Genesis 19 covers the story of the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain of the Jordan Valley. This is probably one of the most disturbing chapters in the entire Bible, because of the sexual depravity and sexual deviance that is revealed in these verses. I believe it is important to recognize that the Bible does not hide the fact of man’s depravity, and this chapter reveals just how degenerate and wanton the hearts of men can actually become. God revealed in this chapter a powerful example of His judgment against the sins of men, and yet He also revealed His awesome mercy by delivering Lot and some of his family.
In the first few verses we can see the issues so clearly as His Word declared, “Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, ‘Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.’ And they said, ‘No, but we will spend the night in the open square.’ But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.’ So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, ‘Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.’ And they 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.’ So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door” (Gen. 19:1-11).
When you read this story of what occurred at the door of Lot’s house, what are your thoughts? Do you consider this kind of behavior abhorrent, detestable, and disturbing? I would hope so! But there are more and more people today who don’t consider homosexual behavior as wrong or sinful. There has been a huge moral shift that has taken place in our society, from the 1960s to the present day, which reveals that a majority of the people have completely rejected God’s moral standards. For the most part our society doesn’t believe in the Ten Commandments anymore, nor do most people want them taught in our schools, displayed in our courtrooms, or in any public format any longer. When the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2014, passed by our elected representatives in 1996, the court legalized gay marriage and rejected God’s moral law. When this occurred, it was obvious that our nation had lost its moral rudder. Morally, this decision took our nation into direct conflict with the God of the Bible, and we are reaping the consequences of this action to the present day.
Yet, many you talk with about homosexuality won’t see that there is any problem at all. When you have this conversation with someone who considers homosexuality as a positive thing, I would encourage you to ask them these questions. First, ask them if there is any sexual behavior that they would consider deviant? If they say, “I don’t know.” Explain the meaning of the word deviant to them. The word deviant means something that is abnormal. Why should you ask them this question? Because people have lost their understanding of what constitutes deviant sexual behavior. This is exactly why what occurred at Lot’s front door could ever have happened at all. Lot’s neighbors had no sense of what was right or wrong any more.
Once you have defined the term deviant, then ask them if they consider pedophilia, or sex with children, an abnormal sexual behavior. If they agree with you that adults having sex with children is deviant, then ask them if rape is a deviant sexual behavior. If they agree that rape is not a normal sexual practice, then ask them if sex with animals is a deviant sexual behavior. If they agree with you that this would also be deviant behavior, then ask them if men having sex with men, or women having sex with women is normal. If they say yes, ask them what was one of the primary reasons God created sex in the first place? Was it not to produce children and grow our population? If they agree with you on that point, then it is obvious that men can’t have children with other men, or women with other women. This would define homosexuality or lesbian relationships as abnormal and sexually deviant, just as all of the other sexual practices you have just listed for them. I believe when you discuss this topic in this manner, you help a person to understand the gravity of the moral issue you are discussing.
It is also important to stress with people that homosexual deviance is no different than heterosexual deviant behavior. God looks at all sexual practices outside of a heterosexual marriage as deviant and sinful behavior. Paul stated, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Fornication and adultery refer to heterosexual deviant behavior of sex outside of marriage. Homosexuals refers to those of the same sex having sexual relations, and sodomites refer to male prostitutes. These were exactly the behaviors found in the city of Sodom. Note that all these behaviors are deemed by God as sinful and deviant. Paul acknowledged that some of the believers in Corinth were involved in these behaviors, and warned them that no one who practiced these sinful acts would inherit the Kingdom of God. The glorious thing in these verses that we should all be very thankful for was that Paul explained that some of these believers had turned away from these sinful acts, and God had forgiven and washed them from their iniquity. These verses of Scripture reveal the grace of God in all its glory, because it declared that all deviant sexual behavior can be forgiven. In addition, the deviant behavior of theft, drunkenness, extortion, and any other sinful behavior can also be forgiven. So, rejoice in the fact that God can wash you clean, sanctify you, and justify you in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of our God! It makes no difference to God where you have come from or what you have done. Jesus promised, “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter” (Mark 3:28). When Jesus said “all sins” He meant all sins! Ask for His forgiveness and be assured that He will forgive (1 John 1:9)! Always remember that God loves the homosexual, the adulterer, the pedophile, and the drunkard. If anyone who practices these sinful behaviors will come to Him in repentance, He will transform them and make them into a new person in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17).
