In chapter 18 Abraham had three visitors. One of them was the Lord himself. The other two were angels, as we discover in chapter 19:1.
When the angels left Abraham’s tent, they traveled to the city of Sodom. In Genesis 13:13 we were told: “Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.” In this chapter we find out how deeply their morals had sunk, and the depths of their perversions are revealed.
READ GENESIS 19:1–14 读创世记19:1–14
The apostle who wrote the book of Hebrews may have been referring to this account when he wrote: “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:1–2). Lot showed loving hospitality to the two strangers he met at the city gate. However, Lot also showed how life in Sodom had affected his judgment and character.
Why did Lot insist strongly that the two men not spend the night in the city square? See 1 Peter 2:7-8
The depravity and lust of the men of Sodom is shocking. But Lot’s suggestion in verse 8 is also shocking. How could he say such a thing? Why would he make such a terrible offer?
The LORD had told Abraham, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” (Genesis 18:20–21) Now, when we see what happened at Lot’s door, we also see for ourselves the evidence of the sinful condition of Sodom and Gomorrah. The time for God’s judgment against these people has come. There are not even ten righteous people left in Sodom.
The two men of Sodom who were engaged to marry Lot’s daughters were given a chance to leave the city and escape the Lord’s judgment. But they treated the warning of impending judgment as a joke. How many times do the people in our own generation also treat the Lord’s warnings and call to leave a life of sin as a joke?
But the Lord’s judgment is not a joke. When that day of judgment comes for the world, there will be no more warnings. So now is the time for repentance. Now is the time to believe what the Lord says, turn from sin, and flee to the saving grace of Jesus.
READ GENESIS 19:15-23 读创世记19：15-23
Lot’s future sons-in-law regarded the warning of judgment as a joke. Now we see that even Lot himself was hesitant to leave the city. Didn’t he understand what was going to happen? The angels had told him plainly: “We are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” But Lot still hesitated.
Why did Lot hesitate to leave (verse 16) when he understood that Sodom would be destroyed?
In spite of his hesitation to leave, the Lord showed great kindness to him and his family. The Lord would not punish the righteous with the unrighteous. The angels took the hands of Lot, his wife, and his two daughters, and led them out of the city. In spite of their hesitancy to leave, “the Lord was merciful to them.”
How has the Lord been merciful to you?
Why was Lot afraid to flee to the mountains?
The small town to which Lot and his family fled was called Zoar, which literally means “tiny town.” The Lord spared that tiny town from the coming destruction only because Lot and his family went there. The location of Zoar is uncertain, but many feel it was location south of the Dead Sea.
READ GENESIS 19:24-29 读创世记19：24-29
Jesus once spoke about the day that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. In Luke 17:28-30 Jesus said: “… in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.”
耶稣曾提到过上帝毁灭所多玛和蛾摩拉的那个日子。在路加福音 17:28-30中，耶 稣说：“…又好像罗得的日子；人又吃又喝，又买又卖，又耕种又盖造。到罗得出 所多玛的那日，就有火与硫磺从天上降下来，把他们全都灭了。人子显现的日子也 要这样。”
What day will be like the day that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed?
The apostle Jude wrote: “Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 6–7) As we read this account, we must understand that it has been written down for us so that we can be prepared ahead of time for the final day of judgment when the city in which we live, along with the entire world in which we live, will be destroyed. Let us live in daily repentance and forsake the sin of this world, putting our trust in Christ alone.
The Lord had warned Lot’s family that they should not look back when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Why?
As part of his teaching about judgment day, Jesus told us to, “Remember Lot’s wife!” (Luke 17:32) What should we remember about her? (see Luke 17:33)
The apostle Peter wrote down the lesson God wants us to learn from this event. Here is the lesson: “If [the Lord] condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.” (2 Peter 2:6–9, NIV84)
Different theories have been proposed for the “burning sulfur” that turned those cities of the plain to ash. Some have suggested that there was a volcano. However, there is no evidence of lava and other things associated with volcanoes. God did not need to use a naturally occurring event such as a volcano in order to overthrow those cities. It could have simply been a miraculous event of judgment. In any case, a careful search of the area today has not turned up any remains of those cities. They were simply wiped off the face of the earth.
READ GENESIS 19:30–38 读创世记19：30-38
After seeing God’s fiery judgment fall on the other cities of the plain, Lot did not feel safe even in the tiny town of Zoar. So he finally left the plain of sin and shame and went where the Lord told him to go – the mountains.
The Dead Sea is in a deep depression in the earth and it surrounded by mountains or high cliffs which contain many caves. (The Dead Sea caves are in that area.) Those cool caves provide shelter from the heat of that dry and hot climate, and so Lot and his daughters took shelter among the caves. We can’t help but observe that Lot, who was once a very wealthy man with great possessions, has now been reduced to living in a cave with just his two daughters (and a good supply of wine). It reminds us of the runaway son in Jesus’ parable (Luke 15) who lost everything when he turned away from his father.
What was wrong with the plan of Lot’s daughters to have children and preserve the family line?
Verses 37 and 38 make it clear why this disgraceful behavior is recorded in the Bible. Here we learn of the origin of two groups of people – the Moabites and the Ammonites – that will be an important part of the story of God’s people in the future.
The Moabite people lived east of the Dead Sea, not far from where Lot and his family once lived. From the time that the Israelites came out of Egypt on their journey to Canaan, until the end of the Old Testament record, the Moabites were enemies of the children of Israel who worshiped idols.
However, the Moabites are significant for another reason. Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David, and an ancestor of Jesus, was a Moabite.
A search of the Old Testament will reveal frequent references to the Moabites, and in this account of Lot’s daughters we have the record of their origin.
The Ammonites also lived east of the Dead Sea, north of the kingdom of Moab. They were also hostile toward the people of Israel from the time of Moses until the time of the great kings of Israel.
Like the Moabites, the Ammonites worshiped idols in horrifying ways that involved human sacrifice. The Lord warned the people of Israel to remain separate from them: “No Ammonite or Moabite or any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation.” (Deuteronomy 23:3)
However, Solomon married both Moabite and Ammonite wives and out of a desire to please them, built worship places for their idols near Jerusalem. Those worship places stood until the God-fearing king Josiah finally destroyed them once and for all: “King Josiah also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption—the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the people of Ammon.” (2 Kings 23:13)
Though the Biblical record will have much to say about the Moabites and Ammonites, this is the last time that we read of Lot. He now disappears from the Biblical record.