I. THE VISIBLE JUDGMENT. "God overthrew the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - the cities in which Lot dwelt."
1. The reason.
2. The instrumentality.
3. The reality.
4. The lessons of the overthrow.
II. THE UNKNOWN MERCY. "He sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow." To Abraham this was -
1. A great mercy.
2. A mercy granted in answer to prayer. But -
3. An unknown mercy, there being no reason to believe that Abraham ever saw Lot again, or knew of his deliverance. Learn -
1. That God always mixes-mercy with his judgments.
2. That his mercies are not always so perceptible to the eye of sense and reason as his judgments.
3. That God's people get more mercies poured into their cups than they are at all times cognizant of. - W.
1. Man's choice of rest and safety crossing God's command will not content him long.
And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain.
I. THE ROOT OF ITS UNBELIEF. Lot could not trust God fully, and therefore the infinite charity of God stooped to his infirmity. We must trust in God, with our whole heart, and lean not to our own understanding. Our faith falls short in so far as we seek to modify the commands of duty by our own wilfulness. Imperfect obedience has its bitter root in unbelief. In the instance of Lot, we see the sad consequences of this timid and imperfect faith. Here we trace the source of the inconsistency and vacillation of his character. Our walk in the path of life and obedience is only steady and sure in proportion as our faith is clear and strong.
II. WE ARE MADE BITTERLY TO REPENT OF IT. "He feared to dwell in Zoar." He was afraid that the destruction would overtake him even there. That spirit of unbelief which renders our obedience imperfect brings dread. We take alarm, for conscience tells us we have left some ground for fear. To commence following God's command, and then to impair our obedience by our own foolish will, leads in the end to doubt and uncertainty-to that sense of insecurity in which we feel that nothing is sure and safe.
III. WE MAY BE COMPELLED TO ACCEPT GOD'S WAY AT LAST. Lot finds refuge, at length, in the mountain, where he had been ordered to go at first. A merciful Providence brought him up to the full measures of his duty. He finds, in the end, that it is best to fall in with God's plan. By a painful discipline we are often brought round to God's way, and made to feel that what He chooses is best.
(T. H. Leale.)
2. Man, upon the failing of expected comfort in his own way, may be then moved to try God's
3. Weakness in the best of man may be such as disobediently to do that which sometimes God justly commands; so Lot goeth when God bids not to the place formerly commanded.
4. Naturally man's own will maketh him move faster than the will of God.
5. Solitary and sad may be the peregrinations and habitations of the best families here below. Lot and his daughters in a cave, not a city.
6. Fear of sin and vengeance and evil to come will make a soul fly from its desired refuge in the world .
7. A cave or den in a mountain with God is a better habitation then a palace in a city of sin. Lot chooseth so.
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
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