Genesis 19: Destruction and Deliverance

Posted: February 15, 2011 in Devotionals

After the events in Chapter 18, the two angels (who appeared like men) that accompanied the LORD head to Sodom. The reason for their venture there is explained in 18:20-21

“Then the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

The two angels end up in Sodom because of the perversity and wickedness of the men in the  city. The LORD has decided that he’s gonna put a stop to their evil.  The two angels are sent to investigate the evidence. To see the evil up close. So they show up in the city and Lot comes to meet them while they were hanging out in the town square one night. Just like his uncle Abe, Lot shows hospitality to them. He insists that they don’t stay in the city square (we’ll see why in a sec). Instead, he invites them to crash at his house. Lot finally prevails and they come to his house for the night.

Then something strange happens.  Verse 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”.

What in the world? What could these guys be up to? Without any further info, you get the idea that whatever it is, it ain’t good. Imagine if your were turning in for the night. Just climbing into bed when you hear the faint murmur of voices outside your window. You peek outside to see a sizable mob forming around your house! Then the text says, these men yelled from outside,

Where are the men  who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”      Genesis 19:5

Now….on the surface this sounds harmless. Sounds like these guys are the part of the local welcoming committee.  Lot has had a chance to show them hospitality. Now they want a chance, right? WRONG! The verb translated “know” in this verse (and others- Genesis 4:1,17, 25) refers to sex. This mob of men is interested in having their way with Lot’s visitors sexually. Lot comes to the rescue of his visitors. He steps outside, closes the door behind him and tries to talk the men down. (verses 6-7). Yay! Lot’s a hero right? Nooooot quite. His idea of fixing the situation, involves him letting these men have their way with his daughters instead of his visitors. So much for Daddy’s little girls.

But the men of the city won’t have it! They want the men who are visiting Lot. They accuse Lot of judging them. They essentially say, “who does this guy think he is, passing judgment on us” and they try to bust down the door. Then the angels pull Lot back in the house and strike all the men blind!

From that point…Lot’s visitors tell him to gather all his family and all his stuff and skip town. The evil of the city is verified. Apparently, this kind of sexual perversion characterized Sodom and Gomorrah. The evil persisted and so the LORD said enough is enough. The city was to be destroyed!

Lot listened to the angels and told his family to get ready to live. Some of them didn’t believe him. They thought he was joking. But sure enough…judgment came.

Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven.” And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.”                                              Genesis 19:24-25

And “….the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.”   Genesis 19:28

God delivers Lot and his fam (minus his wife…who looked back when she was told not to), and destroys Sodom and Gomorrah. God shows mercy and saves Lot and is fam, while he punishes the men of Sodom/ Gomorrah for their sin. Judgment and grace. God’s judgment against sin is real…it’s severe…and it’s inevitable. That’s clear from this account. Also clear from this account is the LORD’s willingness to show mercy and grace.

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