Chapter 3 - The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - Part 2

They could only take a few things with them, but what they did take revealed their priorities. There is one thing we know they packed. In the mountains, his daughters got him drunk with wine! If you are running away, you do not go to your cellar and get your 

wines out! That is how attached they were to the things of this world. The daughters saw how the whole region was dead (with no men left) and got desperate! They planned to have sex with their father Lot in order to have children, so they got him drunk with the wine they had carried out from the City (Genesis 19:30-38)! They thought: ‘We must have children.’ Instead of trusting God they went for a quick fix. Again we see the result of Lot living in Sodom and compromising with its values. It led to both him and his daughters’ having a serious lack of morality: Firstly, with Lot allowing himself to get drunk, then with his daughters commiting incest with him! 

There is a clear contrast here with Abraham and Sarah, who trusted God for their son, Isaac. Lot communicated compromised values to his children. The example he set of sacrificing his daughters to be raped, must have told them that incest was okay in this crisis. Their values were all messed up, for he had told them to believe in God, but when push came to shove, he was ready to let them be raped. Lot’s life didn’t match his words. The result was Moab and Ammon, who were mostly unbelievers (see Genesis 19:30-38).

Genesis 19:17: “When they has brought them out, he (the angel) said, “Escape for your life; don’t look behind you, nor stay in all the Plain; escape to the Mountain, lest you be consumed.” 

This shows that Judgement was going to fall on the whole Plain, not just upon the Cities. You would have thought that Lot would 

be grateful for being saved, but he said to them: "Please, no, my lords! Indeed now, your servant has found favour in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I can’t escape to the mountains lest some evil overtake me and I die. See now, this City is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live" (Genesis 19:18-20). 

Despite being dramatically rescued by God, he is still thinking of his immediate comfort. His needs must come first. Surely God had demonstrated His loving faithfulness to look after him and provide for him. God knew what was best for Lot. He would have protected him and led him on to a good place to live. But Lot did not trust God, and he had to come up with his own plan to keep himself in comfort, even though it meant continuing to live in one of those evil Cities that God counted worthy of destruction! He wanted God to spare the City, just so he could live in comfort. It was all about him and his needs, not the will of God. These are all the marks of a carnal believer. Amazingly, God answered his request and allows Lot to go to live in Zoar - the small City at the southern end of the Dead Sea, not far south of Sodom, anything to get him out!: 

Genesis 19:21-23: “And he said to him, "See, I have favoured you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this City for which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there. 

For I cannot do anything until you arrive there." 
Therefore the name of the City was called Zoar. 
The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar.”

God could not judge until righteous Lot was safe, showing how, in His Mercy, God delivers believers from Judgement. Moreover, God did not destroy Zoar at that time, for Lot’s sake, since he was living there, which proved that God would not judge a City, while even one righteous was present, which was the intent of Abraham’s prayer. This demonstrates that believers do not share in the Judgement of the unbelievers, but that God delivers them from it before it falls, just as He did in His first great Judgement, saving Noah and his family in the Ark, before the Flood covered the earth. 

As soon as Lot entered Zoar, God sent Judgement down on Sodom: 

Genesis 19:24,25: “Then the Lord (the Son) rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah BRIMSTONE and FIRE (burning sulphur balls) from the Lord (the Father) out of the heavens. So He overthrew the Cities and all the Plain and all the people of the Cities and whatever grew on the ground.” 

This shows that not only were the Cities destroyed by burning sulphur balls, but also the whole area of the surrounding Plain was devastated, so that all vegatation was destroyed. It was a scene of total destruction. Nothing could survive. This is confirmed in 

Genesis 19:28: “He looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and 
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.” 

Also, the whole Land must have sunk, forming the Dead Sea at this time (Genesis 13:10, 14:3,8,10). This Judgement is used elsewhere in the Bible as an example of a Judgement of total destruction where nothing survives, left as a sign to future generations:

Isaiah 1:9-10: “Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah. Hear the Word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the Law of our God, you people of Gomorrah.” 

Romans 9:29 (from Isaiah 1:9): “As Isaiah said before: “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom,and we would have been made like Gomorrah.” 

Isaiah 13:19,20: “Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation.” 

Jeremiah 50:40: “As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbours,” says the Lord, “So no one shall reside there,
nor son of man dwell in it” (see also Jeremiah 49:18).

Hosea 11:8: “How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like ADMAH? How can I set you like ZEBOIIM? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred.”

