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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

Genesis 19

Verses 1-3

The Angels with Lot

There is almost no greater difference imaginable between two believers than the difference between Abraham and Lot. Lot was a believer, he is called a righteous one (2 Peter 2:7), but there is almost nothing to be seen of this in his history. Nor does the LORD come with him to Lot as he did with Abraham. This also shows the enormous difference. He could share His thoughts with Abraham during a meal, not with Lot.

Lot first lived nearby Sodom, later in Sodom and is now even in the gate of Sodom. Sitting in the gate means being part of the city council. He was, so to speak, perhaps chairman of the political party LS (Livable Sodom) and worked for a restoration of values and norms. His whole testimony, however, is connected with the living climate of Sodom and represents a mis-testimony to the LORD.

The LORD does not connect himself with such believers; He does not recognize them. He recognizes only those who are separated from worldly thinking and acting because they are guided by Him and His Word. He only acknowledges as His sons and daughters believers who do not go under one yoke with unbelievers, as it clearly says in 2 Corinthians 6: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. “And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty”“ (2 Corinthians 6:14-Job :).

It means that believers cannot take joint responsibility with non-believers in the pursuit of a particular goal. This can be applied, for example, to a marriage, a business purpose and political advocacy.

The angels don’t even want to come into Lot’s house. After long insistence of Lot, they do it anyway. The meal he prepares for his visit is also of much lower quality than that of Abraham in the previous chapter (Genesis 19:3; Genesis 18:6-Ruth :). Everything speaks of compulsion and lack of understanding to notice that he has visit from heaven, messengers of God.

Verses 4-11

The Men of Sodom and Lot

The visit did not go unnoticed in Sodom. The complete depravity of the inhabitants, that dwells in every age group, is expressed in all its horror. They call upon Lot to bring out his visit, that they may indulge in their degrading passions upon them, and may act as “men with men committing indecent acts” (Romans 1:27). Their way of life becomes proverbial, so that audacious, unabashed sinners are said to “And they display their sin like Sodom; They do not [even] conceal [it]” (Isaiah 3:9; cf. Jeremiah 6:15).

This scandal is even characteristic of the whole region (Jude 1:7). What happens in Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around it leads the apostacy to a high point. It is about the most brutal shamelessness directed against all that is natural given by God. They have left their original nature. That is rebellion and apostacy. It is fornication and added to that the going after “foreign flesh”, which is completely contrary to the natural order of God.

The unbound, free lifestyle and legalization of homosexual practices propagated by liberals in our day and age is similar to the practices of Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole region around them. What God has done with these cities shows how He judges this behavior. This should be a warning to anyone who lives like this or accepts it as normal and may even be committed to general acceptance of this way of life. “The punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7) shows that God’s judgment on this never comes to an end. All apostates will be affected by this judgment.

The unclean spirit manifesting itself goes too far for Lot. His name as host is at stake. He cannot allow this to happen with his visit and tries to keep them from their wrongdoing. In his approach to them he calls them “my brothers”. He has fallen to such a low moral level that he considers himself to be their family. In that position he really is, as we can see from the alternative he offers them. It’s really unbelievable – but it’s in the Bible, so it’s true – but Lot finds his name as a host more important than his name as a father. As a kind of compensation, he offers his two daughters to the vermin, with whom they can do what they want.

However, the men of Sodom do not want Lot to equate him with themselves. Lot may still be so integrated in their society and have worked so hard for a ‘Livable Sodom’, but he is and remains a stranger to them. This is a point of light in the midst of the spiritual darkness, even though it is that small.

Let’s not make a hard judgement about Lot too quickly either. How many believers who have all their interests in the world sacrifice their children to preserve their so-called good name? Busy as they are with their own worldly interests, they don’t care about the way their children spend their time. And without knowing it, those children become addicted to the Internet, surf the dirtiest sites around and get entangled in a web that completely destroys them mentally and physically.

The angels use their power to keep Lot from this folly. They pull him inside the house and strike the men of Sodom with blindness (Job 5:14-Ezra :). They did not want to hear, now the eyesight is also taken away from them. It is a harbinger of the darkness in which they will be eternal.

Verses 12-15

Lot Must Run

The angels tell Lot why they came. Lot, perhaps because of what he has just seen, attaches so much importance to this message, that he warns his sons-in-law. They regard his warning as a joke. They don’t take Lot seriously. They also don’t know Lot as a serious guy. It’s not a bad thing to tell a joke once, but anyone who always is playing the funny man shouldn’t expect to be taken seriously when it counts.

