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Sunday, August 11, 2019

GENESIS – An Expositional Overview of the Beginning of God’s Revelation: Chapter NINETEEN


Contributing commentaries by Sonny Islas and James Fire
Studies by Ray Steadman: The Wasted Years GEN 19
  
GENESIS 19:1-38 – by James Fire 
Watch the FB Video of this teaching here (8/07/19)

Introduction:
We are constantly making choices in our lives; some good and some bad – and we have to live with the consequences of those choices. All too often we find ourselves in trouble of our own making because of unwise decisions and taking directions in life that lead to potential disaster, or even disaster itself.

When we contrast the lives of Abraham and his nephew Lot, we see the truth of this. Abraham was not without his own unwise decisions; the same goes for Sarah his wife – point in case: Hagar and the subsequent birth of Ishmael, whose decedents even today are a constant thorn in Israel’s side. But then as Abraham grows in his faith, we see his life becomes blessed with spiritual stability and maturity (though he still stumbles here and there on occasion – as we will see in Chapter 20).

But as we consider the life of Lot, he just goes from bad to worse, making one bad decision after another – even though, the Scriptures attest to the truth that his soul was just, and it was grieved for the wickedness of Sodom (2 PET 2:7; Do we know how he feels, living in this wicked world?).

GENESIS 19:1
1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground
;

As these two men have left the LORD and Abraham in Hebron, they proceeded to Sodom, and in this chapter, we specifically learn that they are not, in fact, men but angels (angels that ate food! So, we see here the first example of angel’s food cake, right?). These two are sent to Sodom because the cry (literally, “shriek or outcry”) of Sodom and Gomorrah was great. Perhaps these are the shrieks and outcries of innocent children, as well as women (and men) being raped and tormented by the Sodomites that dominated the streets (as we shall soon see).

Notice the warning that the angels proclaimed throughout the streets and avenues to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah of the coming destruction - - or rather, the lack of warning! This was not Nineveh, and this was not the prophet Jonah! This indicates to me how deplorable the situation was for these two cities of sickening and perverse sin, that GOD doesn’t even bother issuing a warning, knowing in His omniscience, that it would do no good!

Lot is seen here at the gate of Sodom – gates in those days, entry ways into the huge, thickly walled city-states were places where people of prominence often sat, within alcoves – offices of sorts, to conduct business or affairs of state. Here we see Lot, who despite his righteous soul, found a place of rank in this horrible environment.

Like Uncle Abraham, Lot recognizes these men for who they were, for he bows himself to them, his face to the ground. It’s evening time, and night is about to fall – and during this time of darkness, we will witness such spiritual darkness that has visited empires and were highly influential factors in bringing them down in destruction.

GENESIS 19:2-3
2
 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat
.

Notice what Lot says – “Come to my house and stay there all night, make yourself comfortable and rest, and then come early morning you can go on your way.” Lot wants to keep these two safely within his own home all night long and send them on their way early in the morning. Safe from what? And what’s the rush seeing them off so early in the morning?

The two angels reply that they are going to remain in the street all night – but Lot protests strongly until they agree to spend the night at his house; they are fed and prepare to retire to bed for the night. But then the darkness comes and surrounds Lot’s house:

GENESIS 19:4-5
But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, [surrounded] the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them
.

Who are these people? They are the young and the old (and everyone in between I imagine) – people from “every quarter” of the city, which tells me that these sorts were common throughout the entire city. Note the boldness with which they express their demands – bring those men out to us!

Why are they interested in meeting these men - to find out who they are, what their business is in Sodom, to get to know them, to get acquainted with them, perhaps in friendship?
When Mary, the virgin betrothed of Joseph was visited by the angel Gabriel and was told by this angel that she would give birth to the Messiah, she was perplexed and asked the question:

LUKE 1:34
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

In this sense, she is saying, she hasn’t ‘experienced’ a man, that is, had intimate relations with a man. Earlier in GENESIS, we read that “Adam knew his wife, Eve” and the word used for “knew” in Hebrew is yada (yaw-dah’), which has a wide range of definitions, but one of those is, again, to experience, and also “to have physical contact” with Eve in intimacy.

These men (and boys) of Sodom weren’t interested in developing a friendship with Lot’s two guests – what would be the harm in that? That would certainly not be a reason for GOD to send them to these cities to destroy them.

No, we understand that these Sodomites were lusting for these two, who appeared to be men, and demanded that they be brought forth so that they could have sexual relations with them. Note that there is no interest in getting to know them as persons and develop a relationship in friendship as is sexually healthy between persons that GOD ordained between men and women, who are seeking the LORD concerning matrimony.

Their interests are solely sexual, carnal and centered around lust, as is spoken of in ROMANS:

ROMANS 1:26-28
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient
;

Then in we read:

1 CORINTHIANS 6:8-10
Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God
.

Likewise, in the Old Testament, we have these verses from LEVITICUS:

LEVITICUS 18:22
22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination
.

LEVITICUS 20:13
13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them
.

We see here that in the kingdom of Israel, under the holy rule and reign of God, homosexuality was punishable by death.

Homosexual activists point out that Jesus never spoke out against homosexuality, and since He is the authority overall, then it must be acceptable behavior. 
However, what they fail to appreciate is that Jesus is the WORD of GOD Incarnate, Who inspired the writers of the Bible, which is the WORD Inspired, both Old and New Testaments. The writers wrote according to that inspiration of the Spirit, and since canon in both Testaments condemn this sexual practice along with fornication, adultery, bestiality and any other sexual expression other than that between a man and woman in the sanctity of marriage, then the WORD Incarnate does indeed condemn this practice.

We read more about the extreme inappropriateness of this in the book of JUDE:

JUDE 1:6-8
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities
.

These angels are more than likely the fallen angels that followed Lucifer in the rebellion against GOD, and committed the abomination of GENESIS 6, where they cohabited with human females. As strange and inappropriate as that was, here Jude makes the comparison with the citizens of Sodom, “going after strange flesh” – of the inappropriate kind: men defiling their flesh with other men who despised authority, especially the authority of GOD!

These men of Sodom were not seeking equal rights, to live in harmony with the rest of the city; they clearly had domination of the populace, because they made such a demand of Lot, and expected to be obeyed.

I’ve stated recently in addressing church discipline that Christians aren’t afraid of sex, nor do we see it as dirty or ungodly. GOD created sex and the sexual union for the pleasure of husbands and wives in the institution of marriage and for the purpose of procreation and the establishment of the institution of the family. And like a fire, contained in a fireplace – when sex is limited to these parameters, it’s a blessing, a comfort and beneficial.

But when those boundaries are breached, as America did during the ‘Sexual Revolution’ in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, this let loose the fire of sexual passions, that continued to blaze unimpeded and today we are witnessing this inferno of iniquity and it’s burning the house of America to the ground, leaving this nation in ashes!

The financial cost alone in insurance and medicine in treating sexual diseases, including AIDS is astronomical; add to that the enormous amount of money being wasted on feeding these sexual fires run amok in pornographic materials (about $17 billion annually), the sin of fornication and resulting expenses of abortion, the murder of the unwanted children conceived in sin, not to mention the increasing of violence and rape associated with pedophilia and human/child trafficking and the polluting of our innocent children is wreaking devastation in the United States, and the world over, and the money being channeled to fight against this is enormous.

And we don’t even have time to talk about Pizza gate and high level evidence of child trafficking among the world’s wealthy elite, like Jeffrey Epstein who had child prostitution as a routine entertainment on his private island. This is to say nothing of the cost in sacrificing morality and right standing before the LORD.

Once homosexual marriage was legalized in America, this opened the floodgates of what we are witnessing today – transgenderism, an enormous increase in bisexuality, particularly among Millennials; and now MAPS (Minor Attracted Persons) pedophiles, are making demands to be accepted as legal and legitimate.

GENESIS 19:6-8
And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof
.

