Thursday, January 19, 2012

Genesis Bible Study notes- Chapter 19


Chapter 19-

-The doom of Sodom and Gomorrah is narrated in this chapter with the principle character being Lot, whom Abraham prayed for to be saved. Lot, again, was Abraham’s nephew that parted company for the fertile Jordan Valley when he and Abraham’s flocks and possessions became too great to sustain in the hill country. The green pastures and prosperity of the Jordan region is what Lot chose, but the cities of this area were exceedingly wicked. God’s judgment was about to fall on the sinful cities in a big way. However, before He destroyed the cities, He gave ample warning and went all the way down to  the point of sparing the city if ten righteous could be found in His conversation with Abraham (Genesis 18:23-32).

-Two angels (Hebrew word for angel means messenger) came to Sodom in the evening and found Lot sitting at the gate of the city. When he met them he bowed down with his face to the ground in honor and respect. How did Lot know the magnitude of these angels? They were the two angels that were with the LORD that appeared to Abraham in Mamre (Genesis 18:1-2), but there is no indication Lot knew of this encounter. Whatever the case, Lot no doubt held a prominent position in the city (the reason he could sit at the city gate), which is probably the reason for his hesitation to leave in the end.

-Lot welcomes his guests by insisting that they stay at his house for the night. As the evening progressed, the men of the city came near his house and wanted to have sexual relations with these foreigners. Lot so wanted to protect them that he offered to give them his virgin daughters for their depraved sexual pleasures, but they insisted on having the two angels. The men of the city tell Lot that one of the angels is acting like a judge of them (probably some Noah type warnings had been issued, and the people did not like the rebuke in their extreme sinful state), and they were going to treat Lot worse than the angels when they got hold of them. It got to the point that they were going to break into his quarters, but the angels pulled Lot back into the house and blinded the pursuers to the point they got weary of trying to find the doorway. Lot’s estate must have been large and encompassing a vast area for this to have happened. Certainly he had up to this point been a man of means and prosperity and power in the region. But, his influence had been null and void in the spiritual condition of his culture as evidenced by this episode.

-The outcry of this place had now become so great before the LORD that the angels had been sent to destroy it. Lot tries to warn his future sons-in-law, but they thought he was jesting and did not take him seriously. This was a tragic mistake for these young men and an example to us to fear the LORD, His word, and His warnings.

-At dawn the next day Lot reluctantly leaves the city as the angels literally seize his hand and his wife’s hand and the hands of his two daughters, “for the compassion of the LORD was upon him (Genesis 19:16).” This was no doubt an answer to the prayers of Abraham for his nephew’s safety as well (Genesis 18:23).

-Lot and his family were warned not to look back as they escaped the fierce anger of the LORD on Sodom and Gomarrah. They told them to go to the mountains, but Lot persuaded them to let him stay in Zoar (a small valley town), which their stay did not last long there even though the LORD did have compassion and spared this area from the destruction for Lot’s sake.

-“Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone 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).” This area to this day is a barren wasteland on the south side of the Salt Sea. Archaeological evidence points to an advanced civilization in this area during the time of Abraham with some type of sudden and devastating destruction. This area is currently under the southern end of the Salt (or Dead) Sea.

-Lot’s wife turned back to look and turned into a pillar of salt. Abraham sees the smoke of the land ascending from the hill country, but the LORD remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the destruction.

-Lot ends up in the caves of the mountains in the end with his two daughters, who get him drunk and have intercourse with him to procreate and keep the family going. The firstborn was a son called Moab, and he is the father of the Moabites. The younger bore a son named Ben-ammi, who was the father of the sons of Ammon. Both of these tribes were enemies of the children of Israel in latter times.

Verse to Memorize: Genesis 19:24

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