Genesis 19
Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
The judgment of God upon Sodom and the cities of the plain. The deliverance of Lot. The reception of the two angels by Lot was a great contrast to that of the three by Abraham. The scene of the Divine judgment is suggestive. The plain of the Jordan was well watered, attracted Lot by its beauty and promise. Early civilization gathered about such spots, but civilization without religion is a blasting influence. There are hidden fountains of judgment ready to burst forth and pour the fire of Divine wrath upon the sinners. The man who "pitched his tent towards Sodom" became at last a townsman, "vexed with the filthy conversation," yet, but for Divine mercy, involved in its punishment. The whole narrative teaches important lessons, especially on the following points: -


II. THE HOUSEHOLD of the true believer is A LARGE ENOUGH CIRCLE IN WHICH TO MANIFEST SINCERITY AND FAITHFULNESS, yet must we take heed that our house is well defended against the invasions of the corrupt world.

III. HOW GREAT A RESULT COMES OUT OFTEN FROM A SMALL BEGINNING OF ERROR! The selfishness of Lot's first choice of his residence was the seed of evil which multiplied into all the subsequent suffering and wrong.

IV. "Behold the GOODNESS and SEVERITY OF GOD" - mingled judgment and mercy, but not mingled in a confused manner, with perfect order. The man who had joined with Abraham in the covenant with Jehovah, who with all his faults was yet a believer, is warned, rescued by angels; able by his intercession to obtain mercy for others.

V. The DIVINE JUSTICE which is manifested on the large scale as BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD is also revealed in the smaller sphere of HOUSEHOLDS and families. Lot's wife is an apostate, and becomes involved in the destruction of the wicked. His sons-in-law mock at the Divine warning. His daughters become the incestuous originators of nations which afterwards greatly trouble the history of the people of God.

VI. THE SAME STEADFASTNESS OF GOD HAS TWO SIDES OR ASPECTS OF IT. "The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar." The same day, while the sun was serenely smiling on the city of refuge, the storm of fire and destruction from heaven was gathering over the doomed people and ready to burst upon them. "When God destroyed the cities of the plain, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow." - R.

But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. Every part of this narrative suggestive of lessons. Reminded how "the righteous scarcely saved," and of the danger of an amiable weakness. In Lot's sons-in-law we see how the world receives the gospel (cf. Ezekiel 20:49; James 1:24). In his wife, one convinced, but not converted; seeking safety, but with a divided aim (James 1:8). In the angel's help, God's watchful care, even where the need is unknown. Text teaches the responsibility of those who hear the gospel. Dangers surrounding us, but a way of safety (Psalm 101:1; 2 Corinthians 2:16). But not enough to be roused (Matthew 10:22; Hebrews 12:1). Many are awakened to flee, yet look back (Luke 9:62). Lot's wife not deaf to the call; did not think it fancy; really believed; felt the danger, and fled (2 Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:4). But the sun rose; the valley beautiful; home attractive; no signs of danger. Must she leave all; and at once? She paused. That pause was death.

I. May be roused by ALARM OF CONSCIENCE and yet look back (cf. Matthew 12:48-45). Some, intent on the world, think not of the future. Preaching seems only a venerable form; prayer a proper homage to God. But as to anything more, no hurry. But a time of anxiety comes. Perhaps a wave of revival, or some special occurrence - illnessIsaiah 28:17). Then in earnest to seek the true refuge (Hebrews 6:18). The Bible read; prayer a real pleading. But the sun arises. The immediate cause passes away. Fears fade away. Then a looking back. Surely some of you can remember times of earnestness. Perhaps in hours of anxious watching, or in preparation for communion, or God has spoken directly to the soul and made you feel his presence (Genesis 28:16, 17). Then the blessedness of accepted salvation was felt. The message was not a parable theft. The Bible and prayer were precious then. But time went on. The immediate influence, gone. All as before. Old ways asserted their power; hard to give them up. In mercy the call once more. Awake; the storm is at hand, though thou, seest it not. Pray that the Holy Spirit may transform thy heart.

II. May be moved by EXAMPLE OF OTHERS, yet turn back. She felt her husband's earnestness, and went with him, but so far only. We know the power of example. When we see those we love affected, we are moved to be as they. So at the preaching of John the Baptist. So at times of missions. Have any felt this influence; been stirred to read and pray? It is well. But has it lasted? For a real saving change there must be a personal transaction with the Lord as a living Savior; a laying hold of him, a real desire and effort that the will and whole nature be submitted to him.

III. A MIGHTIER POWER STILL MAY ACT UPON THE SOUL. While Lot lingered angels laid hold of hands. There are times when God pleads urgently. One refuge after another swept away. Call upon call, sign upon sign, till the will seems conquered. But all is not done (Philippians 3:13). Such pleadings neglected, cease. Observe, God led Lot out of Sodom, not to Zoar. There is work still to be done (2 Peter 1:10). The question is not as to the past, but as to the present. It will not save a man that he was once anxious. Look not back. Look to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Let earnestness in every part of Christian life testify that you are not looking back (Hebrews 10:39). - M.

I. THE VISIBLE JUDGMENT. "God overthrew the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - the cities in which Lot dwelt."

1. The reason.

2. The instrumentality.

3. The reality.

4. The lessons of the overthrow.

II. THE UNKNOWN MERCY. "He sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow." To Abraham this was -

1. A great mercy.

2. A mercy granted in answer to prayer. But -

3. An unknown mercy, there being no reason to believe that Abraham ever saw Lot again, or knew of his deliverance. Learn -

1. That God always mixes-mercy with his judgments.

2. That his mercies are not always so perceptible to the eye of sense and reason as his judgments.

3. That God's people get more mercies poured into their cups than they are at all times cognizant of. - W.

The Pulpit Commentary, Electronic Database.
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