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Bible: What Does Genesis 19 Teach Us About Sodom and Gomorrah?
Ruins of Sodom
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God Destroys Sodom and Gomorrah
Two Angels Visit Sodom
The text finally reveals that the two “men” are, in fact, angels whom God sends to investigate personally the moral climate in Sodom (v. 1a).
Entering the city, they encounter Lot sitting at the gate; he treats them respectfully and offers them the typical near Eastern hospitality (vv. 1b-2a; cf. 18:1-5).
[What significance is there, if any, that Lot was sitting at the gate of the city?
Did he know that these visitors were angels, or did he believe that they were just human beings?]
When the angels indicate their intention of spending the night in the “open square,” Lot vehemently disagrees with their decision.
[If Lot had known that they were angels, he probably would not have insisted so strongly that they accept his hospitality.
Is it possible that Lot is ignorant of the power of angels?
The angels, of course, had no “homophobia”; they did not fear what the sodomites could do to them.
They had come to Sodom to confirm the city’s wicked deeds.
What better time and place could they find to witness this perversion than overnight in the “open square”?]
Lot Shows Hospitality to the Angels
Accepting his kindness, the angels visit Lot’s house, and the host prepares a feast with unleavened bread (vv. 2b-3).
[Is it culturally or morally significant that Lot baked unleavened bread for them?]
Not long after supping,Lot and the angels hear clamoring outside; the whole male population has surrounded the house, demanding that Lot turn over the visitors to them for homosexual purposes (vv. 4-5).
Lot goes outside and tries to reason with his “brethren,” even freely offering them his two virgin daughters upon whom they could satisfy their lust (vv. 6-8a).
[Peter gives Lot a sparkling review, designating him a righteous man who was “oppressed” and “tormented” by Sodom’s evil (cf. 2 Peter 2:7-8).
Still, how could he disregard his daughters’ welfare and virtue?
Even if he is just trying to be diplomatic to save his skin, something just does not add up!
Perhaps this episode shows how far even righteous people can descend.]
Judgment Upon Sodomites
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Lot and Family Flee Sodom
The Angels Judge the Sodomites
Lot’s valiant attempt to protect the “men” fails, for the sodomites roundly condemn his judgmental attitude, threaten to harm him worse than they would his visitors, and rush the door to break it down (vv. 8b-9).
Then an event occurs that no one expected: the angels grab Lot, pull him inside, shut the door, and strike the attackers with blindness (vv. 10-11a).
So inflamed is the sodomites’ inordinate lust that even loss of sight does not restrain them from trying to get at the “men” (v. 11b).
The Angels Lead Survivors Out of Sodom
With great urgency and fervor, the angels command Lot to take his “people” out of Sodom, because God had ordered them to destroy it (vv. 12-13).
Lot’s sons-in-law think that their father-in-law is joking when he warns them of imminent divine judgment (v. 14).
[Are these men pledged in marriage to the daughters Lot was willing to give to the sodomites?
Why did Lot allow his daughters to marry such men?
Were they among the sodomites outside?
It appears that Lot’s spiritual life was so inconsistent that the sons-in-law found his warning to be ridiculous rather than serious and alarming].
Morning arrives. Despite the angels’ urgings for him to hurry, Lot still lingers in the city; he appears unwilling to leave his adopted hometown (vv. 15-16a).
Grabbing their hands, the angels mercifully drag Lot, his wife, and the daughters out of the city, and order them to escape to the mountains to avoid being swept away in the judgment (v. 17).
Though he appears grateful for the rescue, Lot negotiates with the angels, wishing to settle in a small town close to Sodom rather than trek through the mountains where he may encounter some “evil” and die there (vv. 18-20).
The angel acquiesces to Lot’s wish, allowing him to arrive in Zoar (“Insignificant”), a little city in the area which God will spare (vv. 21-22), before raining down the destruction.
God's Judgment Upon Sodom
God Destroys Sodom and Gomorrah
As Lot enters Zoar, the LORD “rains brimstone and fire” on Sodom and Gomorrah; everyone and everything perish in the devastation (vv. 23-25).
[Was this judgment a volcanic eruption?]
God even judges Lot’s wife, causing her to become a pillar of salt because she gazed back at the city (v. 26).
Far away on the site where he stood before the LORD (cf. 18:22), Abraham watches the smoke of Sodom and Gomorrah ascend to heaven (vv. 27-28).
Yahweh rescued Lot for Abraham’s sake; He “remembered” the patriarch before He destroyed the cities of the plain (v. 29).
Lot's Daughters Commit Incest with Him; Origin of Moab and Ammon
Fearful of the people in Zoar, Lot leaves for the mountains and becomes a cave dweller with his two daughters (v. 30).
[Since they knew that fearful Lot would not stay in Zoar, the angels did not insist that he go to the mountains].
Now the daughters, bereft of husbands, conspire to have children through their old father (vv. 31-32).
After getting him drunk on successive nights, they have intercourse with him; both of them conceive and bear sons (vv. 33-35).
The first-born names her son Moab; the younger calls her child Ben-Ammi (literally, son of my father).
These boys later become the fathers of the Moabites and the Ammonites, bitter enemies of the Israelites (vv. 36-38).
© 2012 glynch1