Why was Lot sitting in the city gates of Sodom? Vs. 1
Scripture is clear about this issue, because it states, “Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom” (Gen. 19:1). To answer this question of why Lot was sitting there, you must understand who was supposed to sit in the city gate. In ancient times the king and the elders of the city would sit in the city gate to dispense justice and deal with all legal issues for the people. All legal issues were conducted in public so that all could see what was happening, with nothing hidden behind closed doors. This terminology of someone sitting in the city gate is used often in the Old Testament. For example, in Deuteronomy 21:19 the Law commanded parents to take their rebellious son to the gate of the city so that he might be judged by the elders and punished. Scripture declares, “Then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city.” In addition, Scripture taught, “Then the king arose and sat in the gate. And they told all the people, saying, ‘There is the king, sitting in the gate.’ So all the people came before the king” (2 Sam. 19:8). These passages make it very clear that Lot must have been an elder in the city of Sodom, and that this is why he was sitting in the gate when the angels arrived at the city.
Archeologists have found proof, just as Scripture declared, that this is where Israel’s justice system took place. When the city of Dan was excavated, they found at the city gate a throne for the king, and sitting places for the elders of the city. See the pictures below.
Entrance into the city of Dan
The seat of the king with canopy holders for a sun shade.
Sitting stones along the wall of the city.
The great lesson of Sodom.
What is the most important lesson of Sodom? The depravity seen in Sodom is not unusual or an anomaly in history. As you study the Scripture and secular history you read over and over again of the depravity of man, and the incredible evil men have committed against each another. Remember, before the flood Scripture declared that, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). God also said that He, “Looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Gen. 6:12). This corruption of men was the reason God sent the flood. The same thing will happen just before the Second Coming of Jesus to this earth. Paul declared, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away” (2 Tim. 3:1-5)! Paul stated just a few verses further in this third chapter of 2 Timothy that during the last days, “Evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13). When Jesus spoke about what the world would be like before His return He said, “Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). This word abound means that man’s defiance against God’s Law will increase and grow worse and worse. This means that the last days will be exceedingly difficult times. But why will they be so difficult to live through? It will be because of man’s rejection of God’s truth, man’s love of self, and his despising of what is good. Men in rebellion against God are capable of all manner of evil and wickedness. Knowing these truths is why we need Christ to live in us, to enable us to restrain the depravity of our own sinful hearts.
For some, the extreme wickedness of Sodom is hard to comprehend, but it is essential that you consider it closely, because if men are left to themselves this is what every human being is capable of doing. Jeremiah declared of all men, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). The Hebrew words desperately wicked mean that the hearts of men are incurably wicked, and that they cannot be reformed by human efforts. In addition, if you allow sin to reign within you, it is progressive and will possess more and more of your heart. The progressive and possessive nature of sin is clearly revealed when Paul described his own battle with his sin nature in Romans 7:19-24. There he taught, “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Paul revealed here the battle of every human being who tries to reform themselves apart from the power of God. There are two natures which are at war within every Christian, and the result is that when you lose this battle, your desires end up controlling you. Referring to himself Paul said that his lusts would end up, “Bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” The only solution to this dilemma is to believe the victory that Christ has already given to you, and allowing the Holy Spirit to reign within you, which sets you free from this law of sin and death (Rom. 6:6; Rom. 6:11; Rom. 8:2). This is why this account in Genesis 19 is such a warning, because it reveals how far down any person or culture can sink. Don’t play with sin! Surrender to Jesus, and you will walk in freedom. Never forget that sin is more powerful than your will to resist it. This is why there are professed believers who still battle with addictions, pornography, alcohol, or gambling. It is because they don’t understand the power of the sin nature that is within them. They flirt with sin, and they get caught and captivated with it. This is what the Apostle Peter warned believers about when he wrote, “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them” (2 Peter 2:20-21). This warning is very clear! Don’t allow yourself to get entangled and overcome by the pollutions and lusts of this world. This world feeds on the lustful desires in the human heart. The allurements of the world will always promise to satisfy, if only you will chase after the carrot being offered, but they will never deliver the fulfillment (2 Peter 1:4). I encourage you, don’t play with sin in your mind and heart!
My point is illustrated by the way Lot was so willing to offer his daughters to the men at his door. How could Lot do such a thing? Is it possible that he saw allowing his daughters to be raped by these men as a lesser evil than allowing them to rape these two angels? Whatever his rationale, he had obviously entangled himself so deeply in the pollutions of this city, that he could not see his own moral confusion. Lot had clearly allowed his mind to become corrupted by the evil people in this city.
