Genesis 19:1
The two angels entered Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them, bowed with his face to the ground,
Sermons
Angel Work in a Bad TownF. B. Meyer, B. A., J. C. Gray.Genesis 19:1-3
Angels' Word to LotHomilistGenesis 19:1-3
Lot's HospitalityM. Dods, D. D.Genesis 19:1-3
The Character of LotM. Dods, D. D.Genesis 19:1-3
The Eve of Judgment to the RighteousT. H. Leale.Genesis 19:1-3
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord. The promise to Abraham included -

(1) understanding of God's acts;

(2) that he should become a mighty nation;

(3) that he should be ancestor of the promised Seed;

(4) that he himself should be a blessing to others.

Of these points two at least are not confined to him personally, but belong to all who will. To know what God doeth a man must be taught of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14; cf. Isaiah 7:12). There is a wide difference between seeing an event, or even foreseeing it, and understanding God's lessons therein. To be able in everything to mark the love, and care, and wisdom of God; to walk with him as a child, accepting what he sends not merely as inevitable, but as loving; to learn lessons from all that happens, and through the works of his hands to see our Father's face - this is peace, and this is what the wisdom of this world cannot teach (Matthew 11:25; 1 Corinthians 1:20, 21). Again, Abraham was to be not merely the ancestor of a nation, but the father of a spiritual family by influence and example (Matthew 3:9; Galatians 3:7). In this his calling is that of every Christian (Daniel 12:3; Matthew 5:13, 14). Text connects the godly rule of a family with both these blessings. Christianity is not to be a selfish, but a diffusive thing (Matthew 5:15; Matthew 13:83); and the influence must needs begin at home (cf. Numbers 10:29; Acts 1:8), among those whom God has placed with us.

I. THINGS NEEDFUL FOR THIS WORK.

1. Care for his own soul. If that is not cared for a man cannot desire the spiritual good of others. He may desire and try to train his children and household in honesty and prudence; to make them good members of society, successful, respected; and may cultivate all kindly feelings; but not till he realizes eternity will he really aim at training others for eternity. Might say that only one who has found peace can fully perform this work. A man aroused with desire that his family should be saved. But he cannot press the full truth as it is in Jesus.

2. Love for the souls of others. Christians are sometimes so wrapped up in care for their own souls as to have few thoughts for the state of others. Perhaps from a lengthened conflict the mind has been too much turned upon its own state. But this is not the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:24). It is not a close following of him. It tells of a halting in the "work of faith" (2 Corinthians 5:13, 14; cf. Romans 10:1).

3. Desire to advance the kingdom of Christ. When a man has this he sees in every one a soul for which Christ died (cf. John 4:35), and those with whom he is closely connected must chiefly call forth this feeling.

II. THE MANNER OF THE WORK. Family worship; acknowledgment of God as ruling in the household; his will a regulating principle and bond of union. Let this be a reality, not a form. Let the sacrificial work of Christ be ever put forward in instruction and in prayer. Personal example - constantly aiming at a holy life. To pray in the family and yet to be evidently making no effort to live in the spirit of the prayer is to do positive evil; encouraging the belief that God may be worshipped with words, without deeds; and tending to separate religion from daily life. Prayer in private for each member - children, servants, &c.; and watchfulness to deal with each as God shall give opportunity (Proverbs 15:23). Let prayer always accompany such efforts. - M.







And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom.
I. THE RIGHTEOUS MAN IS FOUND IN THE WAY OF DUTY.

1. The duty of his calling.

2. The duty arising from the relations of human life.

II. THE RIGHTEOUS MAN IS SEPARATE FROM SINNERS. In the world, but living above it. This separateness, which is necessarily the mark of the righteous character, involves: —

1. Sorrow for the spiritual state of men alienated from God.

2. A principle which regulates choice of companionship. A good man will avoid the contagion of evil example, and be attracted to that which is most Godlike.

(T. H. Leale.)

