James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
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;Genesis 19:1-38
SODOM AND GOMORRAH
THE SODOM MOB (Genesis 19:1-11)
What leads to the belief that Lot did not recognize the nature of his visitors (Genesis 19:2-3)? (Compare Hebrews 13:2.) The following verses show that the Sodomites sought acquaintance with these supposed men for those vile purposes which have ever been associated with the name of their city. It was for this that Lot, at the risk of his life, came to their defense, for the duty of protecting a guest has always been accounted among orientals as the most sacred obligation. Lot’s offer concerning his daughters is inexplicable, and yet it shows what Sodom had done for him. How does (Genesis 19:9 show Lot’s unpopularity with his neighbors? What suggests that he had testified against them? (Read here 2 Peter 2:6-9.) Who rescued Lot, and how (Genesis 19:10)? What physical judgment was visited upon his antagonists (Genesis 19:11)?
LOT’S ESCAPE (Genesis 19:12-26)
How does (Genesis 19:12 illustrate our responsibility for the salvation of our relatives? And (Genesis 19:14 the indifference with which they often hear our testimony? How does (Genesis 19:16 illustrate the preventing grace of God to lost sinners? What elements of Lot’s character are illustrated (Genesis 19:18-20)? How does (Genesis 19:30 show his folly a second time in selecting an abiding place? How do Genesis 19:21-22 show God’s regard for the people of His choice, notwithstanding their unworthiness? The prophets of the Bible speak of tribulation coming upon the earth at the close of this age such as was never seen before, but they speak also of the deliverance of the saints out of it and a removal of them by translation (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) before the judgments fall (Revelation 3:10 to Revelation 7:14), and this dealing with Lot illustrates it in certain ways. By what means were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed? “Overthrew,” (Genesis 19:25, indicating upheavals and submersions of the ground, perhaps the result of natural causes, but under divine control. The explosion of gas might account for it when the soil, soaked with bitumen, would easily convey the fire until all the cities were destroyed. It used to be thought that the Dead Sea covered the site of these cities, but this opinion is now contradicted.
What judgment befell Lot’s wife, and why? Her motives for looking back are not hard to conceive and we need not dwell upon them now, but observe how Jesus applies this circumstance to the end of the age (Luke 17:31-33), and note that He thus not only warns us concerning that period but guarantees the authenticity of this whole story.
ORIGIN OF THE MOABITES AND THE AMMONITES (Genesis 19:30-38)
It must not be supposed that the conduct of Lot’s daughters recorded here is endorsed by God. Its record is an incidental evidence of the truth of the Bible, for an imposter palming off a so-called revelation would have omitted such a circumstance reflecting upon them whom God in His mercy had separated unto Himself. The purpose of the record is doubtless to give us the origin of the Moabites and the Ammonites, who figure so largely at a later time as the implacable enemies of Israel, whose vile character is here foreshadowed. They ultimately met the fate at God’s hands which their history deserved.