Genesis 19:18
But Lot replied, "No, my lords, please!
Sermons
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 19:18-22
Lot's Prayer as Contrasted with that of AbrahamM. Dods, D. D.Genesis 19:18-22
The Infirmities of the Heirs of SalvationT. H. Leale.Genesis 19:18-22
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord. The promise to Abraham included -

(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.







And Lot said unto them, Oh! not so, my Lord.
I. THESE INFIRMITIES ARE SEEN DURING THE PROGRESS OF THEIR DELIVERANCE.

1. The infirmity of fear (ver. 19).

2. Wilfulness (ver. 20).

3. Forgetfulness of past mercies.

4. A lingering selfishness.

II. GOD IS GRACIOUS TOWARDS SUCH INFIRMITIES (ver. 21).

III. THERE ARE CERTAIN CONDITIONS WHICH FIT THEM FOR SUCH MERCIFUL INDULGENCE.

1. When they have already commenced the flight from danger.

2. When, though they have not reached it, they are still seeking a sure refuge.

3. When they are satisfied not to rest in anything short of God's command.

(T. H. Leale.)

1. Gracious souls in their weaknesses will acknowledge the freeness and greatness of God's mercy to them.

2. Infirmity yet turns such confession aside, to a wrong use, even to desire things against God's will.

3. Saving souls alive in the midst of destructions is a free and great mercy.

4. Weakness of faith and strength of sense may make God's Word seem impossible unto His servants.

5. Infirmity of faith creates many fears of evil even against God's promise.

6. Saints through infirmity apprehend death where God clearly promiseth and giveth life.

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

Abraham had never prayed for himself with a tithe of the persistent earnestness with which he prayed for Sodom — a town which was much indebted to him, but towards which, for more reasons than one, a smaller man would have borne a grudge. Lot, on the other hand, much indebted to Sodom, identified indeed with it, one of its leading citizens, connected by marriage with its inhabitants, is in no agony about its destruction, and has indeed but one prayer to offer, and that is, that when all his fellow-townsmen are destroyed, he may be comfortably provided for. While the men he has bargained and feasted with, the men he has made money out of and married his daughters to, are in the agonies of an appalling catastrophe and so near that the smoke of their torment sweeps across his retreat, he is so disengaged from regrets and compassion that he can nicely weigh the comparative comfort and advantage of city and rural life. One would have thought better of the man if he had declined the angelic rescue and resolved to stand by those in death whose society he had so coveted in life. And it is significant that while the generous, large-hearted, devout pleading of Abraham is in vain, the miserable, timorous, selfish petition of Lot is heard and answered. It would seem as if sometimes God were hopeless of men, and threw to them in contempt the gifts they crave, giving them the poor stations in this life their ambition is set upon, because He sees they have made themselves incapable of enduring hardness, and so quelling their lower nature. An answered prayer is not always a blessing, sometimes it is a doom: "He sent them meat to the full: but while their meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them and slew the fattest of them." Probably had Lot felt any inclination to pray for his townsmen he would have seen that for him to do so would be unseemly. His circumstances, his long association with the Sodomites, and his accommodation of himself to their ways, had both eaten the soul out of him and set him on quite a different footing towards God from that occupied by Abraham. A man cannot on a sudden emergency lift himself out of the circumstances in which he has been rooted, nor peel off his character as if it were only skin deep. Abraham had been living an unworldly life, in which intercourse with God was a familiar employment. His prayer was but the seasonable flower of his life, nourished to all its beauty by the habitual nutriment of past years. Lot in his need could only utter a peevish, pitiful, childish cry. He had aimed all his life at being comfortable, he could not now wish anything more than to be comfortable. "Stand out of my sunshine" was all he could say when he held by the hand the plenipotentiary of heaven, and when the roar of the conflict of moral good and evil was filling his ears — a decent man, a righteous man, but the world had eaten out his heart till he had nothing to keep him in sympathy with heaven. Such is the state to which men in our society, as in Sodom, are brought by risking their spiritual life to make the most of this world.

(M. Dods, D. D.)

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