I. THE REASONS WHICH JUSTIFIED THIS SUPREME ACT OF DESTRUCTING.

1. It was a merciful warning to the rest of mankind.

2. Moreover, in this terrible act, the Almighty simply hastened the result of their own actions.

3. Besides, this overthrow only happened after careful investigation.

4. There is this consideration also — that, during the delay, many a warning was sent.

5. It is worthy of notice that God saved all whom He could.

II. THE MOTIVES OF THE ANGELS' VISIT.

1. The proximate or nearest cause was their own love to man.

2. The efficient cause was Abraham's prayer.

3. The ultimate cause was God's mercy.

III. THE ANGELS WENT TO WHERE LOT WAS — to Sodom. As a ray of light may pass through the foetid atmosphere of some squalid court, and emerge without a stain on its pure texture, so may angels spend a night in Sodom, surrounded by crowds of sinners, and yet be untainted angels still. If you go to Sodom for your gains, as Lot did, you will soon show signs of moral pollution. But if you go to save men, as these angels did, you may go into a very hell of evil, where the air is laden with impurity and blasphemy, but you will not be befouled. No grain of mud shall stick.

IV. THEY WERE CONTENT TO WORK FOR VERY FEW. It has been said that the true method of soul-winning is to set the heart on some one soul; and to pursue it, until it has either definitely accepted, or finally rejected, the Gospel of the grace of God. We should not hear so many cries for larger spheres, if Christians only realized the possibilities of the humblest life. Christ found work enough in a village to keep Him there for thirty years. Philip was torn from the great revival in Samaria to go into the desert to win one seeker after God.

V. THEY HASTENED HIM. Let us hasten sinners. Let us say to each one: "Escape for thy life; better lose all than lose your soul. Look not behind to past attainments or failures. Linger nowhere outside the City of Refuge, which is Jesus Christ Himself. Haste ye; habits of indecision strengthen; opportunities are closing in; the arrow of destruction has already left the bow of justice; now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

I. THE WARNING.

1. How given. The messenger an angel! The deliverance of one man from a temporary calamity worthy of an angel's powers. The great privilege of those who are permitted to save souls from eternal death. We have had many warnings. Prophets, apostles, &c., &c. "If the word spoken by angels was steadfast," &c.

2. To whom given. Lot. Even he, an imperfect man, shall be saved. "Not one of these little ones shall perish." "None shall by any means pluck you out of My Father's hand."

3. Its nature. Unprecedented. Startling. Life and death. Several cities to be destroyed.

4. When given. On the eve of the event predicted. No time for saving property. Life the only thing to be carried away. Presently the time will come when we can carry nothing away with us. Are we now prepared? We may have but a short warning, or none at all.

II. THE ESCAPE.

1. Lot receives the warning. Informs his sons-in-law. They ridiculed it. Scoffers. Many make a mock at sin. Still worse to make a mock of religion. Many do even this. Their "day is coming." Was there any cause in Lot for their scoffs? Had they not sufficient reason, in his known character, to believe him? Imperfect piety has little influence. Probably his influence in Sodom was not very great.

2. He lingered.

(1)The time. Not a moment to be lost.

(2)The place. Sodom. Sinful and doomed.

(3)The reason. Did not doubt the warning. Not doubt, but sinful attachments. Had friends and property in this wicked place.

3. Compulsion was needful. The angels had to lead him forth. Strange that men need to be coerced into accepting a great deliverance. Yet this brand was plucked from the burning. Men have to be compelled to come in, &c.

4. Even then Lot did not wish to go as far as he could from destruction, but to remain as near as possible.

III. THE JUDGMENT.

1. The people were employed, as usual, in their pleasures, labours, or sins. Did not think their end was so near. So will it be at the judgment of the world. Death may overtake us unawares.

2. Lot being at a safe distance, the fearful tempest commenced. Fire destroyed the city, and water soon flowed over and submerged the smoking ruins.

3. Lot's wife, looking back, was changed into a pillar of salt. None who are on the way to heaven can look back longing on the world they leave without injury. Old attachments are thereby strengthened, and new occupations, &c., are made distasteful. Such declension displeasing to God.

