And by the time the sun had risen over the land, Lot had reached Zoar.
Thus, in times of public calamity, there is often some little Zoar provided for them that love God, where they are wonderfully preserved from the judgments that fall on their country and their kindred. The Roman armies which surrounded Jerusalem, to execute on it the vengeance predicted, drew off, in an unaccountable manner, as if their design had been to give the Christians contained within its walls an opportunity of withdrawing to a little adjoining city, called Pella, which proved a Zoar to them, from whence they beheld the Roman eagles fly again to the destined prey, to be left no more till they had devoured it. And what is the church upon earth, but a Zoar, a little city (is it not a little one?) spared at the intercession of its Lord? Here the penitent, not yet strong enough to escape to the heavenly mountain, findeth rest and refreshment, and is invigorated to pursue his journey. Hither let him escape, and his soul shall live. But let him bear in mind, that in making his escape, perseverence alone can secure him. "He that endureth to the end," and he only, "shall be saved."
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: -
I. A TRULY RELIGIOUS LIFE is not a mere secret of the soul, but HAS ITS APPROPRIATE PLACE AND SURROUNDINGS.
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.
The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
THE ABSURDITY OF LETTING SECULAR MOTIVES GOVERN MEN'S CONDUCT. Lot went to Sodom because he thought it a secularly desirable place. (Genesis 13:10
.) He went there, and there his own piety was injured, his own children contaminated, and the partner of his own bosom became a victim of Divine judgment. The beauty of his home was his curse. The spirit of Lot is still common.
II. THE INCONGRUITY BETWEEN THE PHYSICAL AND MORAL SCENERY OF THE WORLD.
1. The abnormal state of human society.
2. The necessity of a retributive period.
3. A man's external circumstances are no true signs of character.
III. THE TREMENDOUS FORCE OF OLD ASSOCIATIONS.
1. The local.
2. The social.
3. The secular.
IV. THE FUTILITY OF HUMAN REASONING CONCERNING THE WAYS OF GOD.
1. God may deviate from the laws of nature; lie cannot from His word.
2. God has deviated from the laws of nature; He has never from His word.
V. THE DETERMINED ANTAGONIST OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT TO SIN.
Sunshine and midnight are alike great opportunities of God. They are as the pillar of fire and pillar of cloud to the whole race of man. By their dumb mouths God speaks to us, and their silent movement, without a sound, warns us of His presence, His love, and His providence. It was when God's servant, weak, failing, and infirm, shattered and broken, in deep sorrow, led by an angel, had placed his trembling foot-steps on the rock; it was then, when he had come safely out of the blazing city, and the lurid fires glared in the sky; when at last, though oh! how long, how lingeringly, the aged patriarch had emerged from his deep trouble; then the sun arose upon the earth.
2. Few characters in the Bible are more full of comfort than Lot's. Weak in disposition, faulty in his general life, erring after repeated warnings, irresolute even when he stood on the verge of ruin, God was yet willing to save him.
3. In the beginning he showed tendency, distinct and clear. He loved ease, comfort, wealth, worldly possessions, and beauty. He followed disposition. That disposition was not sinful — it was weak. It erred on the side of what multitudes (and those the good) admire — kindness, easiness, gentleness, affability, lack of severity. It was exactly the reverse of the disposition of Abraham. All doubt as to the end of Lot, and his position in eternity, is removed by the verse which declares, on the warrant and in the words of St. Peter, that "God delivered just Lot," who was "a righteous man." His escape is called a deliverance, and the act of God is spoken of as a means used to remove Lot from the sinful examples of Sodom and Gomorrha.
PeopleAbraham, Ammonites, Ben, Benammi, Lot, Moabites, Zoar
PlacesGomorrah, Sodom, Sodom and Gomorrah, Zoar
TopicsEntered, Lot, Reached, Risen, Rose, Zoar, Zo'ar
Outline1. Lot entertains two angels.
4. The vicious Sodomites are smitten with blindness.
12. Lot is warned, and in vain warns his sons-in-law.
15. He is directed to flee to the mountains, but obtains leave to go into Zoar.
24. Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed.
