Personal study notes Genesis 19

Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Genesis 19 continued.

The two angels have spent time with Lot, and we left them at Lot’s house, after striking the townsmen blind – yet the townsmen were still looking for Lot’s door so that they could act carnally with the two men (angels).

There are a LOT of lessons to learn from the description of the events of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Verse 12. The men ask Lot if he has any family there, a son-in-law, sons, daughters, and whomever. Lot is told to TAKE THEM OUT OF THIS PLACE. They tell Lot that they are going to destroy this place, because verse 13, “the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.”

Remember in the previous chapter, Abraham had a discussion with God, asking Him to spare the city, and God promised not to destroy the city if there were 10 righteous men in it. Lot will now go on a quest to find people to flee the city with him.

He goes to his sons-in-law who married his daughters. He tells them what the angels told him about the immanent destruction of Sodom. The sons-in-law thought he was just joking.

Doesn’t that sound just like today? We tell people about salvation, about how God has predicted the events of today, how God will one day judge the world and the people. And they think it is one big joke. They feel that they have things under control, that they will deal with salvation tomorrow or later, that God REALLY wouldn’t do it, that there are many paths that lead to God, God is too exclusive, Christians are too repressive, Christians have checked their mind at the door, etc. They think that the warnings that God has given us, the prophesies, the end time prophesies do not have any basis in fact. As the people in Sodom who heard the message to flee will find out, God was serious.

Today people make the mistake of thinking that God’s silence in regard to what is going on in the world, in some of the churches, in people’s life is His condoning of the behaviors. Really it is God wanting no one to be lost – and yet at some point God will say ENOUGH and He WILL act. It saddens me to think of how many of  my friends still do not believe the message of Jesus, how many of those in the New Age that I know that think that God is one of many. I can just hope and pray that some of the seeds that I plant will take root before it is too late.

Some say that God is taking a long time to come, and as Paul wrote about, it is a good thing he waits, I know that if He came years ago, I would have been one of the lost ones, so I am hoping he tarries, so that more can be saved.

Anyway, off the soapbox, and back to Genesis 19:15 The morning dawns, and the angels tell Lot to hurry, saying “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” Lot lingers, and the two men take the hands of him, his wife and daughter, and bring him out and set him outside the city because the LORD is merciful to Lot.

Isn’t that just like us, when we have to leave a situation in our life, we linger, just one last this or that, not coming out of our Sodoms? Sometimes God has to forcibly move us out of the area, close a door, cause something to fail just so we get off our duff and move where God knows it is best for us to be.

Anyway, the angels give specific instructions in verse 17 “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”

What does Lot do? I find it hard to believe, but I am certain I have done some of the same things. Let’s look at a few facts. 1. the angels struck all the townspeople blind, 2. The angels tell him that God is going to destroy the city. 3. The angels, when Lot drags his feet, grab him and his wife and daughters, pull them out of the city. 4. The angels give him specific, scary instructions, not to look behind them, flee lest they be destroyed, and go to the mountains.

Lot says, verse 18-19 “…”Please, no, my lords! Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains lest some evil overtake me and I die. See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”

Well, the angels grant Lot this request, saying that they will not overthrow the city that Lot speaks about, the city is called Zoar.

Isn’t it just like us? God gives us an instruction and we try to bargain with Him. We will not make a clean break of it, we think we know better (by the way, Lot will end up in the mountains). Now listen to his feeble argument – he is afraid that he will die – hey if he stayed in Sodom,he also would die. God would not give us a task we couldn’t perform – when God wants to send Lot to the mountains (the height), Lot wants to stay on the plain, and in a city called Zoar. ZOAR means insignificant. Why would Lot choose to be in a place of insignificance?

I find it awesome that God would spare an insignificant city for Lot, and it will turn out that Lot will not stay there. I know God knew that, but he was so concerned that Lot, whom God considered righteous, would leave the city. There are many discussions in the Bible regarding the rapture, and where the Church will be during the Tribulation period of Revelation. I believe, based on my readings and study that the Church will be off the earth before the real trials begin, and the following verse is one of many that support that theory for me. (And I know that there are many who hold different opinions – I will be honest, God is Sovereign, no matter what we think with our intellect, God will do what He will do. If we are believing something wrong, God will do what is right and it will happen as He has said it will happen – even if we get it wrong in interpretation). Anyway, the angels could not act until Lot was removed from the city – don’t forget one of the instructions was to not look back.