1. The wonderful mercy of God for even imperfect Christians.

2. The duty of thankfully receiving the warning He sends.

3. The duty that lays upon us of warning men "to flee from the wrath to come."

4. God's great love in providing a deliverer for us.

(J. C. Gray.)

Homilist.
1. Their humanity.

(1)They showed themselves susceptible of human influence.

(2)They appeared in human form.

(3)They partook of human food.

2. Their power.

I. THAT THEY HAVE A NATURE SUPERIOR TO HUMAN INFIRMITIES.

II. THAT THEY REGARD PARENTS AS ESPECIALLY BOUND TO SEEK THE WELFARE OF THEIR FAMILIES.

III. THAT THEY REGARD SIN AS TOUCHING THE HEART OF THE GREAT GOD.

1. God being omniscient is cognisant of every sin.

2. God being holy must be pained by every sin.

IV. THAT THEY REGARD THEMSELVES AS DIVINELY COMMISSIONED TO INFLICT CALAMITIES WHERE THERE IS SIN. Conclusion:

1. Life is solemn.

2. God is great.

3. Sin is ruinous.

(Homilist.)

Lot's character is a singularly mixed one. With all his selfishness he was hospitable and public-spirited. Lover of good living, as undoubtedly he was, his courage and strength of character are yet unmistakable. His sitting at the gate in the evening to offer hospitality may fairly be taken as an indication of his desire to screen the wickedness of his townsmen, and also to shield the stranger from their brutality. From the style in which the mob addressed him it is obvious that he had made himself offensive by interfering to prevent wrongdoing. He was nick-named "the Censor," and his eye was felt to carry condemnation. It is true there is no evidence that his opposition had been of the slightest avail. How could it avail with men who knew perfectly well that, with all his denunciation of their wicked ways, he preferred their money-making company to the desolation of the hills, where he would be vexed with no filthy conversation, but would also find no markets? Still it is to Lot's credit that in such a city, with none to observe, none to applaud, and none to second him, he should have been able to preserve his own purity of life and steadily to resist wrong-doing. It would be cynical to say that he cultivated austerity and renounced popular vices as a salve to a conscience wounded by his own greed. That he had the courage which lies at the root of strength of character became apparent as the last dark night of Sodom wore on. To go out among a profligate, lawless mob, wild with passion and infuriated by opposition — to go out and shut the door behind him — was an act of true courage. His confidence in the influence he had gained in the town cannot have blinded him to the temper of the raging crowd at his door. To defend his unknown guests he put himself in a position in which men have frequently lost life. In the first few hours of his last night in Sodom there is much that is admirable and pathetic in Lot's conduct. But when we have said that he was bold and that he hated other men's sins, we have exhausted the more attractive side of his character. The inhuman collectedness of mind with which, in the midst of a tremendous public calamity, he could scheme for his own private wen-being is the key to his whole character. He had no feeling, lie was cold-blooded, calculating, keenly alive to his own interest, with all his wits about him to reap some gain to himself out of every disaster; the kind of man out of whom wreckers are made, who can with gusto strip gold rings off the fingers of doomed corpses; out of whom are made the villains who can rifle the pockets of their dead comrades on a battle-field, or the politicians who can still ride on the top of the wave that hurls their country on the rocks.

(M. Dods, D. D.)

Lot would fain have been as hospitable as Abraham. Deeper in his nature than any other consideration was the traditional habit of hospitality. To this he would have sacrificed everything; the rights of strangers were to him truly inviolable. Lot was a man who could as little see strangers without inviting them to his house as Abraham could. He would have treated them handsomely as his uncle; and what he could do he did. But Lot had by his choice of a dwelling made it impossible he should afford safe and agreeable lodging to any visitor, lie did his best, and it was not his reception of the angels that sealed Sodom's doom, and yet what shame he must have felt that he had put himself in circumstances in which his chief virtue could not be practised. So do men tie their own hands and cripple themselves so that even the good they would take pleasure in doing is either wholly impossible or turns to evil.

(M. Dods, D. D.)

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