- Chapter 18
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Destroyed (ch. 19:1 - 29)
In verse 1 we note that
Lot was sitting at the gate to the city of
. This means that he was one
of the leading men of the city, an elder, a councilman, or something like
that. This has always
intrigued me. Abraham
pleaded with the Lord to spare
if there were ten righteous people in the city.
I believe that Abraham viewed
as one of these righteous people. I'm
sure I don't know the whole story, but I just wonder why a righteous man
lived in such an unrighteous place, and even was one of its leaders.
One answer might be that the whole area was unrighteous and
had no real choice where to live unless he wanted to move westward where
Abraham lived, but he had already chosen this place when Abraham and him
agreed to part company.
sees the two men coming towards him. We
know that these two men were angels, but I'm not sure
knew that at the time. I'm not
sure anyone really knows how
viewed these two men. Some say
knew they were angels right away because he bowed and fell face down and
said, "my lords". This
isn't necessarily conclusive evidence.
Bowing before a guest in that culture and in those days was normal
procedure. It is like us
shaking the hands of a guest. Calling
the two men, "my lords" is the same thing.
The word "lord" doesn't necessarily mean a subservient
relationship. It can just as easily mean "sir".
We use the word "sir" as a matter of respect, not as a
matter of a servant to his master. That
being said, in the culture of the day, when people had visitors, they
treated them almost as if the visitors were their masters.
So at this stage, I don't know if
understood these men to be angels or men. My
suspicion is that he viewed them as men.
In verse 2
does call himself a servant before these men.
Once again, this is all cultural.
You cannot say
viewed these men as angels based on this verse. Visitors
in that culture were respected almost as much as a master.
is a hospitable man. He
suggests that the two angels come to his house, wash their feet and spend
the night to be rested up for their journey the next day.
The washing of feet was another custom of the day when inviting
visitors into one's home.
understood these men to be angels, then I'm not sure that he'd suggest
that they needed refreshment before they went on their way.
I don't think angels need such refreshment, and I don't think they
need to walk wherever they are going. Angels
may not need refreshment, or they may not need to walk, but it does appear
that they do eat and walk since they are in human like bodies.
If you study angels in the Bible, you will note that when they
appear to humans, they appear as men, when in fact they are spirits.
So since they appear as men, they act like men.
The two angel/men said no
's request. They'd rather
spend the night in the town square for some reason.
I'm sure these angels knew what the men of Sodom
were like, and why they'd want to spend the night in the town square is
beyond me. Maybe they had
planned on preaching to the men in the square. The
town square would be where the men would have gathered to perform all
sorts of immorality in a massive way.
In verse 3 we see
persuaded them to come to his house. He
made a meal for them and they ate. The
question arises that if these two men were really angels, why did they
eat. I don't think they had to
eat, but apparently angels can eat. We
don't really know if angels really have the bodies we see them with.
Many believe angels are spirits, and when they appear to man, they
appear in some kind of body so they can be seen by men, but as soon as
they disappear, they dismantle that body.
Hebrews 1:14 calls angels "ministering spirits".
This might well back up what I've just said.
Concerning the angels
eating, I believe that after Jesus rose from the dead, He had His
glorified body. I'm not sure
His glorified body can be compared to the body these angels had, there's
no text that suggest any similarity, but I just point out that Jesus did
eat food with His glorified body, and so will we when we have our
glorified bodies in the next life on the new earth.
The book of Revelation makes that clear with the mentioning of
trees to eat from in the New Jerusalem.
Verse 4 speaks of the two
angel/men getting ready to go to bed.
Do angels need to sleep? It
seems that when angels are in some kind of human body, maybe they do.
The two men didn't
actually get to go to sleep because all the men of the city, both young
and old came knocking on
Verse 5 speaks to the
immoral nature of Sodom. The men of the city wanted
to open the door so they could have sex with the two men visiting him.
You can see what bad shape this city was in.
Christians today often think of how western civilization is very
immoral, but I'm not sure we're this bad yet.
I haven't yet seen all the men of a city pounding on one man's door
to have sex with his visitors. These
men were worse than animals.
In verses 6 and 7 we see
coming outside and closing the door behind him.
