From Genesis 19-21
Two angels come to Sodom in the evening. They are on a mission. They are to save all the righteous from the doomed city. When Lot finds out he urges his sons in law to leave. They don’t believe and they stay. They are destroyed with the rest.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
At the oaks of Mamre, the LORD has revealed to Abraham he is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their sin and wickedness (Gen 18.17f). In todays passage we find the LORD has already sent his angels to save the small number of righteous (Gen 18.22; cf. 2 Pet 2.7-9).
19 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. (Gen 19:1–3)
‘Gate’. Lot was sitting at the gate. He makes it his priority to welcome visitors to the city and extend his hospitality. He also wants to move them out of the city early in the morning. Lot doesn’t want them to stay for too long.
No one else does and this is an ominous sign for what is about to come.
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” (Gen 19:4-5)
‘Men’. The men of the city find out they have visitors and surround Lots house.
‘Know them’. A Hebrew euphemism for sexual intercourse. They are homosexuals. Sexual intercourse between men is called sodomy.
6 Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” (Gen 19:6-8)
‘Of my roof’, ‘Two daughters’. Lot shows how important the hospitality ethic was to his culture. He is prepared to hand over his daughters rather than his guests.
9 But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door. (Gen 19:9-11)
‘Judge’. The horrible men know the visitors are here to judge them.
They don’t like being held to account for their sins.
‘Blindness’. They overpower Lot, but the angels rescue Lot from their clutches and while doing so strike the wicked with blindness. They then exhaust themselves trying to find Lot’s door. I suspect the LORD made it more difficult for them.
12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting. (Gen 19:12-14)
The angels are in a hurry. They are here to collect all who are in Lot’s family. Presumably they assume they are righteous like Lot. And then they will destroy the city.
Lot hurries out to plead with them to come. They thought he was jesting.
Lot returns to his home dismayed with their response, still unwilling to leave them behind.
15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. (Gen 19:15–16)
Lot lingers. Possibly he was hoping they would change his son in laws mind. The angels forcibly remove him and his family.
The LORD was showing him mercy before he swept away the wicked.
“The Dead Sea region still reeks of sulphur, and the strange rock formations there recall the fate of Lot’s wife, who was even more attached to Sodom than he was (Lk. 17:32).” (New Bible commentary, p. 75)
Lot’s sons in law thought he was jesting. Unbelief in response to God is the stubborn and sinful refusal to accept God’s word and his messengers (cf. Isa 65.2; Jer 7.26).
Since the coming of Jesus Christ unbelief is frequently expressed in the rejection of his person and teaching. John the baptist proclaimed the same message in the gospel.
7 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” (Lk 3:7–10)
How have you responded to Jesus and his coming judgement?
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2016. All Rights Reserved.