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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Genessis

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FRAMEWORKS: Genesis 19: Lot & the destruction of Sodom


v.1-3 Lot Greets the Angels

v.4,5 The Sin of Sodom evidenced

v.6-9 Lot protests but the men continue

v.10-11 The Angels act to thwart them

v.12-14 The Angels share their intentions

v.15-22 The Angels get resisting Lot out of the town

v.23-29 Sodom & Gomorrah destroyed – and Lot's wife

v.30-38 Lot and His Daughters



v.1-3 Lot Greets the Angels


v.1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground.

v.2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”

v.3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.


[Notes: The gateway was usually the place where the elders of the city gathered – and Lot is there! He greets the two angels [again whether he is aware who they are is uncertain]. They say they will stay overnight in the square but he insists they come to his home – which they do – and he feeds them.]



v.4,5 The Sin of Sodom evidenced


v.4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house.

v.5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”


[Notes: Word gets out that there are male strangers in the city. The measure of the city's depravity is revealed when a crowd gathers outside demanding to have sex with them.]



v.6-9 Lot protests but the men continue


v.6,7 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing.

v.8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

v.9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.


[Notes: Lot goes outside and whether his reference to friends is real or simply being diplomatic is unclear, but he offers the crowd his daughters. Whatever way you look at this the intended debauchery (and his response) is terrible and they threaten Lot.]



v.10-11 The Angels act to thwart them


v.10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door.

v.11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.


[Notes: The angels pull him inside and blind the men outside.]



v.12-14 The Angels share their intentions


v.12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here,

v.13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”

v.14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.


[Notes: The angels tell Lot they are going to destroy the city and he should get his family out of it as quickly as possible. He tells his potential sons-in-law but they laugh at him.]



v.15-22 The Angels get resisting Lot out of the town


v.15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

v.16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.

v.17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

v.18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please!

v.19 Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die.

v.20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn't it? Then my life will be spared.”

v.21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of.

v.22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar. [Zoar means small ])


[Notes: In the morning the angels urge him to leave with his family but he hesitated. In all of this Lot's foolishness is clearly apparent – coming to this city, settling in it and becoming part of it although it's state was obvious, and now hesitating to leave when warned. The angels grab he and his close family and lead them out of the city and tell them to flee. Lot tries to stop them [his folly gets worse] and pleads to go to a nearby small city. [his heart does not want to leave the area despite its depravity] The angels concede to his request and send him off in haste.]



v.23-29 Sodom & Gomorrah destroyed – and Lot's wife


v.23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land.

v.24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens.

v.25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land.

v.26 But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

v.27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord.

v.28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.

v.29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.


[Notes: The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah takes place, the cities and the plain. Lot's wife delays and is engulfed by the destruction and is left as a pillar of chemicals. From a distance Abram sees what has happened. It was only for him that the Lord spared Lot.]



v.30-38 Lot and His Daughters


v.30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave.

v.31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth.

v.32 Let's get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

v.33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

v.34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let's get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.”

v.35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

v.36 So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father.

v.37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab [Moab sounds like the Hebrew for from father]; he is the father of the Moabites of today.

v.38   The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi [Ben-Ammi means son of my father's people.]; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.


[Notes: Lot eventually takes to the mountains as the angels had advised. Because they are far from the nearest civilisation the daughters fear they will remain without a partner and will remain childless, they get their father drunk, have sex with him, and both become pregnant. From every angle this chapter reveals a low point of humanity.]



Lessons or Challenges to Ponder from Genesis Chapter 19


1. The example of the men of Sodom, determined to have sex when men visitors should, hopefully, cause us to squirm, but it shows us the level of depravity of that city. Terminal judgment seems to be brought by the Lord (i.e. death!) when it appears the situation has got so bad that it has gone beyond repentance and if allowed to continue will spread and cause more harm to God's world. That obviously was so of Sodom.

2. Lot's offer of his daughters is equally horrendous and so Lot being spared by God must be an act of mercy that is built on Lot's relationship with Abram and nothing else. From various things (e.g. v.1 Lot sitting in the gate of the city is sitting where the elders of the city sat and therefore indicates his unity with this permissive authority.)

3. The behaviour of Lot's daughters afterwards is compatible with the times where continuing the family name was considered so important – but not something to be seen as an example to follow.

4. Everything about this chapter is, to use an old-fashioned word, unseemly, and yet (and again, it must only be to honour Abraham's name) we find years later when the land of Canaan is being handed out to Israel, a portion is specifically given to Lot's descendants – see Deut 2:9,19. As we see later in the Bible with David, the name of a person can be so esteemed in heaven that it has impact on the future workings of the kingdom of God. Can we perhaps walk in the footsteps of such honoured men?



Continue to Chapter 20