Genesis 19:22 “Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do ANYTHING until you arrive there.” I am pretty certain that Sodom could have been destroyed until Lot was removed.

Now God will rain down brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from out of the heavens. Notice that God had promised Noah that He would not destroy the earth with rain again, He hasn’t. Here he rains down fire and brimstone – the same method that will also be used in Revelation.

Lot’s wife looks back, and becomes a pillar of salt. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was complete, God overthrew the cities, the plain and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. Desolation.

Lot, after the event looks at the destruction, and saw the smoke of the land like the smoke of a furnace. (We have seen before that that is the wrath of God – Remember God cutting covenant with Abraham). Lot was saved because of Abraham – for God remembered Abraham when he overthrew the cities that Lot dwelt in.

This chapter is full of so much that is sinful, I want to deal with Lot’s daughters and their sinful actions tomorrow.

But now a few words about Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot. I know that I don’t know what I would do if I were in a similar situation – but when I look at what Lot did, knowing what he knew I feel he had a LOT of Nerve (sorry for the pun). Yet, I know how easy it is to turn a blind eye to the truth, and keep doing what I want to do. I also know that the consequences of turning that blind eye is far worse than obedience would have been. I am glad God puts in information like this about Lot, so that maybe I can learn from his experience, instead of my mistakes.

Jesus gives us warning of what the signs of the coming of the Kingdom will be – Luke 17: 26-30 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man. They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot; They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

I just noticed that Jesus said, “But on the day that Lot went out of Sodom”, it did not happen before Lot was removed. The flood did not happen until Noah and his family was removed and put in the ark. God preserves his remnant. Jesus also gives us the picture of two men sleeping – one taken, one left, two women grinding grain – one taken one left, and two men in the field, one taken, one left. So not all will be removed before destruction rains down because some will remain. One other interesting point is that people sleep at night, women grind grain in the morning, and men work in the field in mid-day – this kind of gives a picture of the earth as a whole – rotating around it’s axis – and people from all time periods will be removed – in the twinkling of an eye.

Luke 17:32 Jesus also says, ““Remember Lot’s wife.”  He tells the people to flee and to not turn back. In this instance, Jesus is talking about the Jews for he tells them to pray that this does not happen on the Sabbath.

I think it is chilling to think that Lot’s wife looked back – sometimes we all look back, backslide, but there are times when that has deadly consequences, and this is one of them. Josephus writes about Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt – and imagine what her daughters must have thought.  Truth is, she was disobedient to the command of the angels.

Beth Moore, on page 55 of her study, The Patriarchs, says, “I can think of few things more dangerous than looking back with attachment to an old life surrounded by wickedness from which God mercifully delivered us. After God delivered me from deep bondage to sin, I recall sensing a stern warning in my soul that in view of His mercy and grace, I’d be very wise never to entertain a single longing to go back. We may not turn into pillars of salt, but we can most certainly turn into monuments of the living dead.”

Oh, I can so relate to that. God saved me from so much stuff, and if I dared to go back, I think I would sink into the mire and that would be it. Sometimes we have to fully cut our ties with our sinful past. I kept the church’s burn barrel busy with tons of books from my occult past – had I held onto anything from the past, it would have pulled me down. And it also isn’t safe to straddle the fence, sometimes a clean break is necessary. I pray that if there are any who are flirting with the past, please lay it to rest and don’t look back. There is life, light and truth in Christ, to look back is foolish, when there is so much more joy in walking forward, trusting God’s best for us.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to point out to me that when I did things in my own strength and power, I blew it. My life was a mess. I now know that it is only with Christ in my life that joy came, and that my life started being fruitful. I would be a fool to think that I could do this on my own, my past failures are ample evidence for that.

I am hoping you have a blessed day.

Heather

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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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