He did not want the men of the city to enter his house.
He told the men not to do this wicked thing.
By this, we do know that
viewed this to be wicked. You
might wonder why Lot lived in
Sodom, but at least we know that he himself did not participate in the
immorality. Maybe he viewed
himself as a missionary, but I donít know that for sure.
Verse 8 seems very
strange. I think at this point
that by now
might be feeling a little afraid of the men of the city.
They were getting more intent in persisting that they wanted the
two visitors. Why Lot
didn't just go back in the house and lock the door we don't know.
The men of the city probably would have just knocked down the door
anyway. So to appease the men
of the city
suggested they take his two young daughters who were virgins, yet we learn
later that they were in fact married virgins, that is, in the betrothal
stage of a marriage in those days. You
might say they were legally married, but were waiting for their husband to
take them from their father to live with them.
We can't say for sure why
would offer his daughters up to these men.
It just doesnít seem right, but their was a matter of honour
concerning visitors who were under his roof.
I just don't know why this matter of honour didn't extend to his
daughters as well. This does
show us how important people viewed visitors in those days.
It is nothing like the way we view visitors today.
We often tend to view visitors as a disruption.
says in verse 8 that these men have "come under the protection of my
roof". Again, we see the
cultural aspect of visitors here.
's house is a place of protection for them, and I think should be for his
daughters as well.
I think we can safely say
that at this point
was quite fearful, and would progressively become more fearful in the
moments ahead. This might
account a bit for
's actions concerning suggesting that the men could have his daughters.
We see the crowd of men
getting more angry in verse 9. They
were about to break down the door.
The crowd called
an "alien who wanted to play the judge".
Lot was an alien to
Sodom. He had moved there from a
distance. He was not born and
raised in Sodom. They were now resenting
When the men speak of Lot
"playing the judge", I believe they mean that
was judging what they should do. They
could not have the two visitors, but they could have his two daughters.
thought that this was his decision to make.
The men of the city thought that it was their decision to make.
The matter might have been made worse because we believe that
was one of the ruling elders of the city because he sat at the gateway to
the city. The crowd of men
might well have wondered why an alien was in such a place of authority and
had the right to make any kind of judgment.
In verse 10 we see the
two visitors rescuing
. They open the door and
We see the crowd of men
that if he doesn't let the two men outside, then they will do worse to him
than what they had planned on doing to the two men.
We see a couple of things here.
One thing we see is that the men of the city knew what they were
doing was wicked, but that didn't matter to them.
The other thing we note here is the matter of violence involved.
Sodom's sin was more than immorality, more than homosexuality.
It was violence. The mixture of violence and sexual sin is much
worse than immorality, with much worse effects.
Such mixture leads rape, wife abuse, child abuse, and even to mass
murder. So this is really the
and Gomorrah, that is, the mixture of sexual immorality and
didn't know these men were angels, he did now.
was inside, the two angels struck those men at the door with blindness.
You might wonder just what
thought at this point in time. These
weren't just two ordinary men.
In verses 12 and 13 the
if he as any other family members in the city, because in their words,
"we are getting ready to destroy this place".
To me, I think the two angels were down right disgusted and furious
at this point. They were ready
"to destroy this place". Again,
what a shock all this must have been to Lot.
Verse 13 says that
"the outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has
sent us to destroy it". The
question that comes to my mind here is, "who is doing the outcry to
the Lord concerning Sodom? It sounds to me like a
major outcry. It obviously didn't come from the men of
Sodom, and even from Lot, or so I think. I'm not
wondering if the outcry didn't come from the angelic world.
That would be my thinking at present. Angels do have a part to play
in the affairs of mankind and
I believe they'd be just as upset over events on the earth as God Himself
In verse 14 we note that
"went out to his sons-in-law who were pledged to marry his
daughters". In our
culture we don't consider men sons-in-laws until after they marry our
daughters, not before. In
those days, and with
in Old Testament times, marriage was a two step procedure.
Their period similar to our engagement period was in fact marriage.
called the men his sons-in-law. Yet
the consummation of the marriage did not take place until a later date.
The woman still lived at home until her husband came to get her.
