So Lot went out and spoke to the sons-in-law who were pledged in marriage to his daughters. "Get up," he said. "Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
(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.
He seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-law.I. LET US ATTEND TO THE EXHORTATION ADDRESSED BY LOT TO HIS SONS-IN-LAW. THERE IS A CLOSE PARALLEL BETWEEN THEIR SITUATION AND OUR OWN.
1. We are living, like them, amongst wicked men.
2. We are exposed, like them, to Divine judgment.
3. We are plied, like them, with overtures of mercy.
II. LET US ATTEND TO THE MANNER IN WHICH THE SONS-IN-LAW OF LOT RECEIVED HIS EXHORTATION. THERE IS A CLOSE PARALLEL BETWEEN THEIR CONDUCT AND THAT OF MANY OF OURSELVES.
1. Like them, we reject as mockery the demonstration of our danger.
2. Like them, we reject as mockery the offer of a method of escape.
3. Like them, we reject as mockery all earnestness in pressing on our attention the means of deliverance.
III. LET US ATTEND TO THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE MANNER IN WHICH THE SONS-IN-LAW OF LOT RECEIVED HIS EXHORTATION. THERE IS A CLOSE PARALLEL BETWEEN THEIR DOOM AND OURS IF WE DIE IN A STATE OF UNBELIEF. Here we may appeal —
1. To the declarations of the Almighty.
2. To the facts of history. The old world. The cities of the plain.
3. To the dictates of reason.
4. To the attributes of God. His truth and holiness.
Homilist.The context strikes several things forcibly on our attention.
1. The incongruity between the material and moral departments of existence in this world. In Sodom we find natural beauty and harmony in conjunction with moral deformity and discord.
2. The amazing power which prayer has with the Governor of the world (Genesis 18:23-33).
3. The existence of a moral government in connection with the conduct of man.
4. The deep interest of angelic intelligences in human history.
I. LOT'S MESSAGE TO HIS SONS-IN-LAW WAS ALARMING IN ITS NATURE. "The Lord will destroy the city."
1. Their peril was great.
2. Their peril was the result of sin.
3. Their peril was just at hand.
4. Their peril at this moment was unavoidable.
II. HIS MESSAGE TO HIS SONS-IN-LAW WAS FOUNDED ON THE DIVINE AUTHORITY.
1. The danger of which the gospel preacher warns the unconverted is not a dream of his own; it is a fact of Divine revelation.
2. The proclamation of this danger to the unconverted is not optional on the preacher's part; he is bound by heaven to do it
III. His MESSAGE TO HIS SONS-IN-LAW WAS SCEPTICALLY RECEIVED.
1. The appearance of things remaining unchanged. "Since the fathers fell asleep," &c.
2. The force of old associations.
3. A false trust in the mercy of God.
I. NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT AND SERIOUS, AS NOTHING IS MORE CERTAIN, THAN ARE THE TRUTHS WHICH RELIGION PRESENTS TO OUR CONSIDERATION.
II. And yet, secondly, THERE ARE MANY WHO TREAT RELIGION WITH DISDAIN AND DISREGARD. In worldly affairs persons are seen to act usually with attention and earnestness; they made a due use of their reason, and consider what they are about. Thus they act, not only in things of great consequence, relating to their life, their health, their liberty, their fortunes, their family, their honour and credit, but even in slighter matters, to obtain a small profit, or to escape a small inconvenience. Nothing is neglected, nothing is put off to an uncertain day; instruction is attentively received and put in execution. But as to religion, there is not this zeal and activity; it is not carefully weighed, scarcely can it obtain a fair hearing; favourable opportunities are neglected, opportunities which slip away, and are never to be recalled, and everything that should be done is left undone.
III. Let us consider, thirdly, WHENCE PROCEEDS THIS STRANGE INDIFFERENCE AND NEGLECT. It proceeds in a great measure from want of faith, which is an evil more common than is imagined. Some men there are who have received good natural abilities, which they employ to bad purposes. Of these talents God giveth them the use, and the devil teacheth them the application. They argue themselves out of their religion, and then apply themselves to debauch the minds of others, and to treat serious and sacred things with levity, licentiousness, and ridicule. Pernicious books and corrupt conversation spread the contagious disease.
(J. Jortin, D. D.)
II. Consider, in the next place, THE MANNER IN WHICH THE SONS-IN-LAW OF LOT RECEIVED HIS AWFUL ADMONITION. He seemed unto them as one that mocked. Their conduct discloses to us their character. They had evidently set their hearts on the worldly advantages which, in their apprehension, attended the place where they resided; and they made little account of its wickedness. In many respects the conduct of a large portion of the world bears at this day a close resemblance to that of the sons-in-laws of Lot, and arises from the same principles. When the great doctrines of the gospel are proposed as comprehending and disclosing the appointed method of salvation; what numbers disregard or despise them! When the holy commandments of God are explained and enforced as indispensably and in every particular binding upon every man, what numbers withhold their assent from the strictness of such interpretations of the Scriptures! When the terrors of the world to come are displayed, when the wrath and vengeance of God are revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, what numbers refuse to credit the tremendous truth! The minister of the gospel seemeth unto them as one that mocketh.
III. Consider, in the third place, THE CONSEQUENCES OF TREATING AS AN IDLE TALE, AS THE WORDS OF ONE THAT MOCKETH, THE DECLARATIONS OF ALMIGHTY GOD. They brought ruin upon themselves and their posterity.
(T. Gisborne, D. D.)1. Good fathers make haste in midst of dangers to keep their children from destruction, being fore-warned of God's judgments.
2. Gracious parents are earnest with children to press on counsels for their good and safety.
3. Near relations in the flesh, though wicked, yet are dear unto gracious souls to save them.
4. Faith concerning God's judgments revealed will put gracious hearts upon hastening others out of them.
5. Places of habitation when they be places of vengeance, as well as of sin, must be abhorred and forsaken by God's saints.
6. Cities though ever so strong and stately cannot secure sinners from ruin. It and they shall perish.
7. Jehovah is the author of destruction upon places of wickedness, who cannot be resisted.
8. God sends messengers of salvation sometimes to the vilest of men, to Lot's sons, &c.
9. God, His messengers, and His messages of vengeance, are all but scorns and derisions to wicked men.
10. Secure scorning of destruction from God is the immediate forerunner of it, as here.
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
(J. B. C. Murphy, B. A.)"Alarmists," and many a one who foresaw and foretold the Indian Mutiny of 1857 was called an "Alarmist." And so, at the risk of being called an "Alarmist" I would take up and echo this cry. Art thou living in a Sodom of wilful sin — a Sodom of uncleanness, or drunkenness, or not? — then "Escape for thy life!"
(J. B. C. Murphy, B. A.)
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