 Lot shows at once that he believed the testimony of these two angels and goes to rescue his two sons in law. The Bible forbids mixed marriages and being unequally yoked to unbelievers. As Lot moved his family closer to Sodom his daughters married Sodomite husbands, to go along with his Sodomite wife. The lesson for us is simple if we compromise with the world in order to reach the world then it is not the believer that is impacting the society in which they live it is the society impacting the believer. Peter tells us in 2 Peter 2:7-8 that “Lot was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)”. Yet with that said his life was a wasted life having accomplished nothing. He had been in politics yet that had not reformed the habits of the city all of this had left him corrupted even to his family and friends.
Vs. 15 It seems as though Lot had until daybreak to convince the rest of his family and friends yet none came. In the morning it is Lot that has to be urged to leave which reveals that though he was grieved by the condition of Sodom his heart was also in its ways. The truth is we often hate the sins of the world at the same time we support its influences. Lot serves as a vivid picture of a man who God had a hold of but did not hold on God.
Vs. 16 Lot is in the worst of positions: “Too much of the Lord to be happy in the world & too much of world to be happy in the Lord!” Lot does what we all do when we know what we ought to do but for the love of the flesh don’t do it, PROCRASTINATE. We cannot be sure but from the beginning we have seen Lot want material things, (he chose the fertile plain of Sodom and moved closer and closer to its economic lure). How could Lot have such affection upon a place where the men were the night before were going to rape him to satisfy their lust? But just as the men of the city were blinded by their lust so too is Lot and his family as they are led out by grasping their hands. This shows what incredible pull the flesh has against the Spirit. God’s word through Jeremiah in Lam. 3:22-23 ring true, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Vs. 17 The angels give four instructions to Lot and his family as they are fleeing “sin city”. These are good instructions for anyone that has to deal with the temptation of compromise with the flesh & the world:
- “Escape for your life”: The only thing to do with temptation is to flee for your life! Hesitation will often mean personal destruction so we need to recognize that to linger will cost us.
- “Do not look behind you”: The word “look” means to “look with longing”. “Don’t play with temptation”, far too many times we see how close the fire can burn down upon the match before we feel the heat of the flame!
- “Nor stay anywhere in the plain”: This deals with where we go after we have “escaped with our lives”; “don’t look to live in a place you have just escaped from”. Amazing how accurate this is in my own life as I end up with depraved déjà vu repeating my same mistakes again and again.
- “Escape to the mountains”: If we shouldn’t “stay in the plain” where should we go? God will have the answer which the Psalmist put so gloriously in 61:2 “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Vs. 18-22 What a pathetic picture of a compromised life pleading to be able to still have a little of the world he was forced to leave behind. Lot fails to realize the same thing that we often do that a “little” of the world is a very dangerous thing. In comparing Lots prayer with Abraham’s in the previous chapter we see that Abraham made his appeal by seeing himself as “dust and ashes”; Lot appeals in verse 19 upon what he has done. Lot obviously sees his “soul living” only through compromise with the world yet the truth is that even a little of the world is far too much for our soul to live! The Lord destroyed a city, which had not 10 righteous and yet saves this city of Zoar (small or little), with none righteous because of Abraham who had intercede on its behalf. None of this will take place until Lot & his family has been removed.
Vs. 23-25 We are told four things in these verses:
- “The sun was risen upon the earth”: The time of destruction was when Lot was safe in a “little world”.
- “The LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah”: The extent of judgment to which Deut. 29: 23 adds, “the whole land including the cites of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim”.
- “Brimstone and fire”: Here we are told the method of judgment upon the area.
- Vs. 25 “He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” God’s judgment of these sites and area were complete and permanent.
Vs. 26 We come now to the strange story of Lots wife. Literally it reads “she looked back from behind” which speaks to the fact that she either lagged behind or turned back. Thus she was caught in the destruction as she may have been on the way out of Sodom physically but spiritually she was very much at home in the world. Jesus used this very situation as a warning in Luke 17:32-33 when He said, “Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”
Vs, 27-29 God answered the prayer of Abraham even if it was not the way in which he had thought, saving four and one of them chose the world. Before you feel sorry for the people of Sodom remember that they had been the beneficiaries of God’s faithfulness towards their land, they had their city delivered from destruction and captivity by Abraham, finally they had even heard of the testimony of Melchizedek and Lot yet still they did not repent.
Vs. 30-38 This is such a disgusting section I will only point out four things:
- Vs. 30-31 Lot does not want to go to the mountain when the Lord told too but in his own strength he goes. This just shows you Lots problem all along rebellion and disobedience to the Word of God.
- Vs. 32 Lot had lost everything and yet still managed to take wine out of Sodom. Of all the things to try and keep from world, “If you got to leave the world might as well take a little of it with ya!”
- Vs. 33-36 The very thing that Lot was going to allow the Sodomites to do his daughters he himself does by compromising with the world. Though this case of incest is not specifically condemned because of the Mosaic laws against incest had not been given makes it no less disgusting. They knew that their father would not consent to this so they got him drunk to get descendants instead of trusting in God.
- Vs. 37-38 The offspring from this incest became the Moabites and the Ammonites who were continual thorns in the side of Israel.
Lots life ended in ruin not only for him but also for his prosperity. Lot is not mentioned again in the OT, and the time and place of his death are unknown. Such is the outcome of a person who is carnal in their faith.