(1) understanding of God's acts;
(2) that he should become a mighty nation;
(3) that he should be ancestor of the promised Seed;
(4) that he himself should be a blessing to others.
Of these points two at least are not confined to him personally, but belong to all who will. To know what God doeth a man must be taught of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14; cf. Isaiah 7:12). There is a wide difference between seeing an event, or even foreseeing it, and understanding God's lessons therein. To be able in everything to mark the love, and care, and wisdom of God; to walk with him as a child, accepting what he sends not merely as inevitable, but as loving; to learn lessons from all that happens, and through the works of his hands to see our Father's face - this is peace, and this is what the wisdom of this world cannot teach (Matthew 11:25; 1 Corinthians 1:20, 21). Again, Abraham was to be not merely the ancestor of a nation, but the father of a spiritual family by influence and example (Matthew 3:9; Galatians 3:7). In this his calling is that of every Christian (Daniel 12:3; Matthew 5:13, 14). Text connects the godly rule of a family with both these blessings. Christianity is not to be a selfish, but a diffusive thing (Matthew 5:15; Matthew 13:83); and the influence must needs begin at home (cf. Numbers 10:29; Acts 1:8), among those whom God has placed with us.
I. THINGS NEEDFUL FOR THIS WORK.
1. Care for his own soul. If that is not cared for a man cannot desire the spiritual good of others. He may desire and try to train his children and household in honesty and prudence; to make them good members of society, successful, respected; and may cultivate all kindly feelings; but not till he realizes eternity will he really aim at training others for eternity. Might say that only one who has found peace can fully perform this work. A man aroused with desire that his family should be saved. But he cannot press the full truth as it is in Jesus.
2. Love for the souls of others. Christians are sometimes so wrapped up in care for their own souls as to have few thoughts for the state of others. Perhaps from a lengthened conflict the mind has been too much turned upon its own state. But this is not the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:24). It is not a close following of him. It tells of a halting in the "work of faith" (2 Corinthians 5:13, 14; cf. Romans 10:1).
3. Desire to advance the kingdom of Christ. When a man has this he sees in every one a soul for which Christ died (cf. John 4:35), and those with whom he is closely connected must chiefly call forth this feeling.
II. THE MANNER OF THE WORK. Family worship; acknowledgment of God as ruling in the household; his will a regulating principle and bond of union. Let this be a reality, not a form. Let the sacrificial work of Christ be ever put forward in instruction and in prayer. Personal example - constantly aiming at a holy life. To pray in the family and yet to be evidently making no effort to live in the spirit of the prayer is to do positive evil; encouraging the belief that God may be worshipped with words, without deeds; and tending to separate religion from daily life. Prayer in private for each member - children, servants, &c.; and watchfulness to deal with each as God shall give opportunity (Proverbs 15:23). Let prayer always accompany such efforts. - M.
1. While God blinds the wicked, He maketh way for His servants to escape.
Hast thou here any besides?I. Such a question as this APPEALS TO OUR NATURAL AFFECTION. Surely, unless we have lost manhood, we love our kindred and desire their good. We have not yet become like the ostriches in the wilderness, which care not for their young. Our flesh has not congealed into marble, nor are our hearts become like millstones; we have a very tender concern for those united to us by ties of nature, and esteem them as parts of ourselves. What parent is not glad to see his children in good health? We will watch them all through the weary night when they are ill, and can we not pray for them when they are sick with sin? Parents, be parents indeed. Brothers, act a true fraternal part. Sisters, let your tender love find a fitting channel. Husbands and wives, let your conjugal union awaken you to tenderest emotions. Let every fond relationship stir us to care for others, while the inquiry is made: "Hast thou here any besides?"
II. The question is one which AROUSES HOLY SOLICITUDE. To provoke you to earnest solicitude this morning, let me remind you of times when we should be anxious about our friends and children.
1. When first we ourselves look to Christ, we should care for others. We would not eat our morsel alone, lest it grow stale through our selfishness. This wood drops with honey; we cannot eat it all, let us call others to taste its sweetness.
2. Then there are times of Christian enjoyment.
3. Me-thinks when we are downcast, when our soul is filled with bitter trouble, then also is an appropriate season to pray for others. God turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends, and he may turn our captivity when we do the same.
