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Thursday, August 8 2013
Genesis 19: Fire and Brimstone Upon Sodom and Gomorrah
"Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven"
With the LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) remaining with Abraham (see Genesis 18: The LORD and Two Angels), the two angels arrived at Sodom near sunset. They were greeted by Abraham's nephew Lot at the city gate (see Genesis 13: The Parting of Abram and Lot and Genesis 14: The Rescue Of Lot). Lot insisted that the two angels, who appeared as men, stay as guests in Lot's house, but the dwelling was quickly surrounded by predatory perverts who demanded "Bring them out unto us, that we may know them."
"19:1 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; 19:2 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.
Lot was a righteous man (see the verse quotes from 2 Peter below), but living in Sodom had twisted and perverted his healthy judgment. Lot made an offer that any sane father would find absolutely evil and repugnant: "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."
"19:6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 19:7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 19:8 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.
The angels drew Lot back into the house and warned him to get his family out of the evil city. Notice that Lot had offered his two young, unmarried daughters - who would escape the city with their father and mother. There were others however, married daughters who refused to heed their father's warning: "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" (see Why Did Lot's Wife Look Back?).
"19:10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 19:11 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.
So it was the Lot and his wife, and only their two unmarried daughters, fled the city of Sodom.
"19:15 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.
At some point during the night, the LORD had left Abraham at Hebron (see Camped Out In Canaan). "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven."
"19:23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 19:25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." (Genesis 19:23-26 KJV)
Early the next morning, Abraham, looking down on the plain from the hill country of Hebron, "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."
"19:27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: 19:28 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.
Lot and his daughters survived the conflagration. They apparently thought that all of humanity had been destroyed - hence the logic of Lot's daughters.
"19:30 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. 19:31 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: 19:32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
While many have used the example of Sodom to sit in judgment of the particular kind of sin that was rampant there, the LORD doesn't play favorites with the righteous, or with the wicked. Leviticus chapter 18 provides a long list of sexual perversions, of which sodomy is just one. People who commit any sexual sin, including adultery and fornication, are just as vile in the LORD's sight as Sodomites. That applies to all of God's Laws and Commandments e.g. those who pervert the true seventh-day Christian Sabbath are viewed no differently than Sodomites in the LORD's sight. Notice very carefully this summary listing by the apostle Paul that makes no distinction of degree of seriousness between "fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners." All require repentance, and the LORD's forgiveness is available to all who do genuinely repent.
"6:9 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, 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV)
The apostle Peter used the incineration of Sodom as an example of what is going to happen to everyone who refuses to repent, including those with "eyes full of adultery."
"2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.
Fact Finder: Why does the LORD refer to Jerusalem, that Jews (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism), "Christians" (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?) and Muslims (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad) regard as a focal point of their religions, as that "which spiritually is called Sodom" (Revelation 11:8 KJV) today?
This Day In History, August 8
1220: The Battle of Lihula. Swedish forces were routed by Estonian tribes.
1306: King Wenceslas of Poland was murdered.
1503: King James IV of Scotland married Margaret Tudor, the daughter of King Henry VII of England.
1570: King Charles IX of France signed the Treaty of St. Germain, ending the third war of religion and giving religious freedom to the Huguenots (French protestants).
1576: The cornerstone for Tycho Brahe's Uraniborg observatory was laid on Hven.
1588: During the Anglo-Spanish War, the Battle of Gravelines ended – stopping the Spanish Armada's attempt to invade England to restore it to Papal rule (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1648: Ibrahim (from the Arabic form of Abraham; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Roots and Branches and 'Raghead' Racism), the sultan of Istanbul, was thrown into prison, and later killed.
1709: Bartolomeu de Gusmao demonstrated the lifting ability of a vehicle powered by hot air to the King of Portugal in Lisbon. Despite the Church of Rome soon thereafter demanding that he discontinue his aeronautical research, Bartolomeu de Gusmao became one of the earliest pioneers of human flight.
1786: The first ascent of Mont Blanc was completed by Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard and his porter, Jacques Balmat.
1918: During the First World War (1914-1918), the Battle of Amiens began. Allied forces advanced on a 10-mile front against 20 German divisions and took 16,000 prisoners in 2 hours.
1929: The German airship Graf Zeppelin began a circumnavigation of the earth flight.
1940: The German Luftwaffe attacked Britain for the first time, beginning the Battle of Britain.
1942: During the Second World War, six Germans, who were put ashore on Long Island in June, became the first saboteurs to be executed in the U.S. They were electrocuted in a District of Colombia jail.
1963: Britain's "Great Train Robbery" took place when a gang held up the Glasgow to London mail train and stole 2.6 million pounds.
1974: US President Richard Nixon announced that he was resigning for his part in the Watergate crimes committed by his regime, effective at noon the next day. Nixon's successor, Gerald Ford, thereafter took the very unusual step of pardoning Nixon for the crimes that he committed before he was formally charged with them (some legal experts question whether Ford himself committed obstruction of justice by pardoning someone who hadn't yet been charged with anything).
1988: U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar announced that a cease-fire in the eight-year-old Gulf war between Iran and Iraq was to begin on August 20.
1988: Russian troops began their retreat out of Afghanistan, 9 years after their unsuccessful invasion to fight the Taliban began (ironically, the Taliban were assisted and supplied with arms by the U.S., who later fought the same Taliban when the U.S. took its turn at invading Afghanistan).
2010: During the 2010 China floods, a mudslide in Zhugqu County, Gansu, China, killed over 1,400 people.