Chapter 19: So when you hear the words: The Bible story of Sodom and Gomorrah what comes to mind? But if we read chapter 9 looking at it from God’s perspective does that change the view? Yes. Let’s start with the New Testament:
6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 2 Peter 2:6-8
What is the theme of this event? Redemption. Lot was a righteous man! The story is about God’s hand on those that are His at the time of judgment. They will be saved. He will pull us by the hand and save us!
Lot is sitting at the gate of the city (where business and politics are decided) so Lot is obviously an important person in this town. The 2 angels offered to stay in the square, however, Lot insists they get shelter since part of this town’s sin is sexual depravity…he is scared to leave them in public overnight! Like the French Quarter during Mardi Gras! A Near Eastern law of hospitality says that: a host MUST not allow any harm to come upon his guests, so he makes great efforts in keeping them safe, even offering his virgin daughters.
Lot’s family is warned about God’s coming judgment and not only do they ignore him, but they think he is kidding!! Ready to read something beautiful:
16 When he hesitated (meaning Lot), the men (meaning the angels on God’s mission) grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.
If you know this story or have already read it today, after telling them NOT to look back….not at their old life, not at their belongings, not to see if they can return to their old ways, not to want for that life again…Lot’s wife looks back!! It wasn’t THAT she looked, it was WHY she looked.
Quick Geography Lesson:
- This totally makes historical sense since the Dead Sea has 10 times the salt than the Ocean.
- Pictures below of salt stacks.
Pillar of Salt
Remember we are trying to read this from a different perspective, but I won’t judge you if you gagged in your mouth. Lot raised his daughters in an environment of sin. Sexual immorality was so desensitized that this act of using their father to start a family was not as weird to them as it is to us. Having descendants was so important in this time and their immoral upbringing was so corrupt that this was not (in their minds) a horrible plan.
BUT….what is the consequence!!! The sons are Moab “by the father”, and Ben-Ammi “son of my parent” (that must make it weird at casual introductions….”Hi teacher, this is my son ‘by my Father’….” The Moabites and the Ammonites will become forever enemies of Israel. We will encounter them 182 times in the Bible so I am glad we took the time to read their origin so it will all make sense.
Genesis 20: “She is my sister”
I know this post is too long so I am going to skip the Venn Diagram I drew comparing and contrasting Chapter 12 to 20. So as much as I want to throw Abraham out of my window and say “Are you kidding me…AGAIN??” You just saw God take an army of thousands against your 318…you saw Him take Sodom down….you don’t think he has his hand of protection on you ALL the time….” But then I would have to look in the mirror and say it to myslelf, and that’s not fun.
If you want to see God in a new way this year, underline all the times you see the scriptures say “But God…” We see an example of it in 20:3 “But God came to Abimelek in a dream….”
We do see in these scriptures that Sarah is Abraham’s half-sister. He’s a brother from another mother. However, a half-truth is still a lie.
Hagar and Ishmael were sent away. I struggled with this for a while. Why did Abraham send them off? Why didn’t he send them with a caravan of supplies? How would they ever survive? Actually, it was Abraham’s faith that led him. God said to Abraham in verse 21:13 “I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”
Abraham trusted God.
Beersheba: “the well of the seven” or “the well of the treaty.”
When Abimelech heard the story about his men seizing Abraham’s well, he about had a heart attack I bet! On a misunderstanding, The Lord made his entire female community barren for the time he had Abraham’s wife in his custody. Imagine what might happen for proactively stealing his well!
A well is so important in these times but this well also marks the southern part of the territory God is going to hand to him in His promise. Abimelech and the men really were afraid and would have given the well back, but Abraham makes it legit (can anyone say that word without MC Hammer in their head) by creating an “oath”.