Notice how Lot comes out to talk to the men of Sodom, and shuts the door behind him, in his endeavor to keep the two angels protected. But here is the mind-blowing part: to satisfy the lusts of these men, he offers his two daughters, if they will just leave the men alone!
WHAT??! What sort of man would offer his own daughters to be raped, just to keep a couple of guests safe? In verse 8, Lot says, “only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.”

What is the significance of this expression, “under the shadow of my roof”? In the Middle East, during this period of time, if guests entered your home, your stewardship of them went far beyond simple hospitality – you were honor-bound to keep them safe, even at the cost of your own life in need be! The opportunity seldom presented itself, where one had to sacrifice one’s life for their guests, but everyone had to be prepared to take such measures if it was ever necessary!

This puts a much different and greater light on the verse in PSALMS now:

PSALM 17:8
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings
,

PSALM 36:7
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings
.

And remember what the LORD Jesus said to His people in Jerusalem:

LUKE 13:34
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Because they refused Jesus, they were vulnerable to attack by the great enemy, Satan, as well as the Judgment of GOD for rejecting their Messiah, and in 70 AD, Israel was massacred, Jerusalem scattered, the Temple destroyed.

GOD is fully committed to protecting those who trust Him and proved it by offering His own life for their salvation! On a Cross, outside of Jerusalem in the land of Judea, two thousand years ago!

GENESIS 19:9
And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door
.

Notice the indignation of these Sodomites – “how dare you judge us! Don’t you know the Bible says, ‘Don’t judge?!’”. They threaten Lot, saying they’ll do worse to him than to the two men – so they admit that they intend harm to the men, raping them or worse!

GENESIS 19:10-11
10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. 11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door
.

Enough is enough, and the two angels them grab hold of Lot, pull him back in the house, slam the door and then they smite these Sodomites with blindness!

Now put yourself in their shoes – you’re intent of committing this perversion, you are determined to go through anyone who stands in your way, and suddenly you’re blinded! You can’t see a thing. Would you become gravely concerned about your blindness? You have no idea if you will ever recover your sight, and people disabled in this way, ended up as beggars. Would you then lose any interest in your pursuit and go home?

But these men were so enslaved to their sexual perversion that apparently, they don’t pause for even a moment, but continued to pursue these angels, until they “wearied themselves to find the door!”

Any gift that GOD blesses us with, Satan intends to pervert it, twist it, turn it into a curse that ends up controlling us, rather than us keeping such precious gifts under control to be enjoyed in their proper context. These men were perverted sexual addicts that were ‘jonesing for their next lustful encounter – and apparently, it didn’t matter to them that they were blinded!

GENESIS 19:12-16
12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: 13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.
14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth and set him without the city
.

Witness how GOD cannot bring the judgment upon Sodom until He delivers the righteous out of the city. This righteousness is non-transferable between family members: we see that Lot tried to persuade his son in laws, but they didn’t take him seriously – and they perished because they were not righteous, even though their father-in-law was.

There is only one Man Who can transfer His righteousness to us human beings; it’s not your father, not your husband, not your pastor or mentor – it is the LORD Jesus Christ. Have you trusted Him for salvation, because like Sodom, destruction is coming and we need to be prepared to leave this world as Lot left Sodom!

We know that the LORD will deliver His church out of this world before He can bring judgment upon the unrepentant.

Some see this destruction by the hand of GOD as being full of wrath and judgment; yet they don’t consider the mercy of GOD in this act. Had the LORD not dealt with Sodom and Gomorrah and allowed these perversions to continue, it could have spread to Zoar, and then perhaps as far as Hebron and Mamre, even to Bethlehem. It all would have started up again in these other cities the way it did in Sodom and Gomorrah – and how did it start there, in Sodom?

EZEKIEL 16:46-51
46 And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters. 47 Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways. 48 As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. 51 Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done
.