Conformed or transformed?
There are only two options for a believer today. You will either be conformed to this world, or you will be transformed, by the renewing power of the Spirit as He works within you to separate your heart unto Him (Rom. 12:1-2). These are your only two options. You have to recognize the daily pressure that comes to you verbally as people around you either encourage you to follow the Lord, or tempt you to compromise with the world. This tension also comes to you visually by the things you choose to watch on television, or the music you listen to. Your friends and enemies, and even family members will ask you to compromise with them. It must be your decision to stand your ground in Christ. This is why your friends are so important in your life, because they will either help you or subvert your thinking concerning right and wrong. Your friends will determine your success or failure! Solomon explained this truth when he declared, “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Prov. 12:26).
This is exactly how Lot had compromised in his life. Look at the progression of compromise in Lot’s life. Lot moved from his place with Abraham, and the Scripture declared that he “journeyed east” toward Sodom (Gen. 13:11). Then Scripture tells us that Lot, “dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom” (Gen. 13:12). Then God tells us that Lot “dwelt in Sodom” with all his goods (Gen. 14:12). Then last, we read that Lot is, “sitting in the gate of Sodom,” as an elder of the city (Gen. 19:1). You can surely see the slow progression in his compromise with the temptations of this wicked city. This process is never overnight in anyone’s life, it is always a slow incremental compromise that takes place in your heart and then your behavior. This is why we are warned not to play with sin in any of its forms, because once your lustful desires get entangled in your heart, there will always be the pressure to go further down the road of compromise. We are told that sin and “wickedness burns as the fire” within a man’s soul (Isaiah 9:18). This is a powerful simile and word picture about how sin affects the human heart. If you strike a match, what does the fire do to a piece of paper once it is lit? Does it just burn a little bit of the paper and then stop? No, the fire keeps burning until the fire comes right up to your fingers, and you have to drop the burning paper. Why? Because fire always consumes everything that it touches, until the fire is put out. The only thing that can put out the fire of sinful desires is the living water of the Holy Spirit of God ruling inside of you. You can’t put out the fire of your own passions by your will power. You need Christ’s living water to flood your soul, and only then will the fire and the desires for sin be quenched. We all have this fire living inside us, and the answer is always the same for how to control it. Paul said, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13). So, if the fire is raging inside of you today, ask God to fill you with His Spirit and put to death the desires and deeds of your flesh. Remember, the fire of sin and wickedness within you will never give up trying to control and consume you. Just as Solomon said, “There are three things that are never satisfied, four never say, ‘Enough!’: The grave, the barren womb, the earth that is not satisfied with water-- and the fire never says, ‘Enough!’” (Prov. 30:15-16). This is why you should never deceive yourself into thinking that you can play with the fire of sin. If you start, you will get burned. If you don’t want this to happen, then be filled with the Holy Spirit, and allow Him to reign inside you.
Sodom and the cities of the plain are destroyed. Vs. 12-29
As we continue in this account of the destruction of Sodom and the cities of the plain, consider God’s mercy toward Lot and his family as you read. “Then the men said to Lot, ‘Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city--take them out of this place! For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.’ So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, ‘Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!’ But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. When the morning dawned, the angels urged 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.’ And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, ‘Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.’ Then Lot said to them, ‘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.’ And he said to him, ‘See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.’ Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD. Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt” (Gen. 19:12-29).
How did God destroy Sodom and the cities of the plain?
Answering this question is very important to do with the most reasonable explanation available to us. I would suggest reading Dr. Steven Collins’ book “Discovering the City of Sodom,” which will give you the best overview on this topic. Dr. Collins is the Dean of the College of Archaeology at Trinity Southwest University in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has spent the last 20 years digging at the site of Tall el-Hammam which is in Jordan, directly across the Jordan River from the city of Jericho. The evidence that he and a multitude of other archaeologists have uncovered is truly amazing. Personally, after reading Dr. Collins book, I signed up to go to Tall el-Hammam and work on this dig site. The evidence that I saw there convinced me that Tall el-Hammam is the city of Sodom.
