Genesis 18:16 -19:24
DESTRUCTION OF SODOM and GOMORRAH
God’s friendly talk with Abraham, in which he makes known to him purpose concerning Sodom, and allows him a liberty of application to him about the matter. (1.) He tells him of the evidence there was against Sodom: The cry of Sodom is great, Gen. 18:20.
Some sins, and the sins of some sinners, cry aloud to heaven for vengeance. The iniquity of Sodom was crying iniquity, that is, it was so very provoking that it even urged God to punish. (2.) The enquiry he would make upon this evidence: I will go down now and see, Gen. 18:21.
Not as if there were any thing concerning which God is in doubt, or in the dark; but he is pleased thus to express himself after the manner of men, [1.] To show the incontestable equity of all his judicial proceedings.
Men are apt to suggest that his way is not equal; but let them know that his judgments are the result of an eternal counsel, and are never rash or sudden resolves. He never punishes upon report, or common fame, or the information of others, but upon his own certain and infallible knowledge.
[2.] To give example to magistrates, and those in authority, with the utmost care and diligence to enquire into the merits of a cause, before they give judgment upon it.
[3.] Perhaps the decree is here spoken of as not yet peremptory, that room and encouragement might be given to Abraham to make intercession for them. Thus, God looked if there were any to intercede, Isa. 59:16.
A Prayer for the Sparing of Sodom. Abraham, no doubt, greatly despised the wickedness of the Sodomites; he would not have lived among them, as Lot did. Yet he prayed earnestly for them.
Message: Though sin is to be hated, sinners are to be pitied and prayed for. God delights not in their death, nor should we desire, but condemn, the sorrowful day.
1. He begins with a prayer that the righteous among them might be spared, and not involved in the common calamity, having an eye particularly to just Lot, whose disingenuous carriage towards him he had long since forgiven and forgotten, witness his friendly zeal to rescue him before by his sword and now by his prayers.
2. He improves this into a petition that all might be spared for the sake of the righteous that were among them, God himself countenancing this request, and in effect putting him upon it by his answer to his first address, Gen. 18:2.
Message. We must pray, not only for ourselves, but for others also; for we are members of the same body, at least of the same body of mankind. All we are brethren.
19: 4,5 The men of the city wanted to abuse Lot’s visitors in a sadistic, homosexual manner. Homosexuality is the only reason given here for Sodom’s judgment; Jude 7 confirms it although Ezek. 16: 49, 50 adds further grounds. The culture demanded that travelers not be victimized. This was later codified in the Mosaic Law (Deut. 10:18, 19), and homosexuality was to be punished by death (Lev. 20:13).
19: 8 I have two daughters: The virtue of hospitality flared into a vice of incredible behavior, Lot’s next step. If necessary, would have been to risk his own life in order to protect his guests.
19:11 Blindness: This is not the ordinary Hebrew word for blindness; it probably means a brilliant flash of light, leading to temporary blindness, as occurred to Saul or Tarsus on the road to Damascus.
19:16 He lingered: Like most of the human race, Lot was tied to his possessions.
19:24 Brimstone and fire likely refer to sulfurous fire. See also v. 28
Janet Irene Thomas
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts