Genesis 19: God Rescues Lot

1 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 bowed himself with his face to the earth

-Last chapter we were told “the Lord”and “three men” came to Abram. Now we are told two angels. This only further solidifies the idea that one of those three men were Jesus. Now here we see the two angels who had been escorting Jesus being sent on a separate assignment to meet Lot. Even though we are told they were men, there obviously was something about them for Lot to recognize them and bow to them. As far as we know, Lot has never personally dealt with God or angels before. Either they were extremely attractive looking (which will explain the next verses to come) or somehow people could see that they were Holy just by looking at them.

2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

-Lot is showing them the same courtesy Abraham did even though he is living in the midst of the most evil city to ever exist. If Lot is so righteous, what is he doing there? It is hard to believe that he does not indulge in sin at all to have chosen to live there and we have no reason to believe he’s there because he thinks he can change things. We don’t have any details but we do have one thing: We learned that Abraham had faith in God and it was counted as righteousness in God’s sight. Living righteously means having faith. Lot seems to believe that these men were of God and treated them as such which shows he believed God. In a few verses, we see him obey the orders of these angels. This demonstrates faith and so therefore we can conclude, regardless of what sin may have been in Lot’s own life, that he was considered “righteous” and that’s why he was spared. In 2 Peter 2:7 Peter writes, “and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials…” Peter seemed to think Lot was not only righteous by faith, but lived virtuously as well. The fact that the apostle Peter says this is the case is enough for me, even if it is not totally clear from this account. It is possible that either Peter had access to some extra verifiably true knowledge or he was speaking prophetically to know this to be true.

4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”

-The word “know” really does mean in the sexual sense. The whole town of Sodom, young and old, saw these men or at least heard from someone who saw them and wanted to have sex with them. This is where the term “sodomy” comes from. The scripture is even clear to say “to the last man” so this was not an exaggeration. Literally, the whole town came to have sex with these men. It is not an exaggeration when God says he must destroy the whole town and he would not do it if there were even as many as ten righteous living within the city. Taking this literally as the account seems to be suggesting it is literal, there literally were no men in this town aside from Lot and those within the household that were not so twisted as to want to have sex with these men. I feel a need to clarify that the problem here is not just that all the men were homosexual. It can not be argued against or avoided, homosexuality is a sin and is not acceptable to God. But this problem goes a lot deeper that just having an interest in men. Also included here is rape. There seems to be no thought as to whether these men would like to be willing participants in this act but rather are treated like pieces of meat, objects. The town was going to have their way with them whether they were willing or not. The problem here lies with how mankind is created. We are created to worship God. If we do not worship God, we worship something else. The townsmen of Sodom were completely devoted in worship of pleasure. The evil would have still been great enough had these angels came appearing as women instead. Homosexuality only makes it worse in that it goes against what God has established. Whether it is a man or a woman, desire for the flesh to such an extreme indicates the most extreme case of selfishness. We are told what love is in the bible. Despite what our culture seems to display, love is not about how someone or something makes you feel. Love is an act, a choice, to give to someone else without any thought of reward. Sodom had fallen so far that instead of “choosing” to “give to another” something “without any reward”, they did the exact opposite. They felt “compelled” to “take from someone” something “they wanted” without any regard for that individual. That is the real problem. God is love and what was done here is the complete polar opposite of love, the opposite of God. Having physical desires are natural and are not wrong in themselves. But even fantasizing wanting to have pleasure with another person is an unloving act. Lust in direct contrast to love. You are mentally raping that person. But how can one possibly not have fantasies? Of course it happens, I myself confess to it all the time. But the idea to truly live like Christ is to find a way to change your thinking from wanting to take pleasure FROM a person and instead give happiness TO a person. You can certainly enjoy the heck out of sex when it is mutual within a marriage relationship (I certainly plan to!). But we have to think outwardly and for people as Christians just as God does to us. All sin boils down to selfishness, and self and God are on polar opposites. The more selfish you are, including desire for sex, the less godly you are. It is a struggle though, and a life-long endeavor worthy of pursuit.

6 Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”

-This is why the virtuousness of Lot can easily be questioned from this account despite what Peter wrote. He offers his daughters to be raped in the angel’s place! That’s horrible! But it’s very possible he may have only been thinking of himself and his daughters as nothing and these men sent from God as being important. We can’t imagine what the commotion and chaos must have been like as well and this could have been a last desperate attempt to keep from being mobbed and killed. We know that we as Christians must go so far as to willingly be killed for our beliefs and that also means, should such a sick and bizarre situation ever happen, allow ourselves to be raped for God. I can’t imagine a scenario, but nothing comes before God including our own pain or discomfort no matter how severe.

9 But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down.

-Someone who “sojourns” is a temporary resident. Lot was not a Sodomite, but a Hebrew living with Sodom. Because he is a foreigner, the crowd asks why he has the right to judge them and what they do. How often we here a similar defense whenever homosexuality is pointed out as a sin. Who are we to judge their lifestyle! In fact, we are lead to believe that homosexuality is not a choice but a person is born that way. What gender you may feel interested in could be caused by a variety of factors, perhaps it may be chemically based on how a person was born. But doing any homosexual act is a choice and for every action and choice that is made, one must take responsibility. At the same time, we as Christians should not be emphasizing homosexuality over other sins nor are we called to go out into the world and point our fingers in accusations against those not claiming to be Christians themselves. We have enough problems with our own churches in sexual matters to be trying to fix the worlds sin. Despite how clearly stated this activity is said to be wrong, we have marriages conducted in our churches and we’ve even appointed elders in certain denominations that are unrepentently homosexual.

