But the men of Sodom were wicked, sinning greatly against the LORD.
It is related of William S. Stockton, the father of Frank Stockton, that he would cross to the sunny side of the street on a hot summer's day so as to avoid the shadow of the Arch Street Theatre, such was his intense hatred of it.
I. How IT MAY HAVE LOOKED TO LOT.
1. As a matter of business it was good.
2. In its moral aspects the step was dangerous. But -
3. Doubtless at first Lot did not intend entering the city. And perhaps -
4. Lot may have justified his doubtful conduct by hoping that he would have opportunities of doing good to the Sodomites.
II. How IT MUST HAVE LOOKED TO THE SODOMITES. It must have -
1. Surprised them to see a good man like Lot coming to a neighborhood so bad.
2. Led them to think adversely of a religion that preferred worldly advantage to spiritual interest.
3. Rendered them impervious to any influence for good from Lot's example. Lessons: -
1. It is perilous to go towards Sodom if one wants to keep out of Sodom.
2. It is useless preaching to Sodomites while gathering wealth in Sodom. - W.
But the men of Sodom were wicked.
We here behold the wickedness of man in strange conjunction (ver 10) and contrast with the beauty of nature.
I. HUMAN DEPRAVITY AS DISCOVERED BY THE LIGHT OF NATURE.
1. The wealth of nature, and the poverty of man.
2. The cleanliness of nature, and the filthiness of man.
3. The order of nature, and the lawlessness of man.
4. The generosity of nature contrasted with the selfishness of man.
5. The joy of nature contrasted with the misery of man.
II. THE INABILITY OF NATURE TO RESTORE MAN TO PIETY AND HAPPINESS. Consider —
1. Those nations which dwell amid specially fair or splendid scenery. We have a striking illustration of the moral inefficiency of natural scenery in the text. The land is "as the garden of the Lord." But the people? South speaks of sinners: "Who first turn grace, and then nature itself, out of doors." This is descriptive of the inhabitants of this beautiful land. Again, we have an example in the Canaanites. And have we not examples in modern times of the inefficacy of nature to exalt man? The magnificent South Sea Islands and their inhabitants. Everywhere the glory of nature is stained with the scarlet of human sin, and nature can do nothing to purge that stain away. Or, consider —
2. Those individuals who live in special communion with mature. The sailor, the shepherd, the peasant — are these remarkable for refinement of taste or morals? We think not. But it may be said that these are only door keepers of the Palace Beautiful; well then, what of the High Priests, who draw near the inmost shrines of nature? The poet, the painter, the philosopher — what of these? Are these exceptionally good? We think the common verdict would be against them. No. The great and glorious globe is impotent to regenerate. It charms the eye, feasts the imagination, but it has no power to reach the deep places of our nature and fill us with purity and strength. Nature may make a good man better, but it cannot make a bad man good.
III. THE NEED AND PRECIOUSNESS OF THE GOSPEL. The lovers of nature remain corrupt and workers of iniquity, but the gospel changes the hearts and lives of those who accept it.
1. There is a lesson here for those who wish to substitute science for the Scriptures. Science, we are told, is to refine, moralize, spiritualize the people. Much of this is delusive. Scientific and philosophic knowledge has no power of itself to create right and truly religious feeling.
2. Another lesson is here for those who wish to open museums and picture galleries on Sunday. Contemplating marbles and pictures, do men gain the whiteness of the one or the beauty of the other? Let the moral statistics of Paris and Rome answer.
3. A final lesson is here for those who seek to substitute the temple of nature for the temple of grace.
Darest thou come where such ill scents are to be taken as may soon infect thy soul? Of all trades, it would not do well for the collier and the fuller to live together. What one cleanseth the other will blacken and defile. The Spirit of God hath not washed thee clean, that thou shouldst run where thou will be made foul.
()Sir Peter Lely once said he never looked at a bad picture if he could help it, as he found it "tainted his own pencil."
()The impious lives of the wicked are as contagious as the most dreadful plague that infects the air. When the doves of Christ lie among such pots, their yellow feathers are sullied. You may observe that in the oven the fine bread frequently hangs upon the coarse, but the coarse very seldom adheres to the fine. If you mix an equal portion of sour vinegar and sweet wine together, you will find that the vinegar will sooner sour the wine than the wine sweeten the vinegar. That is a sound body that continues healthful in a pest house. It is a far greater wonder to see a saint maintain his purity among sinners than it is to behold a sinner becoming pure among saints. Christians are not always like fish, which retain their freshness in a salt sea; or, like the rose, which preserves its sweetness among the most noisome weeds; or, like the fire, which burns the hottest when the season is coldest. A good man was once heard to lament "that, as often as he went into the company of the wicked, he returned less a man from them than he was before he joined with them." The Lord's people, by keeping evil company, are like persons who are much exposed to the sun, insensibly tanned.
