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Genesis 19





Have you ever seen an angel? That’s how this chapter opens. Two angels show up in Sodom, at dusk, as men, looking for a place to stay. Lot takes them home, feeds them, thinking he is saving them from the depravity of his city, only to be saved by the angels, who then destroy the city. That just one of several story lines in Genesis 19 that we will look at…so get a cup of coffee, or a latte and a place to sit…this will take a minute. 


The “main character” of the chapter is Lot, the nephew of Abraham. You may remember that in chapter 13, Lot and his family had “moved out of the house” where he had lived with his uncle Abraham. In order to keep peace in the family, Abraham allowed Lot to choose his “new home”. Lot chose the plains of Jordan, which the Bible says “was well watered everywhere like the garden of Eden”. Lot made a seemingly wise business decision, picking what appears to be the best for his family and his flocks. His prosperity allowed him to dwell in the cities of the plains while servants cared for his flocks in the field surrounding Sodom. He eventually moved to Sodom where, probably because of his wealth, he became a judge.

As the chapter opens, he is sitting at the gate, the place where officials and city fathers gathered, which was known as a place of honor. That’s where the angels come. As the chapter unfolds, Lot learns that God is going to destroy the city, and the surrounding plains, because of the wickedness and sexual perversion of the men of the city. Genesis 14 says that the men of Sodom were “exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord”. Their wickedness is demonstrated by their desire to rape the two angels, that they thought were young men. Lot, his wife and two unmarried daughters are physically forced, by the angels, to leave Sodom. After Lot’s wife dies because she looks back toward Sodom, Lot and his daughters make their way to a small community called Zoar. We are not told how long he and his daughters live there, or the circumstances that caused them to be afraid, and leave the city. We are simply told they went to the mountains where they lived in a cave. It’s hard to grasp what Lot has lost. Try to put yourself in His situation. His wife, his status, all of his wealth, his flocks that were destroyed in the plains along with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s hard to imagine…but he will lose even more. The story of Lot ends tragically in incest, with his daughters getting him so drunk, that he is unaware that he has sex with both of them and conceives two sons by them. His sons, who were also his grandsons, became the ancestors of two nations that would become adversaries and go to war with the descendants of His uncle, Abraham, the children of Israel. It is a sad ending to a man that the Bible calls, “a righteous man”.


If you have time to stay with me, here are 5 things that we learn in this chapter.


The First, is about ANGELS.

    Angels can appear in human form, interact as “men”, even having the     ability eat food as ordinary men. Angels are given tasks, by God, to be   carried out. These angels were given the task of destroying the city       and area surrounding Sodom. They were also given the power to strike  the men of Sodom with physical blindness and physically force Lot and     his family to leave the city, taking hold of their hands and leading them        out of the city. This chapter hints at the role of angels among humanity,

    which continues today. Hebrews 13:2 tells us that some have   unwittingly entertained angels and Revelation tells us of their role in

    future times.


Second, the Depravity of Sodom.

    Many have said that Sodom was destroyed because their inhospitality.    This chapter tells WHY Sodom was destroyed and gives a specific      example. Homosexuality had become so pervasive in the society, that

    “the men of the city, both old and young, ALL the people from every     quarter,” we would say from every part of the city, surrounded the        house, demanding to gang rape the two “strangers” who had come.     Their intense desire to have sex with the men is seen in their  willingness to enter Lot’s house by force and even after being blinded     by the angels, they “wore themselves out groping for the door” (ESV).   Their boldness would suggest that this was not an isolated incident,     but a pattern of behavior that can happen when a person, a city, or  society accepts and then promotes deviant sexual behavior. The   chapter tells us that Lot was also affected by the wickedness and     perversion of the society, by his willingness to offer his two virgin       daughters as a sexual alternative.


Third, Lot’s Wife

    Little is said about Lot’s wife. It is safe to assume that she enjoyed the        privilege and prestige that had been given to Lot. She was also forced        to leave the city with her husband and daughters, but disobeyed the     command of the angel by looking back at the city. Some commentators      believe that they left married daughters behind. What is apparent, is      the heart of Lot’s wife was still in Sodom and she lost her life along    with those who remained in the city. I know…you want to know what “a      pillar of salt” means. I don’t know. We are not given an explanation. It’s      one of those questions you will have to ask in heaven.


Fourth, living right in a wrong world.


The story of Lot tells what can happen to “righteous people” who choose

to place themselves and their families in “unrighteous places or circumstances.” 2 Peter 2:7 tells us that “righteous Lot, was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked”. Peter goes on to say  2 Peter 2:8

 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds). Why didn’t he move?...seems to be a logical question. But is it? The sexual immorality mentioned here, is present in our world. Can we escape it?

Move away from it? No. But Peter gives us hope. He goes on to say “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly”. ESV God promises to rescue us, to give us the Power to live right in a wrong world, but we have to choose to be different that the society around us.


I want to end with something POSITIVE, so let’s look at the


Fifth takeaway…EFFECTIVE prayer.


    Lost in this chapter is Abraham. He is mentioned briefly in verses 27 thru 29. He gets up early in the morning, goes to the place where he met with God, and sees the smoke on the horizon. He now knows that God did not find 10 righteous men; that God destroyed the city of Sodom…the city were HIS family lived. All of his intercession, his pleading with God to have mercy, seems lost. But God DID have mercy. What Abraham doesn’t know is that God specifically sent angels to save Lot and his family. Lot is WHY… the angels are there. They didn’t have to go to the city to destroy it, but they couldn’t destroy it until Lot was gone. Verse 29 says that God “remembered Abraham and sent Lot out.” It was because of the righteous faith of Abraham and his fervent prayer, that moved God to have mercy on Lot. James 5:16 tells us…”the earnest prayer of a righteous person has GREAT power and PRODUCES wonderful results.” God LISTENS when righteous people pray. So keep praying and keep being faithful to God, even when things are happening around you that grieve your heart. God is LISTENING!       



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This is one of the best summaries of Genesis chapter 19 that I've heard. Thank you.

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