10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

-We see that despite Lot’s efforts, it is these angels that rescue themselves and we see that from their abilities they aren’t actually any danger and can take care of themselves. “small and great” suggests that this blindness was miraculous in danger and not caused physically otherwise it might have effects the “great” less than the “small”.

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”

-It is interesting that the angels say that they were sent to destroy the city. Does this means that between these two angels, they had the power to level an entire city? These two angels are not God or Jesus because they refer to the Lord in the third person and ask a question that they don’t actually appear to know the answer to. Angels are not all-knowing and seem to simply do what they are told. So we know God is not present in physical form here but the angels may be referring to “us” as all 3 of them. We see here too God honoring what he honored with Noah by sparing the whole household even though we are only see that Lot was counted as righteous.

14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

-This is how we know Lot was righteous from his faith and that he was literally the only one of faith in all of Sodom. The sons-in-law did not believe the warning, but Lot did. Lot knew this was real and of God. These sons-in-law must not have known God, or cared, to not take the warning seriously or recognize the truth in it.

15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.

-It seems that some time passed while the angels were still in Lot’s house and it appears Lot had gone to bed instead of fleeing immediately. It says here that the Lord “being merciful to him” made sure he was woken in time to escape with the members of his family willing to go. Lot was warned and did not leave right away, for whatever reason. But since he was still righteous, God still showed mercy and ensured he got out anyway. It is so comforting to know that God will never leave us or forsake us when we are in trouble. Even when we are stubborn, so long as we belong to him, he will not change his plan for us. It was not in God’s plan for Lot to perish and even though it seems Lot was going to chance one more night, God still made sure he didn’t perish despite Lot’s decision.

17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

-Lots faith is not absolute and he seems to think despite the miraculous events taking place that he will not be safe in the hills. Does he not trust these angels saving his life? Perhaps Lot had faith that they were real and what was happening was going to happen, but Lot does not have an understanding of God and that He is limitless. Despite that we are told how virtuous Lot was, he wants to escape to another city, a different city that is smaller, and he wants that city to be spared. For some reason, he seems to love the city which in itself is not sinful but since this city was going to be destroyed to, this city must have been no better than Sodom. But God decides not to destroy that city despite being just as bad because Lot will be there. This is the length God will go to protect the righteous when it is in his will.
God Destroys Sodom
23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.

-There appears to be a contradiction from verse 12 at first glance because the angels said that “the Lord sent us to destroy it” seeming to imply the angels had the power to destroy it. But here is says “the Lord rained…sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven.” Once again, without having an understanding of Jesus, this would appear to be a contradictory error of the bible. When the angels said the Lord “sent us” they weren’t just referring to themselves, the two angels. They were referring to all three which we discussed the main individual who Abraham addressed as being God Himself was Jesus. So therefore what the angels said was true. The three of them were sent to destroy Sodom and Gommorah. But Jesus, being God the Son as well as the voice of God that carries out the command, was sent to destroy it and He destroyed from heaven.

26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

-This is a prime example of even when God helps us along and even holds our hands, in the end there is still a choice. We can still choose to defy him. They were told not to look back but Lot’s wife looked back anyway. We don’t know why she looked back, but it may have been her heart rather than the actually looking itself that destroyed her. In her heart, she may have been like the men of the city and her sons-in-law and was only going along because her husband was forcing her. That being said, it would seem the daughters do not look back but we see the contents of their heart in a few more verses.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. 29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

-This passage is not now saying that Lot was not righteous and was only saved for Abraham’s sake. Lot was still righteous. But being righteous itself does not guarantee protection. Righteous people die in natural disasters all the time. Again, death is not the worse thing that can happen. It could be a blessing. But in this instance, God had said he will not go so far as destroy a city directly in a miraculous way with intention if there were as many as ten righteous. Cities do get destroyed but these are from natural disasters as a result from sin. God is ultimately in control and we don’t know exactly how much is directly controlled by His will and how much He simply allows to play out like a watchmaker. But it would seem natural disasters are just that, natural, and part of the “clockwork” God has designed and allows to happen naturally.

Lot and His Daughters
30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.”

-After all that has happened, the daughters don’t seem to get it. This shows just how horrible the corruption of Sodom was to effect people in this way, even the daughters of a righteous man. Lot must have had second thoughts or perhaps when he saw Zoar was just as bad, he decides the Lord would probably want to destroy that city too. Hiding his daughters in a cave certainly seems bizarre and we don’t know how long he had kept them there but it must have been a very long time. He had family in Harron from his uncle and he did not leave Abraham in hostile terms and could have returned west to him. Perhaps he was grieving the loss of his wife and in an emotional state where he was not thinking straight. This would help explain the willingness to drink.

33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father.

-And so ends one of the sickest and also saddest stories of the whole bible. This is the rotten, filth, and disgust that results in the complete turning away from God and embrace of sin and selfishness. Again we see that same evil from the men of Sodom in the Lot’s very own daughters. They decide they want something and so they rape their own father to get it. There is no thought to the other person, it is a purely selfish motive.

37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day.

-Ruth, who has a short book of the bible named after her, is a Moabite and therefore descendant of Lot. She and therefore Lot, was also included in the lineage of the earthly body of Jesus, born of Mary.

38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

Here is a picture roughly showing the areas in which these peoples lived during the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d2/Kingdoms_around_Israel_830_map.svg/640px-Kingdoms_around_Israel_830_map.svg.png

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