Of course, it is also unbelievable when someone tells us that the world is going to be judged, while he does everything he can to make life in the world as easy as possible. He who feels politically responsible and does his utmost to enjoy the world as much as possible should not believe that he is plausible when he comes up with a message of judgment about all this. Lot is someone whose whole attitude shows that life in the world fills his entire horizon, whereas nowhere in his life does faith appear to be a factor present.

Also, it doesn’t seem that Lot himself is in a hurry to get away. The angels must urge him to hurry. How hard it is to let go of the stuff you may have worked for as hard as you can, and the stuff means so much for you. His stuff is not part of his life, it is his life.

Verses 16-23

Lot on the Run

The angels take Lot and his wife and daughters by the hand and drag them with them. Wife and daughters are also given the opportunity to escape judgment because the LORD wants to save Lot. This shows the enormous grace of God. This grace is also abundant when Lot begs not to have to go to the mountains. That is so close to heaven. Only people like Abraham live there. A Lot doesn’t feel at home there.

He would like to live in a city. It only has to be a small city – “Zoar” means ‘small’ or ‘insignificant’ – as long as it looks like a city. The thought of a tent, to be a pilgrim, does not appeal to him. He has breathed in the air of the city and it is in the depths of his lungs. And again that enormous grace is shown. His request is granted: he may go to the city of his wish.

Verses 24-26

Sodom and Gomorrah Overthrown

When Lot arrives in Zoar, the LORD “rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone” and “He overthrew those cities, and all the valley”. Lot’s wife did go with Lot, but she does not mind the order given not to look behind her (Genesis 19:17). She does look behind her and becomes a pillar of salt, a continuous memorial, a beacon of remembrance.

This is how the Lord Jesus applies it: “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32). He says that as a warning not to put the heart on the things of the world and not to waste our time and attention and energy by filling our lives with food and drink and buying and selling, with planting and building. We can’t take anything of it with us in the day of judgment. It all comes to an end.

Thus saith the Lord in the verses which precede the warning example of the wife of Lot in Luke 17: “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back” (Luke 17:28-Obadiah :).

The Lord Jesus also said that if the miracles He did in Capernaum had happened in Sodom, Sodom would have converted and “it would have remained to this day” (Matthew 11:23). Why, we might ask ourselves, did He not do that? Because according to the wisdom of God, Sodom and Gomorrah had a testimony of God’s revelation, perfectly fitting to them.

They have had God’s testimony in creation (Romans 1:19-Proverbs :). But they have not bowed before God. They acted according to their corrupt nature, and did not take any notice of God’s revelation in creation. They will be judged on the basis of this rejection of God’s testimony. Thus, each people are subjected to a test of their obedience to God in a way that fully matches their responsibility.

Verses 27-29

Abraham and the Judgment

While the most terrible scenes take place in the plain, Abraham is at rest. The fact that he is at rest does not mean that he is not moved by what is happening below him. He prayed too intensively for that. And this prayer is not in vain. He goes to the place where he stood before the LORD and places himself there on his guard post (Habakkuk 2:1). When we have prayed, we should look forward to the result. We should address our prayer, like a letter, and then expect an answer (Psalms 5:3).

Here we read that Lot owes it to the prayer of his uncle Abraham that he did not perish in judgment. Lot will not have known. He comes to know when his life will also be revealed before the judgment seat of Christ.

Verses 30-38

The End of Lot

The history of Lot ends as sadly as his life has always been. We hear nothing about his death. The man has long been dead, that is, spiritually. The last thing we hear from him is surrounded by the darkness of a cave. His spirit is darkened, not primarily by wine, but already by the fact that he is getting drunk by his daughters, not just once, but twice.

Lot and his daughters are out of Sodom, but (the spirit of) Sodom is not out of Lot and his daughters. The daughters of Lot are so corrupted in their spiritual development by their living in Sodom that they bring about the disgusting proposal of getting their father drunk and then having sexual intercourse with him. They act deliberately. They know their father as a characterless man who will submit to their plan completely unsuspectingly, without any resistance.

It is going as they agreed. From the pitch-dark spiritual atmosphere of Sodom, who lives in Lot, he performs twice an act that requires no further explanation. The moral darkness is complete. In this completely dark scene, he becomes by committing incest the father of two children from whom the bitterest enemies of the people of Israel originated.

There is no more talk of Lot. Separated from Abraham externally and internally, he no longer has any meaning for the history of salvation. Even his death is not mentioned. That’s how Lot disappears from history.

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Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Genesis 19". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/genesis-19.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniƫl', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.