4. It may also help to stimulate this holy solicitude, to think of how we shall feel in regard to our children and friends when they come to lie sick. Can we gaze upon their pallid countenances without bitter reproaches for our past supineness?
5. Think, again, how you would care for your friends if you were yourself this morning very nigh unto death. You cannot come back from heaven; if you have neglected a duty, you cannot leave heaven to perform it.
III. Such a question as this is calculated to EXCITE US TO ANXIOUS EFFORT; for mere solicitude without effort is not genuine. A man must not pretend that he cares for the souls of others so long as he leaves one stone unturned which might be the means of blessing them.
1. It seems to me, then, that if we are in a right state of heart this morning, one of the first things we shall do will be to tell those dear to us of their danger. Let not thy friend perish through ignorance. Tell him that whosoever cometh unto Christ He will in no wise cast out; that there is life in a look at the crucified Saviour; that whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. Preach no salvation by works; but preach faith, and works only as the fruit of faith; and let the doctrine that Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost be clearly set before thy friend's face.
2. Remember it is not enough coldly to warn them of danger and doctrinally to teach the remedy. There are many who will go so far; but I hold, my brethren and sisters, that we are bound to use a constraint with our friends. Do not misunderstand me — only a loving and a tender constraint, such as these angels used with Lot. Press them, plead with them, take them by the hand. I remember an old man who was a nursing-father to all the young men in the parish where he lived. This one thing he used to do; there was scarcely a lad whom he would not know and speak to, and there was a time with most of the lads when he specially sought to see them decided. Suppose one of them was going away to London, he would be sure to ask him to have a cup of tea with him. "You are going away, John," he would say; "I should not like you to go without spending an evening with me." If it was a fine sunshiny evening, he would say, "You know I have often talked to you about the things of God, and I am afraid that as yet there has been no impression produced. You are going to London, and will meet with many temptations, and I fear you may fall into them, but I should like to pray with you once before you go. Let us walk down the field together." There was a tree, an old oak tree, in a solitary place, where he would say, "To help you to recollect my words better, we will pray under this tree." The young and the old knelt together, and the old man poured out his soul before God; and when he had wrestled with God, and talked with his young friend, he would say, "Now, when I am dead and gone, you will perhaps come back to the place where you lived when a youth; let that tree be a witness between God and your soul, that here I wrestled with you; and if you forget God, and do not give your heart to Christ, let that tree stand to accuse your conscience till it yields to the entreaties of Divine love." Now here was a using of what I have styled constraint; but it is not a constraint, as physical force; of course that is never to be used; but the constraint of spiritual force, Divine love, and earnestness. May I ask whether we have all done our duty in this matter?
IV. Our text FOSTERS A VERY CHEERING HOPE. It says, "Hast thou here any besides?" as much as if it would say, "Hope for them all. Why should they not all be brought out of Sodom? Why should one be left behind?"
V. The text SUGGESTS A VERY SOLEMN FEAR, namely, that there may be some in our households who will not be saved. Ah! young men and women; ah! you who are fathers of Christian children, but not converted yourselves; you who are godless daughters and unregenerate sons of Christian people, you are lost now, you may be lost for ever l Lot's sons-in-law were consumed, and why not you? Saved shall the patriarch be, but not saved the patriarch's son, except he shall flee out of Sodom.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
2. Sweet is the providence, and solicitous is the care of God by His angel over His saints to save them.
3. Sons and daughters fare the better with God for being related to holy parents.
4. God calleth His, and all that are near and dear to Him, out of the place upon which vengeance is determined (Revelation 18:4).
5. Approaching vengeance discovered should make saints quit themselves from among the wicked (ver. 12).
6. When the cry of sins groweth great against God's face, it is time for saints to haste from thence.
7. Jehovah commissions destroyers to blot out the wicked in the earth. 8, Good angels are sometimes commissioned to destroy the wicked as well as to save the righteous.
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
LinksGenesis 19:12 NIV
Genesis 19:12 NLT
Genesis 19:12 ESV
Genesis 19:12 NASB
Genesis 19:12 KJV
Genesis 19:12 Bible Apps
Genesis 19:12 Parallel
Genesis 19:12 Biblia Paralela
Genesis 19:12 Chinese Bible
Genesis 19:12 French Bible
Genesis 19:12 German Bible
Genesis 19:12 Commentaries