()Sophronius, a wise teacher, would not suffer even his grown-up sons and daughters to associate with those whose conduct was not pure and upright. "Dear father," said the gentle Eulalia to him one day when he forbade her, in company with her brother, to visit the volatile Lucinda, "you must think us very childish if you imagine that we should be exposed to danger by it." The father took in silence a dead coal from the hearth, and reached it to his daughter. "It will not burn you, my child; take it." Eulalia did so, and behold her beautiful white hand was soiled and blackened, and, as it chanced, her white dress also. "You cannot be too careful in handling coals," said Eulalia, in vexation. "Yes, truly," said the father. "You see, my child, that coals, even if they do not burn, blacken; so it is with the company of the vicious."
PeopleAbram, Canaanites, Lot, Mamre, Perizzites, Zoar
PlacesAi, Bethel, Betonim, Canaan, Egypt, Gomorrah, Hebron, Jordan River, Negeb, Sodom, Zoar
TopicsEvil, Exceedingly, Greatly, Sinners, Sinning, Sodom, Wicked
Outline1. Abram and Lot return with great riches out of Egypt.
6. Strife arises between Abram's herdsmen and those of Lot.
8. Abram allows Lot to choose his part of the country,
10. and Lot goes toward Sodom.
14. God renews his promise to Abram.
18. He moves to Hebron, and there builds an altar.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 13:13
6021 sin, nature of
4275 Sodom and Gomorrah
LibraryJuly 21. "Look from the Place Where Thou Art" (Gen. xiii. 14).
"Look from the place where thou art" (Gen. xiii. 14). Let us now see the blessedness of faith. Our own littleness and nothingness sometimes becomes bondage. We are so small in our own eyes we dare not claim God's mighty promises. We say: "If I could be sure I was in God's way I could trust." This is all wrong. Self-consciousness is a great barrier to faith. Get your eyes on Him and Him alone; not on your faith, but on the Author of your faith; not a half look, but a steadfast, prolonged look, with …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
August 11. "All the Land which Thou Seest" (Gen. xiii. 15).
"All the land which thou seest" (Gen. xiii. 15). The actual provisions of His grace come from the inner vision. He who puts the instinct in the bosom of yonder bird to cross the continent in search of summer sunshine in yonder Southern clime is too good to deceive it, and just as surely as He has put the instinct in its breast, so has He also put the balmy breezes and the vernal sunshine yonder to meet it when it arrives. He who gave to Abraham the vision of the Land of Promise, also said in infinite …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
The Importance of a Choice
'And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journeys from the south even to Beth-el, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-el and Hal; Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the Lord. And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Land of Promise
"All the Land which thou seest, to thee will I give it."--Gen. xiii. 15. Gertrude of Hellfde, 1330. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 It was as if upon His breast He laid His piercèd hand, And said "To thee, beloved and blest, I give this goodly land." O Land of fountains and of deeps, Of God's exhaustless store-- O blessed Land, where he who reaps Shall never hunger more-- O summer Land, for ever fair With God's unfading flowers; O Land, where spices fill the air, And songs the golden towers-- …
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)
The Wilderness: Temptation. Matthew 4:1-11. Mark 1:12, 13. Luke 4:1-13.
The University of Arabia: Jesus' naturalness--the Spirit's presence--intensity, Luke 2:45-51.--a true perspective--- the temptation's path--sin's path--John's grouping, 1 John 2:16.--the Spirit's plan--why--the devil's weakness--the Spirit's leading--a wilderness for every God-used man, Moses, Elijah, Paul. Earth's Ugliest, Deepest Scar: Jesus the only one led up to be tempted--the wilderness--its history, Genesis 13:10-13. 18:16-19:38.--Jesus really tempted--no wrong here in inner response--every …
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus
Notes on the Third Century
Page 161. Line 1. He must be born again, &c. This is a compound citation from John iii. 3, and Mark x. 15, in the order named. Page 182. Line 17. For all things should work together, &c. See Romans viii. 28. Page 184. Lines 10-11. Being Satan is able, &c. 2 Corinthians xi. 14. Page 184. Last line. Like a sparrow, &c. Psalm cii. Page 187. Line 1. Mechanisms. This word is, in the original MS., mechanicismes.' Page 187. Line 7. Like the King's daughter, &c. Psalm xlv. 14. Page 188. Med. 39. The best …
Thomas Traherne—Centuries of Meditations
Discourse on the Good Shepherd.
(Jerusalem, December, a.d. 29.) ^D John X. 1-21. ^d 1 Verily, verily, I say to you [unto the parties whom he was addressing in the last section], He that entereth not by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. [In this section Jesus proceeds to contrast his own care for humanity with that manifested by the Pharisees, who had just cast out the beggar. Old Testament prophecies were full of declarations that false shepherds would arise to …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
The Old Testament Canon from Its Beginning to Its Close.
The first important part of the Old Testament put together as a whole was the Pentateuch, or rather, the five books of Moses and Joshua. This was preceded by smaller documents, which one or more redactors embodied in it. The earliest things committed to writing were probably the ten words proceeding from Moses himself, afterwards enlarged into the ten commandments which exist at present in two recensions (Exod. xx., Deut. v.) It is true that we have the oldest form of the decalogue from the Jehovist …
Samuel Davidson—The Canon of the Bible
The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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