Sodom and Gomorrah

Chapter 3 - The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

In Genesis 18, God told Abraham that He was about to judge Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin was so great (v16-22). Abraham knew Lot was there, so was concerned that Lot was going to be destroyed in the Judgement. He humbly prayed the first prayer of intercession recorded in the Bible, asking God to save the righteous from this Judgement, pleading: 

"Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” (v23). 

He was obviously mainly concerned for Lot and his family. Abraham assumed there must be at least 10 righteous in the City, through Lot’s family and his witness, so he said to the Lord: “Suppose 10 should be found there?" 
And He said, "I will not destroy it for the sake of 10" (v32)
 
Thus Abram got God’s promise He would not destroy Sodom, 
if it just had 10 believers in it, and so he stopped his petition. 


v33: “So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished 
speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.” 


Abraham must have thought that he had successfully averted the destruction of both Sodom and Lot and his family by his prayers. 
Little did he know that there were only 3 righteous in Sodom. Nevertheless, God did hear his request to save the righteous, including Lot, from Judgement as we shall see in Genesis 19. 

Abraham thought Lot would have got at least 10 saved, even if it was just his family. He thought that God had heard his prayer (and He had), but things did not work out as he thought they would and this would have been a major test of his faith, for the next day, 
he woke up, looked and saw smoke rising from Sodom:
 

Genesis 19:27-29: “Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the Land of the Plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like 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 had dwelt.” 

This was a big test of Abraham’s faith. To the natural eye, it must have looked like Lot died, despite his prayers. He did not know that God had indeed answered his prayers and sent angels to rescue Lot. He would not have found out for some time that Lot and his 2 daughters were still alive. Perhaps discouragement helped to lead him to fall into sin soon after (see Genesis 20). Likewise, it is a test for us when we are following the Lord, and we pray for something, and it does not seem to happen the way we want it to. 

Our faith in God has to be deep. It is not just believing God for our needs to be met. Our faith has got to be deeper than the problem we 

see, so that even when things happen that we do not understand, 
we still trust God and don’t blame Him. Perhaps we pray and do everything right, but it does not happen the way we thought it should. It must have seemed that God let Abraham down big time. 
But he later found out what happened and learned a big lesson. 

So, years later on, when God gave him the biggest test of all (to sacrifice his only son Isaac), he passed it. God had promised him that through Isaac, God’s covenant with him would be fulfilled. Now it seemed God was going back on His promise, but Abraham had learned that whatever he saw with his eyes, or felt about the situation, however impossible it looked, he knew that God would not let him down. He knew that his understanding was limited and that God was right. So Abraham offered up Isaac with full confidence that God would raise him from the dead. 

Believing God, putting our ultimate trust in God is the mark of a spiritual believer. This strong faith allowed him to trust God’s promise of a son even when it seemed impossible in the natural. 

Genesis 19 tells the story of God’s JUDGEMENT of the wicked and His SALVATION of the righteous (believers). 

Genesis 19:1-3: “Now the 2 angels came to Sodom in the evening and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, "Here now, my lords, please 

turn in to your servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way." And they said, "No, but we will spend the night in the open square." But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.” 

The angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot showed godly hospitality to them. Men of God were very hospitable and this is a mark of a believer. They entered his house and he made them a feast. It is strange that he had to do it rather than his wife. His wife was one of these people who seems to be a believer, but is not. She went along with Lot, but didn’t really believe. When the crunch came she showed her true colours and so came under judgement.

Genesis 19:4,5: “Now before they lay down, the men of the City, the men of Sodom, both old and young, ALL the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally (sexually)." 

This event reveals the depravity of the people of Sodom. They all heard that there are some new good looking men in town, and they wanted to gang-rape them. The whole City was corrupted this way. They all wanted sex with these young men. If you yield to sin, it will get a stronger hold on you. They had yielded more and more 

and so had now become totally depraved (given over to sin). The act of homosexual intercourse (whether anal or oral) is called sodomy, after these men of Sodom. This open rampant homosexuality in Sodom was a symptom of something deeper that had happened in that society. It was an outward sign that the City had turned away from God (see Romans 1:20-32, and Appendix 2). 

