Genesis 19, Sodom destroyed

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    This is a famous story, beginning with the angelic visitors who were guests in Lot's home at Lot's insistence so they would not spend the night in the town square, which would have been normal. Even so, the men of the town, learning of the strangers, attempt to talk Lot out of them.

    And no, I don't understand why Lot would have offered his own daughters instead. Peter in 2 Peter calls Lot a righteous man, and this does not seem like the action of a righteous man to me. And I have never heard an explanation that makes sense. So yes, I am bothered by it, but there it sits on the pages of the Bible nevertheless.

    At one point the Bible tells us the angels caused the men who were at the door of the house to be blinded so they could not find the door. This could be miraculous, but it may also be related to the destruction that was imminent, which I'll mention in a moment. I am not trying to find a 'natural' explanation for miracles, but I have a feeling that a lot of what seems like miracles of substance are more miracles of timing -- which does not make them any the less miracles! But note for a second that the men who were AT the door couldn't FIND the door after they went blind. If the blindness was simply a sudden lack of sight, they would have known where the door was. But if there was a cause that was also painful and causing tremendous irritation, it would be very easy to understand why they had become totally disoriented.

    Lot is unable to talk anyone other than his wife and two daughters into escaping with him as the angels command. By dawn, the situation is getting far more desperate than Lot realizes, and the angels have to literally lead him by the hand to the city gates, telling him "Flee! Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"

    Lot cannot make it to the mountains and pleads with the angels to allow him refuge in Zoar, a small town. The angels agree. HERE is a major miracle. When the entire plain is about to be devastated, one little town is spared. Far more than the destruction being miraculous, the rescue and preservation are.

    The Bible says burning sulfur rained down from heaven. What on earth happened?

    That part of the Jordan Rift made a sudden and disasterous drop that day. It would have felt like a horrid earthquake but something far worse happened. The crust movement allowed massive amounts of volcanic gas to escape upward at tremendous velocities. This very speed created the positive/negative differentiation that causes lightning, and this would have caused these gases to explode and come raining down as fire. Sulfur iis mentioned here and by Jesus, so we know that was a major component. However chlorine gas was also a major component. How do we know that? Because of what happened to Lot's wife. She hesitated, looked back, and in so doing was caught in the downpouring of noxious and deadly chemicals, mixed with the salts and minerals that would have been carried up with it from the ground. Lot's wife was probably burned to death and then literally covered with sodium chloride.

    In other words, there is a reality behind the picture here. We have always understood the dangers of looking back to sin from the picture of Lot's wife, but what happened to her was real and has a real explanation.

    It is because of the chlorine gas that I am wondering if some kind of noxious fumes escaping before the worst of the disaster the following morning would have blinded the men at the door of Lot's house. It's just a point of curiosity with me...

    The morning of the disaster, Abraham went and looked down at the plain, which used to be so lush and green and wonderful to live on. What he saw was total devastation and "dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace." That means the burning sulfur that had caught fire in the atmosphere and come raining down had then ignited the gases lower down, on the plain itself, and this is then what Abraham would have seen.

    The last section of chapter 19 is another section that is very strange. Lot and his daughters left Zoar to go live in the mountains. Obviously the plain was not a safe place any longer! So the three of them end up in a cave.

    Think of what a change in circumstances this was for Lot. Once his flocks and herds had been so numerous that there was not enough space if he and Abraham ran their herds together! Now he is living with his two daughters in a cave, a widower, and, we presume, not at all wealthy.

    What Lot's daughters then did seems to us in the modern West to be the worst of the worst. But we have to remember a few things:

    1. Incest was neither defined nor forbidden until the time of Moses, generations later.

    2. Carrying on the family line was of utmost importance.

    3. The girls had grown up in Sodom. Their fiances had refused to escape with them, laughing at Lot. Their mother had been killed because of disobedience. The only righteous person they had ever known was their father! "But, Daddy, EVERYONE else...." and that would have been true for them! When you realize the kind of society these girls had grown up in, and how strong peer pressure is, then it will be easier to understand, with less judgment, what happened.

    And so, from Lot's family line came the Moabites and the Ammonites, two nations that would become bitter enemies of Abraham's descendants.
     
  2. tyndale1946

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    The land Lot had was the land Lot chose and Abraham gave him first choice. Lot chose the better land according to natural eyesight. Abraham followed the Lord and took the land remaining... So we could say Abraham chose his land according to spiritual eyesight.

    How many of us would put our faith in the Lord as Abraham did and take the parcel of land the Lord gives us? When man choses, man loses! Unless the Lord guides us in the choice we also will lose! Lot may have lost his land and his wife but he didn't lose his life. If Lot lost his life where would the enemies of Gods children come from?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  3. Helen

    Helen
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    You know someting I have learned, though, Glen? Sometimes the Lord will allow me to go my own way just to show me a lesson or something. So yes, I did follow my own choice, and yes, in some ways I did 'lose', but always the Lord has used it to my benefit as He is raising me up. That doesn't mean I want to make my own choices apart from His! No way! But sometimes I am just stubborn enough or careless enough to do it anyway, but He is always so much in control that He is big enough for my wrong moves, and covers them with a lesson, and His love and forgiveness.

    As long as I don't have to live in a cave with my daughters....

    I'm blessed!
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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