What Dr. Collins and many other archaeologists believe is that this city was hit by a powerful fiery explosion that blew every house and all the mudbricks in a north-easterly direction. This is confirmed by the evidence on the ground that they have uncovered. All of the evidence they have found is from the right time, which was the time of Abraham. It is in the right place according to the geographical description given in Genesis 13, and has the right artifacts of that time period. All the scientists that have come to see the evidence, have become convinced that just as the Bible said, fire and brimstone fell from the heavens and destroyed Sodom and the other cities of the plain. This fire they believe that came upon this city was from a meteoric explosive concussion that instantly destroyed the city. They believe that this explosion was similar to the Tunguska Event that occurred in central Siberia on June 30, 1908, where an asteroid exploded and leveled 830 square miles of forest and took down over 80 million trees. Eye witnesses to this event described seeing a fireball in the sky as bright as the sun. In the excavations at the city of Sodom, Tall el-Hammam, they have found skeletons of people that have been blown into the mudbrick walls by the explosive concussion. The reason the Bible describes this as fire and brimstone raining from heaven is because brimstone is the only rock that burns, which describes exactly what a meteoric explosion would look like, and would result in what you see in the dirt of Sodom. They have found mudbricks in the destruction matrix that have been heated to such a degree that they have been melted and turned into glass. These artifacts have been analyzed by two separate labs and they both stated that it would have taken temperatures in excess of 18,000 degrees to cause this melting of the mudbricks. This is proof that the city wasn’t just set on fire by some invader, because the hottest a normal fire could reach in these circumstances would be no more than 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature that resulted from the first atomic blast in 1945 at White Sands New Mexico, was estimated at 14,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The result of this atomic blast was that the sand turned to glass and formed what is called Trinitite. This is exactly what has been found at Tall el-Hammam. I have personally dug in this destruction matrix that is several feet thick, and I attest to you that this was a fiery destruction. Whatever happened at the city of Sodom, it was a totally cataclysmic event!
God’s mercy to deliver Lot and his family.
To deliver Lot and his family from this extremely wicked city is a powerful example of God’s mercy, especially because as you read in this text, it doesn’t appear that Lot or any of his family really wanted to leave the city. When Lot approached both his son-in-law’s, they laughed at the idea that God would judge the city. Then Lot, his wife, and daughters lingered and didn’t seem as though they wanted to leave the city either. Finally, they had to be taken by the hand and lead out of the city, and commanded to escape to the mountains. Even then Lot still argued with the angels about going into the mountains, and was allowed to go into the city of Zoar, which was not destroyed by God’s judgment. Then Lot’s wife directly disobeyed the angels’ command not to look back at the city, and she perished. It is important to note that Scripture tells us concerning Lot that, the LORD being merciful to him,” which is why God long-suffered with them even after this family resisted the angels. This example should fully convince you that the God you serve is truly a God of great mercy. This is why David said, “You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth” (Ps. 86:15). Cry out to Him and receive His gracious and merciful touch!
Remember Lot’s wife.
I can’t leave this topic of the family’s reluctance to leave the city without discussing Lot’s wife. Jesus made a specific reference to Lot’s wife, as He warned His disciples about their love for the things of this world. Why did He make this reference to Lot’s wife? This is a powerful warning found in Luke 17:28-33. He declared concerning the attitude of people before the Second Coming, “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. In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
I believe there are several reasons why Jesus brought up the destruction of Sodom, and to ask us all to remember Lot’s wife. The first reason Jesus referred to this account was to verify the historic reality of the destruction of the city of Sodom. For anyone who thinks this destruction of Sodom is a myth, they are contradicting the Word of Jesus. I wouldn’t do that! If Jesus believed that this city was destroyed, I would believe Him.
Second, Jesus brought up this account of Sodom to reveal to us why Lot and his family were so reluctant to leave Sodom. Jesus warned His disciples not to be captivated by the material things in their homes, so they wouldn’t turn back, or look back as Lot’s wife did. In other words, as the Apostle John taught us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17). Jesus was also so clear when He taught, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19-21). Remember, everything that Lot and his wife lived for went up in smoke. This is why Jesus reminds us of this destruction. Do you realize that you can’t take anything with you when you die? So, lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; these are the only things that will last.
Third, Jesus commanded us to remember Lot’s wife as a warning to each of us to not look back at the world once we have been delivered from our own Sodom. We all do this when we play with thoughts in our mind about our past life. Lot’s wife is the warning, don’t go there in your mind! This is a serious warning to all of us. May you have ears to hear it.
Why did God destroy the cities of the plain, and not other cities that were equally wicked?