I have to consider that there is one nation today that promotes Gay Pride parades far more than any other – and it’s not America! It’s Israel – pray for the nation of Israel!
There was an abundance of resources – fullness of bread, they had a lot of idle time on their hands – affluence and wealth meant not having to work so hard, having extra days off; there is that old expression, “Idle hands are the devil’s playground!” There was pride and no compassion for others, particularly the poor – they were haughty, and that led to the abominations that Sodom committed!

GENESIS 19:17-21
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:
20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. 21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken
.

Lot is apprehensive about a life in the wilderness – he’s a city boy, and there were many savage beasts in the wilderness that he could fall prey to; but then again, he’s escaping a city full of savage beasts because of the LORD’s protection – certainly He could protect him in the wild as well? But again, the mercy and grace of GOD is demonstrated in that Lot is permitted to go where he asked.

GENESIS 19:22-26
22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou be come thither. Therefore, the name of the city was called Zoar. 23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt
.

Consider Lot’s wife:

LUKE 9:62
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God
.

She lagged behind. She turned and watched the flaming sulfur fall from the sky, consuming everything she valued. Then it consumed her. The Hebrew for “looked back” means more than to glance over one’s shoulder. It means “to regard, to consider, to pay attention to.” The Scriptures don’t say whether her death was a punishment for valuing her old life so much that she hesitated in obeying, or if it was a simple consequence of her reluctance to leave her life quickly. Either she identified too much with the city—and joined it—or she neglected to fully obey God’s warning, and she died.”
~ ~ ~
Sodom and Gomorrah were two of five cities referred to in Scripture as the Cities of the Plain. From references to the "plain of the Jordan" (GEN 13:10), "the Valley of Siddim (the Salt Sea)" (GEN 14:3) and Abraham looking down to see the Cities of the Plain from the area of Hebron (GEN 19:28), it is clear that the cities were located in the vicinity of the Dead Sea.
It wasn't until 1973 that solid archaeological evidence for locating the Cities of the Plain was found. At that time an archaeological survey of the area southeast of the Dead Sea was conducted by Walter Rast and Thomas Schaub in conjunction with their work at Bab edh-Dhra, an Early Bronze (ca. 3300–2000 BC) site on the east side of the Lisan peninsula.
Even though the locations of three of the Cities of the Plain remain elusive, evidence is strong that the two most important, Sodom and Gomorrah, have been found.”
Above quote taken from the Bible Archaeology website article, The Discovery of the Sin Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah

GENESIS 19:27-29
27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord: 28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. 29 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 the which Lot dwelt
.

Abraham got up the next morning, and witnessed towering pillars of dark smoke rising from the eastern horizon, where he knew Sodom was located, remembering the LORD’s words: “I will not destroy it for ten's sake” and knew that He couldn’t even find ten in all that city – because the smoke of the city’s destruction was evident.Yet he had to believe GOD by faith, that He delivered his nephew, Lot.

GENESIS 19:30-33
30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose
.

Abraham’s wife was his half-sister; obviously Cain and Seth married those who were also offspring of their parents, Adam and Eve, thus sisters. 

Being that this was the beginning of the human race, this was allowable – intermarriage within the family, what we call incest, was not forbidden until the time of the Law of Moses (LEV 18:6-18), but in the case of parents having sexual relations with their own offspring, or in this case, daughters having sexual relations with a parent, this was something inappropriate – we recognize this because Lot’s daughters had to get their father intoxicated before they approached him.

For more on this see the following article: Why did God allow incest in the Bible?
GENESIS 19:34-38
34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 37 And the first born bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. 38 And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day
.

And so, the offspring of the daughters of Lot became the Moabites and the Ammonites, which today is the nation of Jordan. These tribes were constant adversaries of the nation of Israel, especially in the days of David, who conquered their armies and brings them into subservience to his kingdom. 


It’s interesting to note that in these last days, when the anti-Christ is intent on not only destroying the nation of Israel, but particularly the remnant of Jews who place their faith in the Messiah of Israel, Y’shua – or the LORD Jesus, and they are hidden from the Beast in the city of Petra (also known as Bosrah).

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