Abraham and Sodom - Page 3 (series: Lessons on Genesis)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

But even apart from Lot's situation (and he should not have been in Sodom in the first place), Abraham did not want to see all those people die and be lost forever. God is "not willing that any should perish" (2 Pe. 3:9), and He "will have all men to be saved" (1 Tim. 2:4). "I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live" (Ezek. 33:11). The issue is not what kind of sins people commit, though some sins are worse than others, but that "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23) and beyond that, death is an eternal hell. Intercessors must have compassionate hearts and a deep concern for the salvation of the lost, no matter what their sins may be (see Rom. 9:1-3{16]; 10:1{17]).

33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

We must not get the idea that Abraham argued with the Lord, because he did not. He was very humble before the Lord as he presented his case (Gen. 18:27; 30-32). Abraham was sure that there were at least ten believers in the city.

Never underestimate the importance of a small number of believers. As few as ten people would have saved a whole city from destruction! If Lot had won only his own family to faith in the Lord, the judgment would have been averted. Your personal witness today is important to God, no matter how insignificant you may feel.

Now the question arises: Why didn't Abraham come on down lower than ten? I'll tell you why: At this point, he is afraid Lot is lost, and this disturbs him a great deal; so he is not going to come down any further. But he could have come down to one. He could have said, "Lord, if there is one in that city who is righteous, would You destroy the city?" Do you know what God would have said? He would have said, "If there is one who is righteous in that city, I am going to get him out of that city, because I would not destroy a righteous man with the city." How do I know that is the way it would have been? Because that is the way it worked out. There was one righteous man there—Abraham didn't believe it, but God knew him—and that one was Lot. God said to Lot, "Get out of the city, I cannot destroy it until you are out. He might have been destroyed along with the unrighteous Sodomites, but on this occasion, a difference was made and the grace of God was manifested in a distinct manner for the sake of Abraham.

Did you know that the great tribulation period cannot come as long as the church is in the world? It just cannot come, my friend, because Christ bore our judgment, and the great tribulation is part of the judgment that is coming. This is the reason that the church cannot go through it. This is a glorious picture of that truth. We are going to see that Sodom and Gomorrah are a picture of the world—and what a picture! What a condition the world is in today—it is very much like Sodom and Gomorrah. That does not mean that the Lord is going to come tomorrow. I do not know—and no one else knows—when He will come. But He could come tomorrow, and it certainly would be in keeping with the carrying out of the picture which is before us here in Genesis.

Only when Abraham stop pleading did the Lord close the matter and depart. As for the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, nothing more could be done; the judgment was inevitable.

Someone is bound to ask, "How could a loving God kill so many people?" Well, I know why He did it. At this point in time, the world was very much like it was before the flood. Everyone was having a grand time doing only what they wanted to do and no one worshiped God except Abraham and his family. God must keep them uncorrupted by the world because so much depended on Abraham's descendants: the law of God, the covenant of grace, the nation of Israel, the incarnation, salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, etc.

Today the Jewish people call themselves sons and daughters of Abraham but Christians are sons and daughters of God. Could anything be better than that?!

scripture reference and special notes
{1] (Gen, 14:16) And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

{2] (Gen. 19:18-23) "And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. The sun rose upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

{3] (Prov. 14:34) Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

{4] (Matt. 5:13) Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

{5] (Lev. 10:3) Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD meant when he said, 'I will show myself holy among those who are near me. I will be glorified before all the people.'" And Aaron was silent.

{6] (Gen. 19:1) That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom, and Lot was sitting there as they arrived. When he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed low to the ground.

{7] (Amos 3:7) But always, first of all, I warn You through my servants the prophets. I, the Sovereign LORD, have now done this."

{8] (Ps. 25:14) Friendship with the LORD is reserved for those who fear him. With them, he shares the secrets of his covenant.

{9] (John 15:15) I no longer call You servants, because a master doesn't confide in his servants. Now You are my friends since I have told You everything the Father told me.

{10] (Deut. 32:4) He is the Rock; his work is perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!"

{11] (2 Pe. 2:6-9) Later, he turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into heaps of ashes and swept them off the face of the earth. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. 7 But at the same time, God rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a good man who was sick of all the immorality and wickedness around him. 8 Yes, he was a righteous man who was distressed by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. 9 So You see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while punishing the wicked right up until the Day of Judgment.

{12] (Gen. 13:13) The people of this area were unusually wicked and sinned greatly against the LORD.

{13] (Rom. 1:27) And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.

{14] (Jer. 23:14) But now I see that the prophets of Jerusalem are even worse! They commit adultery, and they love dishonesty. They encourage those who are doing evil instead of turning them away from their sins. These prophets are as wicked as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah once were.

{15] (Luke 17:28-32) "And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business -- eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building -- 29until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30Yes, it will be 'business as usual' right up to the hour when the Son of Man returns. 31On that day a person outside the house must not go into the house to pack. A person in the field must not return to town. 32Remember what happened to Lot's wife!

{16] (Rom. 9:1-3) In the presence of Christ, I speak with utter truthfulness—I do not lie—and my conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm that what I am saying is true. 2 My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief 3 for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.

{17] (Rom. 10:1) Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is that the Jewish people might be saved.

{18] (Isa. 41:8) But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend,

{19] (Hos. 4:2) There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.

{20] (Gen. 11:7) Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

{21] (Gen. 13:8-9) So Abram said to Lot, "Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left."

{22] (Isa. 3:9) The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.

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