Personal studies Genesis 19

Tuesday, June 27, 2006
There are times when salt is desirable – last night I made my famous Freedom Fries (French fries) from scratch and took the Kosher salt and put a bit on them, and my family raved about them, funny how a little bit of salt will doctor up those foods.

Jesus wanted us to be salt and light – salt is a preservative, an antiseptic, and a component of tears. Yet, if salt loses its savor it is worthless. Salt in a field can destroy the crops. Lot’s wife also shows us another way in which to avoid salt as we shall see in Genesis 19.

Please note that God includes many things in the Bible – He condensed 4000 years of history into 1,819 pages (in my Bible), so what God includes is important – it is to be heeded to prevent us from falling into the same traps. Sometimes, as we will see in Exodus, passages are repeated almost verbatim, and that is also for a reason, to make sure that it is underscored.

Remember in Chapter 18, Abraham and Sarah received three special visitors, one of which was probably a pre-incarnate Jesus (God) and two angels. God decided to talk with Abraham about the immanent destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham interceded for the city, asking God if he would destroy it if there were 50 righteous men in the city, and ultimately he got God to promise that He would not destroy the city if 10 righteous men were found. What ends up happening is that only four people escape from the city, and one of them does not fully escape, as we shall see. God looks for intercessors, and so, that is why it is so important in this day and age for us to be praying for our countries, praying for a change in people’s hearts. Too much of the same stuff that is going on in Sodom and Gomorrah is still happening here.

Genesis 19:

Two angels leave God and Abraham, and come to Sodom in the evening. They see Lot who is sitting in the gate of Sodom. Remember, Lot chose the plain for his place of residence because there were cities there (Abraham chose to search for a city that had God as a foundation), Lot chose the easy path. Now Lot is in the gate – that means that Lot is part of the leadership of the city. People would bring their grievances to the gate to have the leaders decide about the issues. We will see that Lot is pained about the behaviors going on in Sodom, but he still chose to live and govern there.

When Lot saw those angels (in men’s form) he rose and met them, bowed himself to  them, and asked them to come to his house and spend the night, wash their feet, and then rise early to go their way. Lot offered them hospitality, and in that tradition, hospitality also entailed protecting the guests from harm (and we will see just how far Lot was willing to go for that). The two angels told Lot that they would spend the night in the open square, but Lot insisted that they come to his house. Lot knew what might have befallen ordinary men in Sodom if they were not protected. He makes them a feast with unleavened bread and they ate. (Remember that leaven is a symbol of sin).

Verse 4 Before the angels could lay down, the men of the city – old and young, people from every quarter surrounded Lot’s house. They asked, verse 5 “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”

It is pretty sad that it was the old and the young, from every quarter of the city that ask that. The city had gone to debauchery, and that is why it was so dis-pleasing to God. Notice it was the men of the city asking for the men visitors.

Lot asks the men to not do so wickedly, and he offers up his two daughters who are virgins to the men, that they could do what they pleased with the daughters. (I take exception to that, that is an awful way to protect visitors in my book). But the men of the city did not want that.

Verse 9 “And they (the men old and young) said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” And the men old and young, pressed hard against Lot and tried to break down the door.

Then the two visitors (angels), pulled Lot into the house and shut the door, they struck the men who were at the doorway with blindness, both small and great, and the men became weary trying to find the door.

Geesh, these people of Sodom were persistent. Imagine, trying to attack two visitors, they are prevented because they are struck blind (subtle hint), and they still wearied themselves trying to find Lot’s door.

This blindness was probably physical, but we suffer today with a spiritual blindness, as we keep trying to do things that are against God, we try to change the Word to fit our philosophical, sexual, wishful thinking, ideas. We are blind to the fact that God takes a dim view of disobedience, and that even though he has not acted yet – he didn’t destroy Sodom and Gomorrah immediately, He gave them time to repent. He gave Lot a chance to find good people, and after a time, when it was shown there was no hope for the city, then He destroyed it. There is no Sodom II or Gomorrah II rebuilt, but in Revelation Jerusalem is described as Sodom (type). See, this is a picture of what we are seeing today and also what went on in Israel over and over and over again.

Imagine doing something, and an act of God (through the angels) happens, and people are struck blind – that should be a wake-up call – but instead, the people still persisted in their agendas that obviously were not the right course to take. As we walk through life and do a little sin, we become desensitized to sin in that area, so we move the border a bit broader, become desensitized until we are caught in full-blown sin. We have those areas of Sodom in us that we are blind to, those areas of sin that we are comfortable with, those areas that we rationalize. It takes a death and destruction of those patterns, for us to break free and move on.

A few interesting meanings of words: LOT means covering.
SODOM – means burning.

I find it interesting that 2 Peter 2:4-9 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgement; and did not spare the ancient worked, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterword would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked, (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)–then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgement…”

I find it interesting that Lot is termed righteous. What was Lot doing in Sodom? Can you dwell safely in Sodom? What was Lot doing in a leadership position? I would guess Lot was righteous because he was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked.

In her study, The Patriarchs, Beth Moore has some telling points about Sodom and Gomorrah. She says on pages 52 – 53  “Without God’s constant help, intervention, and restraining Holy Spirit, our evil and dysfunctional human inclinations know no bounds.” She points out that the distance from Abraham’s tent to Sodom was a likely journey of 40 miles, so the angels must have flown to get there so quickly.

And then she talks about Ephesians 4:18-19  “having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleaness with greediness.”

Beth Moore then goes on to say on page 53, “Our enemy, the Devil, and our own flesh deceive us when we think that we can relieve our ungodly desires by momentarily giving into them. Our indulgence only awakens “a continual lust for more.” The Sodomites had obviously given themselves over to such impurity that they wanted whatever they could get and whatever they hadn’t had. “No ” is a very dangerous word to cease saying to ourselves. Quite possibly the angels were also beautiful, and the townsmen were too ignorant and godless to discern the difference between godly radiance and human attractiveness.”

This entry is so long that I think I will save the rest of the chapter for tomorrow, it saddens me though to realize that after all of Abraham’s bargaining with God, there will not be found 10 righteous men in Sodom. Sure hope that there are intercessors for our country, for our Churches. Where would our country be without righteous intercessors?



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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