The Coming Destruction
Genesis Chapter 19
Intro: The 19th chapter of Genesis is one of the most fascinating in the Word of God, and yet it is a grim and fateful story.
A) This chapter records the sad consequences of Lotís spiritual decline;
†Lot passes off the scene while Abrahamís story continues
B)† Abraham was the friend of God, but Lot was the friend of the world and the contrasts between these two men are easy to see.
C) last week† looked at Abraham, - encounter w/ the Lord and His Angels
D) Here we see that The two angels that had accompanied the Lord on his visit to Abraham have gone on to accomplish the destruction of the cities
E) we pick up the story as the two angels come into the city of Sodom in the evening hours.
19:1† Now the two 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.
2† 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."
Although this chapter is rather long, there are two main† things to note about it.
A) The first part gives us a view of Lot in the city of Sodom, and the rest of the chapter reveals how much of Sodom was in Lot.
B) The name Sodom was synonymous w/ sexual perversion
B) The wickedness in Sodom & the perversion were so great that God saw the need to destroy this city.
1) †The destruction of Sodom & Gomm. Along w/ the flood are held up as a supreme example of the coming judgment of the world.
C) Jesus said that His 2nd coming would be as in the days of Noah & Lot.
Ezk 16 Described the wickedness of Sodom 49† "Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness;.
50 they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.
Notice it started w/ pride - & abundance of possessions - ( ref. To fullness food is all encompassing† - and idleness of time.
A)That right there is a great description of the USA - Pride - land of the free & the Brave
B) America - the land of plenty / the land of opportunity / the land of greatness-
1) †The land of idleness
C) Too much time on ours hands - there is no place else in all the world that has - as much entertainment opportunities
1) †Pro. Sports - pay millions of dollars to athletes - insane / amusement parks / movie theaters /
D) "The average person: 1) Watches television six hours and 44 minutes a day.† 2) Listens to the radio three hours and 24 minutes a day if a man; three hours and 29 minutes a day if a woman.† 3) Reads a magazine a total of 93 minutes daily.† 4) Reads a newspaper a total of 34 minutes daily.
The pride & prosperity of Sodom led them to commit abominations before the Lord - and it is evident from this story that the abomination referred is the sin of Homosexuality
Always considered an abomination / Paul put it this way in Rom. 1
Romans 1: 24† Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25† who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26† For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27† 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.
28† 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;
29† being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30† backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31† undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32† who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
So here we see that this is a serious sin in the eyes of the Lord - and His dealing w/ it is severe.
First, we see Lot in Sodom:
A) The two angels came to Sodom in the evening; and Lot was sitting in the
†††† gate of Sodom.
B) "Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom," is an eastern expression which
needs to be understood.
1) †This does not mean he was simply passing the time of day in the gate, watching strangers come into† the city.
C) This is a technical phrase which means he was the chief magistrate of the city of Sodom.
1) †His job was not only to give an official welcome to visitors of the city but to investigate the nature of any strangers who might come,
2) †IT also MENT THAT he was to administer justice concerning any quarrels within the city.
D) Really it was like saying that Lot was the Mayor of Sodom.
Consider Lots Demise :
We first met Lot when he left Ur of the Chaldeans and moved to the city of Haran with Abraham.
A) it seems very likely that Lot made a genuine response of faith to God on his own.
B) Then, when Abraham came into the land of Canaan, Lot went with him. When Abraham went down to Egypt, Lot went down with him, and they came back wealthy men,
C) When they returned to the land of Canaan, the first thing that happened was the quarrel between Lot's herdsmen and Abraham's herdsmen
1) Separate - Lot you Choose
D) That was the beginning of Lot's downfall. He looked out and saw that the plain of the Jordan was well-watered like the "the land of Egypt."
1)He had just come from Egypt, the place of materialism and commercialism---easy wealth---and this looked like such a place to him.
So we read, "he chose for himself"; . On that basis, he arranged his priorities: to obtain wealth
A) Great place for raising cattle - not a family
B) In doing this, Lot disregarded the principle that runs all the way through scripture and through human life., "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." & the promise that† goes with that is that all these other material things will be added.
C) But we are to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness."
1) †Lot did exactly the opposite, placing materialism first. His first priority was to find a place where he could make a good living and advance his family's wealth .
Had Lot gone to Sodom because God directed him, his being there would have fulfilled divine purposes.
A) After all, God put Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, and Esther in Persia; and their presence turned out to be a blessing.
B) Worldliness is not necessarily† a matter of physical geography but of heart attitude - Lotís heart was in Sodom long before his body arrived there.
C) No doubt he got his first love for the world when he went to Egypt and he never overcame it.
D) Choose / pitched tent on the plains / dwelling in / now we see him in a place of ruling !
Lot encourages the Angels to come stay w/ him - but they suggest that they will stay in the streets
A)The streets of Sodom were unsafe especially at night - I like the way John Phillips describes it / a place where perverts prowled the streets - worse than wild beast w/ passions fired by Hell
Lot realized this
A) So lot pressed these Angels please stay at my house - they agreed an d he fixed them a meal! V.3
Supper was hardly over when there was an up roar at Lots door -
A) Lot knew who was there and why they came
B) Hard to imagine - this is how bad Sodom was
4† 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.
5† 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."
Listen to the description of† this scene by John Phillips
The young hoodlums of Sodom, with their dragon lusts, were out there demanding their dues. Now they were hammering on the door: Where are the men? Bring out the men! Their civil rights were affronted by Lotís barred and bolted door. They had the right to impose their horrid lusts on strangers who dared stay the night in Sodom.† The uproar increased and Lot, looking out, probably saw that the crowd at his front door was growing by leaps and bounds. Every filthy hound of Sodom had come, young pups and old dogs alike, paning and baying and growlings - worse than dogs, worse than swine, all heated to the point of fiot with their dreadful, hellish passions aflame. Where are the men?† Where are the men? It was the vilest, most degraded, unholiest demand that can possibly issue from the lips of men.
If there is one thing that marks perversion, it is its deep seated character.
A) It is like a cancerous cell in a healthy body grows and spreads until it destroys the health of the whole body,
1) †perverted lust entrenches itself and takes over the life. V.6
6† So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him,
7† and said, "Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!
8† "See now, I have two 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."
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.
Picture this scene - heavy men pounding at the door -
A) Give us the men !
B) Daughters - Lots fall - women in that culture !
C) Great wickedness - again - Phillips description is powerful
The unholy lusts of those men were pugnacious. No longer did the perverts practice their abominations in secret, ostracized by the rest of the community. No longer were their shameful sins tolerated by a permissive society as something people had a right to practice if they pleased.
For their behavior was not looked upon by the Sodomites as criminal but as constitutional. They had the constitutional right to indulge their passions when and where they wished and any attempt to thwart them could be expected to lead to open riot in the city.
†Guys I canít help but think that this - is a good description of what we see going on in our - culture today
A) the unholy morality of Sodom was a prevalent, polluted, persistent, and it was also a punishable thing - not by the laws of Sodom, perhaps, but certainly by the laws of God.
B) If society will not punish that form of behavior, then God most certainly will. V.10
10† But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.
11† 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.
12† 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!
13† "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."
That was judicial blindness. ďWhom the gods would destroy, they first make madĒ, said one of the ancient philosophers. Not so!
A) Whom God would destroy, He first makes blind. There comes a point in the rising tide of human wickedness, where God acts.†
1) †In preparation he blinds.
B) The process takes various forms; in Pharaoh's case, God hardened his heart;
1) †in last days He will send men strong delusion so that they will†
†††† believe the lie.
Now on the spotlight swings from the filthiness of Sodom to the situation that existed in Lotís own family.