26. Lot's wife looks back and becomes a pillar of salt.
29. Lot dwells in a cave.
31. The incestuous origin of Moab and Ammon.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 19:1-29
4224 cities of the plain
6125 condemnation, divine
4275 Sodom and Gomorrah
LibraryThe Swift Destroyer
'And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest them be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that He said, Escape for thy life; look not …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Ship on Fire --A Voice of Warning
"Thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life."--Genesis 19:19. HERE IS THE ALARM of mercy declaring the sinner's duty--"Escape for thy life." Here is the work of grace, and the gratitude of the sinner after he is saved. "Thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life." The other day, there sailed down the Thames as stout a vessel as had ever ploughed the deep. The good ship "Amazon," had sailed the broad Pacific many a time, and …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 10: 1864
It shall be my business this morning to answer this temptation, and try to put a sword in your hands wherewith to resist the enemy when he shall come upon you with this cry;-- "Is it not a little one?" and tempt you into sin because he leads you to imagine that there is but very little harm in it. "Is it not a little one?" With regard then to this temptation of Satan concerning the littleness of sin, I would make this first answer, the best of men have always been afraid of little sins. The holy …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859
Some Man Will Say, "So Then any Thief Whatever is to be Accounted Equal...
19. Some man will say, "So then any thief whatever is to be accounted equal with that thief who steals with will of mercy?" Who would say this? But of these two it does not follow that any is good, because one is worse. He is worse who steals through coveting, than he who steals through pity: but if all theft be sin, from all theft we must abstain. For who can say that people may sin, even though one sin be damnable, another venial? but now we are asking, if a man shall do this or that, who will …
St. Augustine—Against Lying
As Concerning Purity of Body; Here Indeed a Very Honorable Regard Seems to Come...
10. As concerning purity of body; here indeed a very honorable regard seems to come in the way, and to demand a lie in its behalf; to wit, that if the assault of the ravisher may be escaped by means of a lie, it is indubitably right to tell it: but to this it may easily be answered, that there is no purity of body except as it depends on integrity of mind; this being broken, the other must needs fall, even though it seem intact; and for this reason it is not to be reckoned among temporal things, …
St. Augustine—On Lying
The Heavenly Footman; Or, a Description of the Man that Gets to Heaven:
TOGETHER WITH THE WAY HE RUNS IN, THE MARKS HE GOES BY; ALSO, SOME DIRECTIONS HOW TO RUN SO AS TO OBTAIN. 'And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain: escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.'--Genesis 19:17. London: Printed for John Marshall, at the Bible in Gracechurch Street, 1698. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. About forty years ago a gentleman, in whose company I had commenced my …
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3
But Some Man Will Say, Would Then those Midwives and Rahab have done Better...
34. But some man will say, Would then those midwives and Rahab have done better if they had shown no mercy, by refusing to lie? Nay verily, those Hebrew women, if they were such as that sort of persons of whom we ask whether they ought ever to tell a lie, would both eschew to say aught false, and would most frankly refuse that foul service of killing the babes. But, thou wilt say, themselves would die. Yea, but see what follows. They would die with an heavenly habitation for their incomparably more …
St. Augustine—Against Lying
The Debt of Irenæus to Justin Martyr
If we are to proceed with safety in forming a judgment as to the relation between Justin and Irenæus in respect of the matter which they have in common, it will be necessary not merely to consider a number of selected parallels, but also to examine the treatment of a particular theme in the two writers. Let us set side by side, for example, c. 32 of Justin's First Apology with c. 57 of the Demonstration. Justin has been explaining to his Roman readers who the Jewish prophets were, and then …
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching
The Sea of Sodom
The bounds of Judea, on both sides, are the sea; the western bound is the Mediterranean,--the eastern, the Dead sea, or the sea of Sodom. This the Jewish writers every where call, which you may not so properly interpret here, "the salt sea," as "the bituminous sea." In which sense word for word, "Sodom's salt," but properly "Sodom's bitumen," doth very frequently occur among them. The use of it was in the holy incense. They mingled 'bitumen,' 'the amber of Jordan,' and [an herb known to few], with …
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica
How the Married and the Single are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 28.) Differently to be admonished are those who are bound in wedlock and those who are free from the ties of wedlock. For those who are bound in wedlock are to be admonished that, while they take thought for each other's good, they study, both of them, so to please their consorts as not to displease their Maker; that they so conduct the things that are of this world as still not to omit desiring the things that are of God; that they so rejoice in present good as still, with earnest …
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great
The Disciple, -- Master, what is the Real Meaning of Service? is it that We...