This is a question that people have asked me many times. Shouldn’t God destroy every city in this world, because today there is homosexuality, adult and child trafficking, rape and sexual abuse going on around the globe? Why doesn’t He destroy these cities just as He did with Sodom? The answer to this question is given to us by the Apostle Peter. He explained that God turned, “the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6). So why did God only judge Sodom and Gomorrah, and not other cities with equal wickedness going on within them? Because God wanted to make Sodom and Gomorrah an example to any who would live in an ungodly way. It was a warning that on judgment day God will judge individuals, cities, and nations who have chosen to live in similar ungodly ways. But in addition, if God did judge every city in the same manner as Sodom, then He would have to destroy the entire world. No one and no city would survive. By God making an example of Sodom, He was showing mercy and giving time for all of us to repent. I’m so glad He gave me time to repent of my sins!
Jesus also addressed this question when He taught the Parable of the Dragnet. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 13:47-50). The point of this parable is that at the end of time God’s angels will separate the wicked from the just. This means that there is a final accounting before God for every person. Judgment comes for each of us at our death, and if we are living when Christ and His angels return, they will know who is wicked and who is just. A just individual is one who has been justified by their faith in Jesus Christ. God has given examples from history of His righteous judgment so that all men are without excuse (Rom. 1:20). God’s ultimate desire is that all men will repent and turn from their wicked ways so that He might forgive them. Why? Because He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Until God’s final accounting with this world, He makes examples of judgment for all to see, and He makes it very clear this is a warning to all who will live ungodly. When you speak to those who are not following Jesus, make sure that you remind them of the example of Sodom and Gomorrah. When you speak to believers who are compromising with the world, warn them as well.
Lot’s incest with his daughters. Vs. 30-38
Lot and his two daughters for some reason leave the city of Zoar and flee to the mountains. Scripture then records the drunkenness of Lot and his incest with his daughters. “Then Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him; for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. And he and his two daughters dwelt in a cave. Now the firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father." So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, "Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father." Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day” (Gen. 19:30-38).
The influence of Sodom.
When I read this account, my first thought is that Lot’s daughters and their behavior reveals again just how much the wickedness of Sodom had affected their thinking. Both of their betrothed husbands had perished in the destruction of the city of Sodom, and their first thought was to get their father drunk and to sleep with him. What complete desperation and unbelief in the ability of God to provide husbands for them in the future. How could they think this after just leaving the city of Zoar? There obviously must have been eligible men left in Zoar that were of marrying age. But this illustrates again the fact that the ungodly influence of Sodom had completely blinded them to faith in God’s power to provide husbands for them in the future. This is why Solomon warned us, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Prov. 13:20). Always remember that the people you choose to have as your friends will have a tremendous amount of influence over how you think and behave.
The influence of alcohol.
I believe one of the key points of this incestuous encounter is the influence of alcohol upon Lot. When you add alcohol into this family dynamic of unbelief, look at the result. This is the second time in these first nineteen chapters of Genesis that you see alcohol mixed together with failure by one of the main characters in the Bible. You remember Noah’s life and testimony was also marred by his use of wine (Gen. 9:21). Now the same thing takes place in the life of Lot. Whenever you mix drunkenness into the fabric of your life and family, I can guarantee you that you will end up saying and doing things that you will later regret. I would gage that at least 50% of the counseling I have done over the years involving family conflicts, have had drugs or alcohol as one of the causes of these arguments. This fact has convinced me that these substances should be kept as far away from your life as possible. This is why Solomon warned, “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things” (Prov. 23:29-33). If you don’t want to add sorrow, contentions, or perverse speech and behavior into your family, then stay away from any intoxicant that will create this woe. We all have enough trials and problems to deal with in our everyday lives, so why would you want to put yourself under the influence of any substance that would only add more sorrow and contention to your family relationships? Solomon also wrote in Proverbs 20:1, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging [arouses brawling], and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” Knowing these truths, don’t let your behavior come back to mock you. It is your choice! Be wise!
Abraham vs. Lot.
The most important lesson you should take away from this chapter is the contrast between Abraham and Lot. Will you become a person like Abraham who trusted and obeyed God, and never had to worry about the Lord’s judgment coming upon him? Or, will you be like Lot who lived as close as he could to the wickedness of the world, and had to be saved out of it, but lost his own family and his integrity because of his behavior? You have decisions and choices before you every day in your thought life and your behavior. Choose wisely!