Zephaniah 2:9: “Therefore, as I live,” says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Surely Moab shall be like Sodom, and the people of Ammon like Gomorrah—overrun with weeds and salt pits, and a perpetual desolation.”

Not only was the destruction TOTAL, it was SWIFT and SUDDEN!

Lamentations 4:6: “The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, with no hand to help her!” We can also prove this from the timings:

Genesis 19:23,24: “The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. THEN the Lord (the Son) rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah BRIMSTONE and FIRE (burning sulphur balls) from the Lord (the Father) out of the heavens.” 

Genesis 19:27,28:
 “And 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.” 

The Lord sent the Judgement down at sunrise, when Lot entered Zoar, and very soon after Abraham looked toward the Plain and saw that it had been totally destroyed. So it all happened suddenly. 

God would have destroyed Zoar also, but for Lot’s sake, He put Zoar off limits, so that the whole area was destroyed up to the gates of Zoar (that’s how much He loved carnal Lot!). 

This is confirmed when we see what happened to Lot’s wife: 

Genesis 19:26: “But Lot’s wife looked back from behind him and became a PILLAR of SALT.” 

She lingered behind. Her heart was back in Sodom. She did not want to leave that life, and the things she had. Had Lot been stronger in faith, perhaps he could have influenced her more, but he did not have the concern for her, or the moral authority to grab her hand and lead her to safety. Now that she had fallen behind, Lot could not go back to get or even turn around to look for her, without disobeying God’s instructions in Genesis 19:17 (“don’t even look behind you”). But she disobeyed God’s clear command. Instead of believing His Word, she wanted to see what would happen, and so while Lot entered Zoar, she looked back and was turned into a Pillar of Salt. Clearly, at the same time as the Fire and Brimstone came down, God also sent a massive wave of SALT, that covered the whole area around Sodom, including Lot’s wife, who, through lingering, was still in the Judgement Zone when it hit. 

As the salt covered her she was instantly turned into a ‘pillar of salt’ 
When the Judgement hit, the whole area was salted, and she was quickly covered in salt, and petrified as a monument. Many salt formations are still there now, and one is even called Lot’s wife! 

She was not a believer, she just went along with Lot’s faith, but in the end, she was revealed for who she really was, and was judged along with the wicked. Jesus said: “remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32). Don’t be like her. 

The salt wave centred on Sodom, but obviously did not reach as far south as Zoar. This is perfectly confirmed by what we find today. This is the saltiest place on earth! The Sea is rightly called the Dead Sea for no living thing can live in it, because it is totally saturated with SALT. The ashen area of Sodom, in particular, has a massive Salt Mountain right next to it. However the salted area does not extend as far south as the ashen area of Zoar!

Invading armies would often cover an area in salt in order to punish the local inhabitants, for the salt would stop any living thing growing and feeding there. This would make it impossible to live there. Likewise, it seems that God salted this area to mark it forever it as a place of Judgement, a place where there is no life. In this way, it would stand forever as a unique place on earth, a lasting Memorial to God’s Judgement, a warning to all mankind.

 When we look at the unique the Dead Sea region today, the lowest place on earth, we see a place that was the most fertile place, but now has been completely devastated, with all the elements of Judgement described in the Bible: SALT, SULPHUR and ASH, a sure sign and proof to all that He does and will judge sinners.

Genesis 19:30: “Then Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him; for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar.” Lot did not stay long on Zoar. He saw how wicked they were. The Bible says: ‘he was afraid’ that God would have to judge Zoar very soon, so he decided to escape for his own safety. Then, no doubt, Zoar was destroyed as well. 

It was Abraham’s prayers for Lot (in Genesis 18) that released God’s Mercy towards him and his family (Genesis 19:16), enabling them to escape destruction and an early death: 

Genesis 19:29: “It came to pass, when God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, that God remembered Abraham (his intercession), and (as a result) sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the Cities in which Lot had dwelt.” 

Lot, in his dangerous attachment to the doomed City of Sodom, was like a ‘brand plucked out of the fire.’ We need to pray for and warn those who are on the edge of Judgement, and by so doing pluck them from the Fire (see Jude 7,23). Abraham did this for Lot. 

Amos 4:11,12: “I overthrew some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a fire-brand plucked from the burning (just like Lot), yet you have not returned to Me,” says the Lord. Therefore, thus will I do to you, O Israel; Since I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”