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;
This is the whole of the record. The offence consisted only in a look; and that a look directed towards a city which may have been her birthplace, and which contained many that were dear to her by relationship and by friendship. The vengeance taken was most signal and appalling. Here is a case in which there seems a want of proportion between the sin and its recompense. But the fact that our Lord uses the admonition "Remember Lot's wife" shows that a moral end was to be subserved by the Divine interference. Lot's wife was meant to be an example to the men of every generation.
I. God's moral government required the interference. The punishment took its measure, not so much from the greatness of the sin, as from the nature of the lessons to be given.
II. Consider the sin committed by Lot's wife. She looked back; it may be she attempted to turn back. She, a rescued one, had no right to pause and grieve for such sinners as were left behind in Sodom. She was guilty of a positive act of disobedience, for the parting injunction of the angel had been "Look not behind thee."
III. Her fate teaches a great lesson as to the duty of decision in religion. Deliverance is conditional. If we flee as those who hear behind them the tramp of the destroyer, if we rush as those who see the daylight hastening away, we shall be saved; but if our heart is with the stuff, or the friends that remain behind in Sodom, then "Remember Lot's wife." "No man having put his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of heaven."
H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 2445.
References: Genesis 19:26.—R. M. McCheyne, Additional Remains, p. 249; R. W. Evans, Parochial Sermons, p. 30; Preacher's Monthly, vol. v., p. 99.
I. Sodom's sinfulness. Her sins were committed amidst an unbounded flush of prosperity; they were committed amidst scenes of much natural loveliness, Nature being outraged before the eye of her most beautiful forms; and they were committed not only in opposition to Nature's silent, but to God's spoken, warnings.
II. Notice Sodom's warnings. One was given by the entrance of Lot within its gates; another was given by the advent of Chedorlaomer and the invaders from the east. Abraham and Melchizedek cast their sublime and awful shadows from the King's Dale southward upon Gomorrah's walls; but the sinners within felt not the hallowing sense of their presence, trembled not at the steps of their majesty.
III. Notice Sodom's intercessor. Abraham's prayer shows: (1) the confidence that existed between himself and God; (2) it shows God's personal knowledge of evil; (3) it shows God's great reluctance to punish; (4) it gives proof of the tremendous guilt of Sodom.
IV. This terrible catastrophe lies in a bye-path of the Divine procedure; it did not relate immediately to the general course of the patriarchal dispensation, and yet what an awful "aside" did the fall of these cities utter! It must have struck Abraham with a new sense of the evil of sin and of the holiness and justice of God. In the Dead Sea, Israel felt, and we should feel too, that God's anger was, so to speak, sunk and slumbering on the outskirts of the land, and might at any moment awake and march out in all its fury on the impenitent.
G. Gilfillan, Alpha and Omega, vol. ii., p. 1.
References: Gen 19—F. W. Robertson, Notes on Genesis, p. 43p; R. S. Candlish, Book of Genesis, vol. i., p. 313; Expositor, 2nd series, vol. i., p. 443; Expositor, 3rd series, vol. ii., p. 203, vol. iii., p. 69; J. Foster, Lectures, vol. i., p. 103. Genesis 19:12.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. x., No. 601. Genesis 19:12, Genesis 19:13.—W. Harris, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xiv., p. 399. Genesis 19:12, Genesis 19:26.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. iii., p. 107. Genesis 19:12-30.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. iv., p. 91, and vol. xxii., p. 156. Genesis 19:14.—Weekly Pulpit, vol. i. (1877), p. 264; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 120. Genesis 19:15.—Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes (1884), p. 9. Genesis 19:16.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiv., No. 789; Bishop Ryle, Holiness, its Nature, etc., p. 212. Genesis 19:16, Genesis 19:17.—S. Leathes, Truth and Life, p. 40. Genesis 19:17.—A. W. Hare, Sermons to a Country Congregation, vol. i., p. 201; S. A. Brooke, The Unity of God and Man, p. 143; F. O. Morris, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xvii., p. 251; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 119. Genesis 19:17-19.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. x., No. 550. Genesis 19:20.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. v., No. 248; Homiletic Magazine, vol. xii., p. 81. Genesis 19:24, Genesis 19:25.—Parker, vol. i., p. 222. Genesis 19:26.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. xiv., p. 171. Genesis 19:27, Genesis 19:28.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. x., No. 602. Genesis 19:27-29.—R. S. Candlish, Book of Genesis, vol. i., p. 330. Genesis 19:29.—E. Cooper, Fifty-two Sermons, p. 93.
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.
But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed 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.
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.
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.
But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:
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:
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.
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.
Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:
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.
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.
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.
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:
Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
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.
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.
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.
Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.
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.