Early the next morning, Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD.
Early in the morning Abraham sought that favoured spot where but yesterday God had been pleased to manifest Himself, and where he had been favoured with a season of extraordinary communion. Whither should the believer go, but to that choice place, dear to his heart, where he has communed with the Lord? It is a high privilege, the highest which mortals can enjoy, to talk with God, to plead with Him, to use arguments, and to prevail. Such grace had Abraham found. No marvel that he goes back to the place where God had thus drawn nigh to him. Doubtless one reason why he rose early, and went to the place, and looked towards Sodom, was an anxious desire to know how his prayers had speeded. It is remarkable that he does not appear to have observed the storm as it came down from heaven. Hence we may infer how rapid the destruction of the cities must have been. God rained fire out of heaven upon Sodom; it seems to have been done in a moment; the whole plain was destroyed; and all that Abraham saw after he rose up, which was probably just at the sun-rise, was merely the smoke that followed the conflagration. So does God drive His enemies away.
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.
And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord: and he looked toward Sodom. I.
HE REGARDS THEM WITH SOLEMN EMOTION.
II. HE IS SATISFIED WITH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD AS SEEN IN THEM.
III. HE HAS SOME COMPENSATIONS IN REGARD TO THEM. Some were delivered.
Praying souls are early up to observe God's answer to their desires (Psalm 5:3
2. Where souls have once met with God, well may they hasten to hear return of prayer from Him there again (ver. 27).
3. Saints under God's indulgence may be solicitous about the state of the wicked to look after them.
4. The righteous see sometimes vengeance executed upon the ungodly, notwithstanding all mediation made with God for them.
5. Where the smoke of sin hath offended God's eyes, the smoke of vengeance shall arise there.
6. In the midst of pouring out fury on the wicked, God is mindful of the mediation of His saints.
7. One righteous soul may fare the better for the intercession of another. Lot for Abraham.
8. Righteous souls may put themselves in danger of destruction by sitting down among the wicked.
9. The righteous God in His execution spareth, and destroyeth not the righteous with the wicked.
10. Some spectacles of mercy God hath made in snatching them from the midst of His overthrow, as brands out of the burning, as well as He hath made others examples of His vengeance (ver. 29).
I. WITH WHAT EMOTIONS OUGHT WE TO GAZE UPON THE TORMENTS OF UNGODLY AND IMPENITENT SOULS?
1. Certainly it should always be with an humble submission to the Divine will. The assurance that God is just, even in the midst of His hot displeasure, must ever be cherished. The Judge of all the earth cannot but do right.
2. Surely, too, another emotion, which a glance towards the dreary doom of the ungodly can never fail to prompt, is that of ingratitude. "And why am I not there? They gnaw their fire-tormented tongues in vain: and why am I not there? Did they sin? I have sinned. Did they curse God and die? I, too, have cursed God; and it was a marvel that I did not die."
3. Should there not also here be deep feelings of humility? Look to the hole of the pit whence thou was digged, and the rock whence God hath hewn thee I What those sinners were, such wert thou.
4. And there is a sensation which must thrill through every nerve, and the thought will sometimes blanch our cheeks with terror, lest we also should come thither. Metinks a glance of the eye towards the smoke of Gehenna would always prompt a holy jealousy over one's own heart, and a diligent watchfulness of one's own walk. What sayest thou to this, professor? Thou seest the smoke going up for ever: what if thou shouldst come there after all?
II. Look thou, Christian — if thou canst look — and see there THE EVIL OF SIN. Dost thou start? That is the true harvest of the sowing of iniquity. Come, sinner, I charge thee look at it. This is what sin brings forth; this is the full-grown child. Thou hast dandled it; thou hast kissed and fondled it; see what it comes to. Hell is but sin full-grown, that is all.
1. As the Christian, with downcast and blushing face looks to the place where their worm dieth not and their fire is not quenched, he is awe-struck with the justice of God. "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little."
2. Another lesson now comes to us, and one which I hope will be more pleasing, and affect some minds that may not be moved by what we have hitherto said. Looking at the destruction of the wicked, this reflection crosses our minds. We, His people, have been redeemed from destruction! What a price must that have been which redeemed us from such woe and rescued us from such a place of torment!
3. That fearful vision which beclouds my eyes and makes them feel heavy, at the same time presses upon me with a tremendous weight, while I mention another truth. Behold here the solemnity of the gospel ministry, the responsibility of those who listen to it, and the need there is for earnestness in handling divine things. Have I to deal with immortal souls? Then let me not trifle. My brethren in the faith, and sisters, too, with what earnestness should this invest you! Whitfield could say, "When I think of these things, I wish I could stand upon the top of every hackney-coach in London, and preach to the passers by." We do not preach as if we meant it. I am afraid that we make infidels by our lethargy, and that you Christian people help to prevent the usefulness of the Word of God by the apparent indifference with which you treat eternal things.
III. I am weary with my picture; I am weary with looking into that thick darkness. Let me turn your eyes another way. WOULD YOU BE SAVED? See yonder little hill outside Jerusalem's streets. God has become Man. He is bearing sin upon His shoulders. Wherefore do I picture this? Why, here is your salvation. You must have an interest in the sufferings of that Man, or you must suffer for yourself for ever.
God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow. —I. THE TERRORS OF GOD'S JUSTICE TOWARDS THE WORLD OF THE UNGODLY.
II. THE TRIUMPH OF GOD'S MERCY TOWARDS THE CHILDREN OF HIS LOVE.
1. He originates the plan of salvation.
2. He overcomes the hindrances and obstacles to salvation which arise in our minds.
3. He will surely bring us to the rest and the refuge which He has prepared for us.
PeopleAbraham, Ammonites, Ben, Benammi, Lot, Moabites, Zoar
PlacesGomorrah, Sodom, Sodom and Gomorrah, Zoar
TopicsEarly, Face, Gat, Got, Morning, Returned, Riseth, Rose, Stood, Talking
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 19:27
4224 cities of the plain
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.
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Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great
The Disciple, -- Master, what is the Real Meaning of Service? is it that We...
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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
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Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
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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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