The Disciple,--Master, what is the real meaning of service? Is it that we serve the Creator and then His creatures for His sake? Is the help of man, who is after all but a mere worm, of any value to God in caring for His great family, or does God stand in need of the help of man in protecting or preserving any of His creatures? The Master,--1. Service means the activity of the spiritual life and is the natural offering prompted by love. God, who is Love, is ever active in the care of His creation, …
Sadhu Sundar Singh—At The Master's Feet
Jesus, My Rock.
When the storm and the tempest are raging around me, Oh! where shall I flee to be safe from their shock? There are walls which no mortal hands built to surround me, A Refuge Eternal,--'Tis JESUS MY ROCK! When my heart is all sorrow, and trials aggrieve me, To whom can I safely my secrets unlock? No bosom (save one) has the power to relieve me, The bosom which bled for me, JESUS MY ROCK! When Life's gloomy curtain, at last, shall close o'er me, And the chill hand of death unexpectedly knock, I will …
John Ross Macduff—The Cities of Refuge: or, The Name of Jesus
The Apostles Chosen
As soon as he returned victorious from the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus entered on the work of his public ministry. We find him, at once, preaching to the people, healing the sick, and doing many wonderful works. The commencement of his ministry is thus described by St. Matt. iv: 23-25. "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout …
Richard Newton—The Life of Jesus Christ for the Young
And for Your Fearlessness against them Hold this Sure Sign -- Whenever There Is...
43. And for your fearlessness against them hold this sure sign--whenever there is any apparition, be not prostrate with fear, but whatsoever it be, first boldly ask, Who art thou? And from whence comest thou? And if it should be a vision of holy ones they will assure you, and change your fear into joy. But if the vision should be from the devil, immediately it becomes feeble, beholding your firm purpose of mind. For merely to ask, Who art thou  ? and whence comest thou? is a proof of coolness. …
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius
Epistle iv. To Cyriacus, Bishop.
To Cyriacus, Bishop. Gregory to Cyriacus, Bishop of Constantinople. We have received with becoming charity our common sons, George the presbyter and Theodore your deacon; and we rejoice that you have passed from the care of ecclesiastical business to the government of souls, since, according to the voice of the Truth, He that is faithful in a little will be faithful also in much (Luke xvi. 10). And to the servant who administers well it is said, Because thou hast been faithful over a few things, …
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great
Letter Xlv (Circa A. D. 1120) to a Youth Named Fulk, who Afterwards was Archdeacon of Langres
To a Youth Named Fulk, Who Afterwards Was Archdeacon of Langres He gravely warns Fulk, a Canon Regular, whom an uncle had by persuasions and promises drawn back to the world, to obey God and be faithful to Him rather than to his uncle. To the honourable young man Fulk, Brother Bernard, a sinner, wishes such joy in youth as in old age he will not regret. 1. I do not wonder at your surprise; I should wonder if you were not suprised [sic] that I should write to you, a countryman to a citizen, a monk …
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux
Triumph Over Death and the Grave
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin: and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. T he Christian soldier may with the greatest propriety, be said to war a good warfare (I Timothy 1:18) . He is engaged in a good cause. He fights under the eye of the Captain of his salvation. Though he be weak in himself, and though his enemies are many and mighty, he may do that which in other soldiers …
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2
Journey to Jerusalem. Ten Lepers. Concerning the Kingdom.
(Borders of Samaria and Galilee.) ^C Luke XVII. 11-37. ^c 11 And it came to pass, as they were on their way to Jerusalem, that he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee. [If our chronology is correct, Jesus passed northward from Ephraim about forty miles, crossing Samaria (here mentioned first), and coming to the border of Galilee. He then turned eastward along that border down the wady Bethshean which separates the two provinces, and crossed the Jordan into Peræa, where we soon …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
The Covenant of Works
Q-12: I proceed to the next question, WHAT SPECIAL ACT OF PROVIDENCE DID GOD EXERCISE TOWARDS MAN IN THE ESTATE WHEREIN HE WAS CREATED? A: When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him upon condition of perfect obedience, forbidding him to eat of the tree of knowledge upon pain of death. For this, consult with Gen 2:16, 17: And the Lord commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt …
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
The Hindrances to Mourning
What shall we do to get our heart into this mourning frame? Do two things. Take heed of those things which will stop these channels of mourning; put yourselves upon the use of all means that will help forward holy mourning. Take heed of those things which will stop the current of tears. There are nine hindrances of mourning. 1 The love of sin. The love of sin is like a stone in the pipe which hinders the current of water. The love of sin makes sin taste sweet and this sweetness in sin bewitches the …
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12
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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