So when Lot
offered his daughters to the men of the city, he did not just offer his
daughters, but his sons-in-law's virgin wives as well.
That sounds worse than simply offering the men of the city his
In verse 14 Lot warned
this sons-in-law that the Lord was going to destroy
but the sons-in-law laughed it off and thought that
was joking. This was no joking
matter. This is
understandable. Sodom, and those who lived in
had no understanding of God, and know understanding of His judgment.
This is much like the days of Noah when Noah warned people of the
flood and God's judgment. Few
people knew of such things, so it's easy to understand that Noah, and now
were a bit crazy in the eyes of the general public.
Many people think Christians today are just as crazy too when we
speak of impending judgment by God.
You might wonder if God
judged the people back then when they were living in ignorance.
Did they really know and understand what they were doing was wrong.
If they were like the men of Noah's day, did they not just grow up
in this immoral culture and therefore knew nothing else.
Well, some might suggest that their consciences could have told
them they were in the wrong, yet Paul says that some people's consciences
are distorted and can't tell right from wrong.
Whatever the case, God judged these people even if they did not
know better, and He will do the same at the end of this age.
Why the angels waited
until the morning to destroy the city we don't know, but in verse 15 they
to hurry, get his wife and daughters and leave the city immediately.
Sometimes when God says to do something, you do it, no questions
We see in verse 16 that
hesitated. He must have been
thinking of what to do. So the
two angels took his hand, his wife's hand, and the hands of their
daughters, and they led them out of the city.
My guess is that this was not a leisurely stroll
I think it was more like a mad dash to the gates of the city.
In verse 17 one of the
angels told them "to flee for their lives".
This is like a fireman telling a person to run as fast and as far
as you can from the burning house. The
angels were rescuing
and his family from judgment. This
is how we should view our lives on this earth.
We should understand that God has and will rescue us from the way
of the world. The problem is
that we don't want to be rescued from the world.
We love it too much. But
the world will be judged and it will be severe. God will also rescue us
from judgment, that is why some believe in a pre-trib rapture.
They don't believe God will judge the righteous with the wicked.
In verse 18
expresses his fears to one of the angels.
He pleads with the angel not to destroy Sodom
because he would not be able to flee to the mountains fast enough.
The judgment would overtake him in the process and he and his
family would be destroyed. We
see that battle of flesh and spirit here.
is actually speaking to an angel of God, yet his fears rise to the
surface. You'd wonder how and
couldn't just trust and accept the angel's words for him.
Our flesh is strong, stronger than we might want to admit.
In verse 20
tries to negotiate with the angel to flee to another town near by.
He says, "let me flee to it. It is very small, isn't it?"
The nature of this comment being a question to me suggest
's fear is really bubbling over. Like,
"isn't this town good enough? Please,
let it be good enough."
In verse 21 we see that
convinced the angel. The angel
said that he would spare that little town from destruction as if to say
that he might well have been planning on destroying it too.
This tells me that more than just
was destroyed here.
Once deciding not to
destroy Zoar, the town in question here, the angel tells Lot to hurry
because he could not destroy
until he left. Many Christians
today take this verse to support a pre-trib rapture.
They say that Lot and his family had to leave before God's wrath
was poured out on
Sodom, because God does not pour out his wrath on his people.
That might well be true, but I don't think that is the main point
to this verse. The angel could
with Lot still there because the Lord promised Abraham that He wouldn't
if there were righteous people living in the city.
had to leave before the destruction occurred.
It's that simple. That
being said, the principle that is behind the pre-trib rapture position
might well be right, but it's not the main point to this verse, or so I
In verses 23 and 24 we
see that after the sun rose in the sky the Lord poured out burning sulfur
from heaven to destroy both
and Gomorrah. I can't imagine the pain and
suffering the people would have went through.
Sulfur alone is burning to the eyes, let alone enough to burn two
or more cities.
Verse 26 clarifies that
God destroyed more than just
Sodom, and more than just Gomorrah. He destroyed all the land of
the plain as well, and that included the vegetation.
So it was a large area of land that was destroyed, and that is why
the angel wanted Lot to leave, not only Sodom
but the whole land of the plains. The
to go up into the mountains because the land of the plains would be
destroyed as well.
