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Wednesday, June 3 2015

Ecclesiastes 5: The Lesson Of Lot's Sons And Daughters In Sodom

"I will not destroy it for ten's sake ... thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city"

When the LORD (see The LORD God Our Saviour) told Abraham "18:20 ... Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 18:21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know." (Genesis 18:20-21 KJV), Abraham became alarmed - not because he didn't know of the wickedness and perversion that was festering in Sodom, but because he knew that his nephew Lot, and Lot's family, also lived there. For their sake, Abraham bargained with the LORD in an attempt to save them. Abraham negotiated an agreement with the LORD that if only ten righteous people could be found in Sodom, that the LORD would spare the entire city, and everyone in it, from incineration.

Sodomites

"18:22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.

18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 18:24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

18:26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. 18:27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: 18:28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five?

And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

18:29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there.

And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake.

18:30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there.

And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.

18:31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there.

And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.

18:32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there.

And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.

18:33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place." (Genesis 18:22-33 KJV)

Why was Abraham satisfied with the number ten? Of the entire city, what ten people did Abraham expect to be counted as righteous? The answer begins with Lot, who had chosen to live there for the sake of his flocks and herds, not because he was unrighteous. Lot soon discovered however that he had made the wrong choice, but it was an agreement that he could not go back on without either leaving the land of the south, or breaking his territorial contract with Abraham.

"13:9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. 13:11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 13:12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly." (Genesis 13:9-13 KJV)

"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 Peter 2:6-9 KJV)

Lot, his wife, and their two unmarried daughters left the city. But why did Abraham negotiate for ten people? Answer? According to the Scriptures, Lot and his wife had other sons and daughters ("son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city") who refused to leave the city. The Scriptures don't say how many married daughters there were who refused to leave, but there had to be at least two ("daughters," plural). Whatever the total of ten people that Abraham was literally counting on (e.g. his sons and married daughters, their husbands and wives, children etc.), they are the reason that ten righteous people were not found in the city. Amazingly, they are the reason that the filthy city was not spared from hell fire.

The Holy Bible plainly states the reality of that number of Lot's family - that Abraham had negotiated to save:

"19:12 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: 19:13 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.

19:14 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.

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.

19:16 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." (Genesis 19:12-16 KJV)

The LORD keeps His Word; "I will not destroy it for ten's sake." When they refused to be found, they were incinerated with all of the other evil men and women of Sodom. Lot's wife was among those who didn't escape because she too failed to get clear of it.

Weapon of Mass Destruction

"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.

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." (Genesis 19:24-28 KJV)

The lessons of righteousness versus evil are not complicated. The LORD's mercy isn't complicated either (see the Fact Finder question below to understand what "mercy" means in the Bible). King Solomon, in the time that he wrote Ecclesiastes, made himself a prime example of the spirit of Lot's other children (see Solomon's Ballad To Losers and Solomon's Bubbles).

"5:1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 5:3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.

5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5:5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 5:6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

5:8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they. 5:9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.

5:10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

5:11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?

5:12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

5:13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. 5:14 But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 5:15 As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.

5:16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? 5:17 All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.

5:18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. 5:19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. 5:20 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart." (Ecclesiastes 5:1-20 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does "mercy" actually mean in the Bible?
See What Does Mercy Really Mean?


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This Day In History, June 3

350: Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, proclaimed himself Emperor of Rome (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).

1083: Henry IV of Germany attacked Rome and captured St. Peter's Cathedral (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1098: During the First Crusade, the Crusaders took Antioch after a five-month siege (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1140: The French scholar Peter Abelard was convicted of heresy.

James Cook 1326: The Treaty of Novgorod defined the borders between Russia and Norway in Finnmark (an area of northeastern Norway).

1539: Hernando De Soto claimed what later became known as "Florida" for Spain.

1608: Samuel de Champlain completed his third voyage to "New France" (much of North America east of the Mississippi River).

1621: The Dutch West India Company was granted a charter for New Netherland (the general area that later became known as New England).

1665: James Stuart, Duke of York (later King James II of England) defeated the Dutch fleet off the coast of Lowestoft.

1769: Captain James Cook, a year into his circumnavigation of the world, observed the transit of the planet "Venus" (the idol name that humans have given to the planet) over the sun (see also What Can You See In The Firmament Of The Heavens?).

1778: The first issue of The Montreal Gazette was published.

1818: The last of the Maratha Wars between the British and the Maratha Confederacy in India ended, securing British supremacy in India.

1866: The Fenians (a cult of Irish rebels) were driven out of Fort Erie, Ontario, into the U.S.

1841: Nicolas Appert died at age 91, The French chef and distiller, known as "the father of canning," invented the method of preserving food by enclosing it in hermetically sealed containers.

1885: The last military battle fought in Canadian territory: Cree against the North West Mounted Police (later to become the Royal Canadian Mounted Police).

1934: Dr. Frederick Banting of Toronto, co-discoverer of insulin, was knighted by King George V.

1937: The Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated as King Edward VIII of England, married Wallis Simpson in France. He gave up the crown to marry her, the first voluntary abdication in 1,000 years. His brother became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II.

1940: During the Second World War (1939-1945), the German Luftwaffe (air force) bombed Paris.

1969: Off the coast of South Vietnam, the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne collided with the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Frank E. Evans; the destroyer was severed in half.

1979: An oil blowout at the Ixtoc I oil well in the Gulf of Mexico caused a 3 million barrel oil spill into the water. It was the second-worst accidental oil spill.

1989: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, revolutionary leader of Iran, died at age 89.

1989: China's crackdown on pro-democracy dissidents protesting in Tiananmen Square began.

1991: Mount Unzen erupted in Japan; 43 people were killed 43 people, all either scientists or journalists.


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