I. A TRULY RELIGIOUS LIFE is not a mere secret of the soul, but HAS ITS APPROPRIATE PLACE AND SURROUNDINGS.
II. THE HOUSEHOLD of the true believer is A LARGE ENOUGH CIRCLE IN WHICH TO MANIFEST SINCERITY AND FAITHFULNESS, yet must we take heed that our house is well defended against the invasions of the corrupt world.
III. HOW GREAT A RESULT COMES OUT OFTEN FROM A SMALL BEGINNING OF ERROR! The selfishness of Lot's first choice of his residence was the seed of evil which multiplied into all the subsequent suffering and wrong.
IV. "Behold the GOODNESS and SEVERITY OF GOD" - mingled judgment and mercy, but not mingled in a confused manner, with perfect order. The man who had joined with Abraham in the covenant with Jehovah, who with all his faults was yet a believer, is warned, rescued by angels; able by his intercession to obtain mercy for others.
V. The DIVINE JUSTICE which is manifested on the large scale as BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD is also revealed in the smaller sphere of HOUSEHOLDS and families. Lot's wife is an apostate, and becomes involved in the destruction of the wicked. His sons-in-law mock at the Divine warning. His daughters become the incestuous originators of nations which afterwards greatly trouble the history of the people of God.
VI. THE SAME STEADFASTNESS OF GOD HAS TWO SIDES OR ASPECTS OF IT. "The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar." The same day, while the sun was serenely smiling on the city of refuge, the storm of fire and destruction from heaven was gathering over the doomed people and ready to burst upon them. "When God destroyed the cities of the plain, God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow." - R.
1. Sunshine and midnight are alike great opportunities of God. They are as the pillar of fire and pillar of cloud to the whole race of man. By their dumb mouths God speaks to us, and their silent movement, without a sound, warns us of His presence, His love, and His providence. It was when God's servant, weak, failing, and infirm, shattered and broken, in deep sorrow, led by an angel, had placed his trembling foot-steps on the rock; it was then, when he had come safely out of the blazing city, and the lurid fires glared in the sky; when at last, though oh! how long, how lingeringly, the aged patriarch had emerged from his deep trouble; then the sun arose upon the earth.
The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
Homilist.I. THE ABSURDITY OF LETTING SECULAR MOTIVES GOVERN MEN'S CONDUCT. Lot went to Sodom because he thought it a secularly desirable place. (Genesis 13:10.) He went there, and there his own piety was injured, his own children contaminated, and the partner of his own bosom became a victim of Divine judgment. The beauty of his home was his curse. The spirit of Lot is still common.
II. THE INCONGRUITY BETWEEN THE PHYSICAL AND MORAL SCENERY OF THE WORLD.
1. The abnormal state of human society.
2. The necessity of a retributive period.
3. A man's external circumstances are no true signs of character.
III. THE TREMENDOUS FORCE OF OLD ASSOCIATIONS.
1. The local.
2. The social.
3. The secular.
IV. THE FUTILITY OF HUMAN REASONING CONCERNING THE WAYS OF GOD.
1. God may deviate from the laws of nature; lie cannot from His word.
2. God has deviated from the laws of nature; He has never from His word.
V. THE DETERMINED ANTAGONIST OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT TO SIN.
2. Few characters in the Bible are more full of comfort than Lot's. Weak in disposition, faulty in his general life, erring after repeated warnings, irresolute even when he stood on the verge of ruin, God was yet willing to save him.
3. In the beginning he showed tendency, distinct and clear. He loved ease, comfort, wealth, worldly possessions, and beauty. He followed disposition. That disposition was not sinful — it was weak. It erred on the side of what multitudes (and those the good) admire — kindness, easiness, gentleness, affability, lack of severity. It was exactly the reverse of the disposition of Abraham. All doubt as to the end of Lot, and his position in eternity, is removed by the verse which declares, on the warrant and in the words of St. Peter, that "God delivered just Lot," who was "a righteous man." His escape is called a deliverance, and the act of God is spoken of as a means used to remove Lot from the sinful examples of Sodom and Gomorrha.
(E. Monte, M. A.)
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