This is interesting.
All the land of the plain was destroyed, except for Zoar, the
little city that
pleaded to go to. Many
prophetic Futurists believe this to be significant, because they believe
this is prophetic of Israel
fleeing into a specific mentioned safe place at the final battle of
Some pre-trib rapture
people suggests this is yet another hint of a pre-trib rapture.
Others, who don't believe in a pre-trib rapture suggest that God
did not take
out of this world but simply put him in a safe place and protected him.
They say that is what God will do during the seven years of
tribulation. That is, we still
stay on earth, but we will be protected from God's wrath.
Verse 26 seems pretty
drastic on the surface.
's wife looked back and as a result she turned into a pillar of salt.
Why would God do such a drastic thing just because she turned
around to look. Well, my guess
is that there is more to the story than her just looking back as she was
running to Zoar. She had to
have stopped, and in her heart looked back in the sense that she did not
want to leave Sodom. She might well have been in
the process of leaving
, but I think Sodom
never left her. I think, in
her heart, she loved Sodom
and was very sad to see it on fire. For
this reason, she was judged by God.
So here we have one
numbered as one of the righteous that in fact appears not to have been
righteous. What a story.
I think it says a lot of Israel
and the church today. Not all
are Israel, as Paul puts it. I'd also
suggest that not all in the church are the church.
's wife is one of these, although she was numbered with the righteous, she
In verses 27 and 28 we
see Abraham woke up the next day and went to the place where he had
pleaded with the Lord. He
looked towards the land of the plains and saw the smoke rise from the
earth. At the end of
this age, the saints of God will look from a far and see the smoke rise
from the judgment of God on the earth as well.
In verse 29 we see that
God remembered Abraham once the destruction was over.
This might be a hint of Israel's restoration at the end of this age.
Once the enemies of God and
are destroyed, God will remember Israel
and restore her to what she should have been all along.
The verse also reminds us that God rescued
, and rescue is a good word, for that is what He did, and that is what He
does for us. God will rescue
all of those who are truly His from His future judgment one way or
This whole event might
well be prophetic, as some, if not many Old Testament events are.
To me, this is a clear picture of the final judgment that God will
bring to the earth at the end of this age.
And His Daughters (ch. 19:30 - 38)
Verse 30 tells us that
once everything settled down that
and his two daughters left Zoar, and went to live in the mountains,
actually a cave in the mountains. That's
where the angels wanted
to go in the first place, and that is where he ended up.
He, like Abraham could look down over the land of the plains and
see the destruction, a memory that would last his whole life.
I think after the destruction at the end of this age, we'll do the
same. The memory may never
leave us. We'll understand how
great God is throughout eternity.
Verse 31 and 32 may
appear to be strange, and strange it is.
's two daughters were up in the hills, away from the rest of the male
population. They had no
husbands to carry on the family line, and that was more important for
people back then than it is for us today.
So the made a plan. They'd
get their father drunk and they'd have sex with him so they could get
pregnant. Once again, we see
how culture has such a strong place in their society, that these girls
would actually have sex with their father in order to have children, and
especially a boy.
So in verse 33 Lot's
daughters gave him some wine, sufficient wine to get him so drunk that she
could have sex with him and he would not even remember what took place.
You might wonder why a righteous
man would even get drunk in the first place.
I'd suggest that the standards of righteousness might be higher in
New Testament times than they were in Old Testament times.
As seen in verses 34 and
35, the next night the two girls got their father drunk again and this
time the younger of the two had sex with her father so both of them could
carry on the family line through their dad.
I guess they were hoping to have boy babies.
I'm not sure what they would have done if their babies were girls. They
didn't have to worry about that. In
verses 37 and 38 we see that both girls, or I should probably say ladies
at this point, had sons. The
older called her son
while the younger called her son Ben-Ammie.
Ben-Ammie means "son
of my people", appropriately named.
His descendents became the Ammorites.
means "from father". The
in turn became the Moabites. You might wonder because of these names, if
ever found out what he had done while he was drunk, or if his daughters
ever told him at some point in time.
Next Section -
- Chapter 18