A) It shows what the philosophy of Sodom had done to Lot & his family
B) we cannot keep on taking in the worldís ideologies without becoming tainted ourselves.
v14† 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.
C) What a scene that would be for an artistís brush - Lot hurrying through the darkened streets, dodging hands of the blinded, men
D) Here is where we really see the affect that Sodom had on Lot - not only did he not have any witness w/ the People.
1) †But He also had no influence in his own house
E) Power was drained!
1) †Do as I say not as I do!
Lot goes to his kids & gathers them together to warn them - and it says that they thought he was joking
A) What a statement that is! With his very own sons-in-law he had no influence whatsoever.
B) Asked for 10 righteous / whole city spared - perhaps hoping in Lots family there would be 10 righteous†
A) Attention is drawn to Lotís weak will -A dynamic spiritual life cannot be nourished on worldliness.†
B) Notice How reluctant he was to start. - they literally had to drag Lot out of the city !
C) We can picture the scene - Lot being dragged out of Sodom, the whole family dilly, dallying, and dawdling on the way -
1) †his wife wanting to sort out her jewelry, the daughters wanting to get suitably dressed.
It is incredible how dull a backslidden person becomes to spiritual truth.
The first time God rescued Lot, he was a prisoner of war (14:12, 16); and he went right back into Sodom.
A) That painful experience should have warned him that he was out of the will of God;
B) but if Lot heard the warning, he certainly did not heed it.
1) †Now God has to take Lot by the hand and forcibly drag him out of Sodom!
C) First, Lot lingered; then he argued; then he begged to be allowed to go his own way.
1) †Just a little place†
A) These two girls were virgins in body, but they were already debauched in mind.
B) Their wicked plot !
1) †. Lot had nothing but heartbreak and grief to show for the years in
C) The Lord said, "For whoever would save his life will lose it." (Matt. 16:25)
D) So Lot, trying to get the best out of both worlds, lost all and has become for all time the picture of the Christian who is saved, "but only as through fire."
LOT SAVED SOUL BUT A WASTED LIFE
I am sure you have seen many lessons in this story, but let me press just two of them home to you.
A) The first lesson I see is this: the hour of danger is when you first begin to choose.
B) Young people especially often feel the pull to be like the world, wanting
to be popular and to have what everyone else has, and do what everyone else does.
C) They want to be welcomed by their crowd and to be Christians as well.
1) Best of both worlds
The whole story of life and the scriptures is that you cannot do both. No man can serve two masters.
A) No man can walk down two dividing roads at the same time.
B) If you are trying to live this way, surely, as you have chosen your own desires first, you† will lose it all, just as Lot did.
C) Unless you change your mind, and begin to actually put God first, before all else, you will continue in the very pattern that is traced out here, until you awaken one day to find it has all gone by.
The hour of choosing is now, in youth, when you are young. when you are setting the direction of life.
The second lesson I get from this is that when you attempt to gain the best of both worlds, you destroy others besides yourself.
You who are parents are being watched by your children and they see your outward respectability, your desire to be right and to do good.
This is why we see the tragedy of Christian homes in which children are turning from God.
And the sorrow you will carry to your grave, the deepest sorrow of your heart
will be that, though you still have your own faith. yet because of your compromise, you have lost your children.
This tragic story of Lot is taking place right here and now in the modern Sodom and Gomorrah in which we live.
But it does not have to be so. on the hill is Abraham whose whole life principle was to let God choose and to be satisfied with that choice though it meant a tent all his days.
†His first question was never, how much will I make, but will it
destroy my tent and my altar?
Those are the precious things in my life and I want nothing to do with anything which destroys my sense of pilgrimage, my sense of not belonging here, and my fellowship with the living God.
In the end, Abraham gained the whole land and all that Lot possessed and more besides, and he shall inherit the earth, according to the Scriptures, for he
looked for a city that has foundations whose builder and maker is God.
SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GODÖÖ.