Genesis 19:1-13 NIV

[1] The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. [2] “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant's house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.” [3] But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. [4] Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom-both young and old-surrounded the house. [5] They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” [6] Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him [7] and said, “No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. [8] Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” [9] “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We'll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door. [10] But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. [11] Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. [12] The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here-sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, [13] because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it .” …

Genesis 19:23-29 NIV

[23] By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. [24] Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah-from the Lord out of the heavens. [25] Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities-and also the vegetation in the land. [26] But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. [27] Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord. [28] He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. [29] So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.



Have you ever read a story in the news or watched a TV programme and been so disturbed by it's graphic content that you wished you could erase all memory of it from your mind?  Genesis 19 has a few of those stories. 

While the Lord remains to talk with Abraham, the two angels move 20 miles east towards Sodom where Lot lives.  Again their real identity is hidden for now.  The fact that Lot is sitting at the city gate, a place where city leaders often gathered, shows just how comfortable he has become in a place he should never have been in the first place.

Lot offers hospitality, imploring the men not to spend the night in the city square.  He is probably more than aware of what is likely to befall the men if they are not locked behind a protective door.  However his worst fears come to pass.  A lust-filled mob of men gather outside, united in their evil desire to abuse these visitors.  The text makes it clear that the depravity within this city was widespread: The men were "....from every part of the city of Sodom-both young and old...." (v. 4). This was not a few isolated individuals.

Lot tries to calm the attackers down by offering his two virgin daughters for their pleasure.  What sort of father would try to make such a bargain?  It simply demonstrates just how contaminated Lot has become by the perverted culture that surrounds him.

In the end, the angels have to physically drag Lot and his close relatives out of the city before the Lord pours out His judgement and destroys it completely.

One commentator helpfully points out:

"It should be noted at this point that Scripture never names one particular kind of sin as the reason for God’s judgment. Sodom and Gomorrah had completely given themselves over to immorality of every kind-and to such extremes that God made a unique example of them. While the name of Sodom has become associated with the homosexual act and the story is best known in popular culture because it features homosexual lust, these sins alone did not invite divine punishment. Sodom was not exclusively guilty in this regard."  (C. Swindoll)

God is love, He is merciful, He is compassionate and He is gracious.  I wholeheartedly believe this.  But He is also holy, righteous, pure, just and the Bible makes it very clear that there is a day of judgement when wickedness, sin and evil will be done away with forever.  In his great kindness, God has paid the price for our own sin and taken the punishment for our evil.  His wrath was fully placed on His only son Jesus 2000 years ago at Calvary.  You and I may not have committed the same sins as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, but we are sinners just the same, and apart from faith in Jesus Christ, we cannot be saved from the judgment to come.  In the meantime, if we are Christians, we have the opportunity (and obligation) to share the good news of God's great love and saving grace with as many people as possible that they might experience life, both now and eternally.  Remember this:

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare." (2 Peter 3:9-10)