Genesis 19:6-8: “So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him and said, "Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! See now, I have 2 daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof." 

This reveals how much Lot had compromised in his morality by choosing to live in Sodom, being willing to sacrifice his daughters.
Lot tried to protect them by offering his daughters instead! 
What would you think of your father if he did that to you! Horrific! 

Can you see how he is compromising to the spirit of Sodom, making political compromises for a quiet life? He was always tolerating and negotiating with sin, rather than resisting it. How could Lot even think about sacrificing his daughter to the mob? He had lost that strength of faith, the absolute values of right and wrong. He had allowed himself to become compromised and conformed to the world around him, to a degree acting like them.

Genesis 19:9: “And they said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.” But the men of Sodom had no respect for him. said: “get out the way Lot.” When he finally told them they were being wicked (v7), they just mocked and rejected him, saying: 
“we are going to rape you too that’s what we think of you.” 

They had no respect for him for they knew he had compromised. He was trying to be above them, but they said: “you’re really just like us.” (You can respect someone with whom you disagree if he is consistent). Lot, as a compromised believer, didn’t have the respect of the people in the city or of his wife. When believers compromise they think they’ve got everything - they are going to heaven and are also on good terms with the world. But you must either serve God first or things. By giving the world first priority, they will find like Lot, that the world does not respect them. 
Lot could not even bring his wife to the Lord. When he talked to the people of Sodom they just laughed at him. We might think we are buddies with the world and by compromising, we don’t stand out from the world and so we avoid criticism, but when we are like that we are not respected. They are thinking: “he calls himself a Christian, but he is no different from us” This describes Lot. 


Genesis 19:10,11: “But the men (the angels) 
reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.” 

Lot failed to turn the men of Sodom away from the attempted rape of the angels. They pulled Lot back into the house, shut the door 
and struck the Sodomites with blindness (a picture of their spiritual blindness). They had lost their bearings, all sense of right and wrong, and were given over to depravity. Notice that being struck blind did not stop them trying to find the door! They still were desperate to have their sexual urges satisfied - that is how deep sin had become in Sodom. God always waits until sin reaches its fullness and then He will judge it. God also judged Sodom to stop its sin from spreading all over the world. 

Genesis 19:12-14: “Then the men said to Lot, "Have you anyone else here? son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the City - take them out of this place! For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it." So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, "Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this City!" But to his sons-in-law 

he seemed to be joking.” He said:“Go, tell all your relatives to get out of here, for the Lord is about to destroy this City.” 

Lot tried to speak to his relatives: “get out for the Lord is going to destroy this City”, but he seemed to be as one who mocked (v14). 
They had no respect for Lot, for his life didn't match his words. 

Matthew 5:13: “You are the SALT of the earth; but if the SALT loses its savour, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” 

The Salt is God’s Word in us. But if it gets mixed together with the values of the world (compromise), then it loses its saltiness (savour). Lot was: ‘salt that lost its savour’ (in his witness and effectiveness) that Jesus said gets: ‘trampled under foot (rejected) by men’ (not by God, for if you are a believer God still loves you, but your witness to men will be rejected and have little effect). We need to keep full of God’s Word, so that we have the spiritual strength within to overcome the pressures of the world to compromise. In this way, we stay salty and are an effective witness. 

Genesis 19:15,16: “When morning arose, the angels HASTENED Lot saying “Arise, take your wife and two daughters lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the City, and while he LINGERED, they LAID HOLD on his hands and his wife’s and his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him and they BROUGHT him forth and SET him outside the City.”

If you were told a nuclear bomb was going to hit your City in an hour you would flee! But you might be so attached to your present life and your possessions, that you do not want to leave them. That was problem for Lot and his family. Their comfort and the things of this life were too important to them, and it was hard for them to let them go. They were so attached to Sodom, that they did not want to go. They wanted to pack as much as possible. They were not trusting God to look after them in the future. They spent so long lingering, that the angels had to drag them out of the City!

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