Tag Archives: Lot

From a Flood to a Fire

After reading Genesis 18  and recounting the wonderful picture of Jehovah and Abraham fellowshipping and conversing; which culminates in the exact promise of a son for he a Sarah; we get to what is one of the saddest chapters in the Bible.  The story of Sodom and Gomorrah destruction has been used and re-used to predict the destruction and condemnation of homosexuals.  While it is clear that there was great wickedness in the valley cities, there is another reason I find this to be one of the saddest chapters in the Bible. The Life of Lot, nephew to Father of Our Faith, Abraham is a stark reminder of what sin will do to a life.  Remember that Lot chose Sodom in Genesis 13. He chose it with his eyes and heart of greed. The choice is similar to the senses used by Eve to make her decision to eat. Now if you didn’t know anything about the rest of the story, you might think he chose wisely. Genesis 13:12 says that Lot moved his tents as far as Sodom. But it also says in verse 13 that the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked against the LORD. Later in Genesis 14, we find the Abram has to come to the rescue of his nephew, for he was taken prisoner. Genesis 14:12 now says that Lot was “living in Sodom.” Even after Abraham rescues Lot and family from the enemies, Lot returns to Sodom.  We move forward to Genesis 18, God hears the “outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah and that their sin is exceedingly grave.” Pretty much sin unto death stuff. The LORD does not hide the thing He has planned to do to Sodom [all valley cities]. Abraham, like Moses in the future will intercede on behalf of Sodom – starting with if there are 50 righteous will you destroy? God is holy and just, He says no, this intercession continues all the way down to 10 righteous people; again God says He won’t destroy the cities if 10 righteous are found – but there were more righteous before the Flood [8] than now. Genesis 19, two of the men [angels] go down to Lot and Sodom. verse 1 says that Lot was “sitting at the gate.” To sit at the gate is a reference to being a city official or person on prominence in the town.  Lot has moved closer and gotten more entrenched in the lifestyle of the Sodomites. He is now sitting at the gate, free as you please to be there. But when he sees the two men come, obviously recognizing them as from the LORD, he tries to get them to come stay with him, but the want to stay in the square – most likely filled with all “local activity.” Lot convinces them to stay with him, then all the town wants to come in and take them away and have relations with them – find now the solution for Lot – “Hey here is my virgin daughters, take them and do what you will, but leave these men alone.” WHAT how far has Lot fallen into this gross situation? He even calls the Sodomites “My brothers.” Genesis 19:12 – get your son-in-laws and family out of here, we are about to destroy this place. Lot’s prospective sons-in-laws shrug him off as if he were joking. When morning comes, the men [angels] literally have to pull Lot and family out of the city – even with impending destruction, Lot hesitated to leave. We know that Lot’s wife looked back at what was home and became a pillar of salt. Lot goes to Zoar for he fears the mountains, yet Zoar was just as fearful to live, so when we find Lot and his daughters clear of Sodom they are living in a cave in the mountains. Lot was saved because of the intercession of Abraham and the compassionate hand of the LORD.

Note the downward spiral of Lot; chose Sodom with his eyes and heart of greed. Went and camped by the city, then he moved his tents inside the city, then he becomes a city official, well sort [Genesis 19:9] they only let him think he was one of them. Finally, God has to literally extract Lot out of the grips of sin to save him from total destruction. What was Lot thinking! Oh, wait a minute, that’s what Jesus did to me too. The sad testimony of Lot is that through incestuous relations with his daughters, two nations Moabites and Ammonites become thorns in the side of Israel for hundreds of years.  Sin is powerful, it is engulfing and it is deadly. Mere man cannot escape its clutches – it takes divine intervention through the prayers of the saints and the omnipotent power and mercy of God – Let us take heed!

Least we miss this – Abraham interceded for Lot not Sodom and Gomorrah!

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When it’s all said and done

Jeremiah 48-52; we conclude our reading of Jeremiah this week. It is obvious why he is called the “lamenting or weeping prophet.” Next week we will continue with Jeremiah’s writing with the book of Lamentations. .The last chapters of Jeremiah explain the demise of the foreign countries that mistreated Israel during the “disciplining of God’s people.” While we have learned that God uses “non-believing” rulers as instruments of His wrath and punishment, He still will hold them accountable for HOW they implement His punishment. Starting in chapter 46 – 51, we find each nation is judged by Jehovah. When I first started reading the judgments, I thought of Jesus’ message to the 7 churches in Revelation. However, that illustration breaks down rather quickly. While the nations are not the people of God Israel, they are not too far removed ancestrally. Egypt is implicated in chapter 46, as bible students we know enough about Egypt and the on and off wars with the Jews. They get punished for harboring Jews who have deserted Judah, also taking advantage of the plight of Judah’s discipline. Most of the judgement comes at the hands of Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar. The image that portrays Babylon as the greatest kingdom, with the Persians-Medes, Greeks and Romans in descending order, is reflected here with Jehovah “giving” the nations to Babylonian power.

Next is Philistia, or the “giants of the coast.”  In chapter 47:5, we find a hint of Elijah and Mt. Carmel, with the “gash yourselves.” Then we move to Chapter 48, and Moab, just a way of understanding better, who is Moab? Moab is one of the children that resulted from the  incest  relationship between Lot and his daughters.  Moab, not from the chosen line of Abraham, find themselves worshiping the Canaanite gods – Chemosh [i.e. Molech and child burnt sacrifices]. Remember that when Israel tried to pass through the Moab land, they were forbidden, God pronounced a judgment on them then.  Now Moab is located in the East and South, or as we would know today as Jordan. Ruth was a Moabitess which God used to bring forth the lineage of David through Boaz.  Right behind the judgment of Moab is his brother Amon – the other part of the Lot and daughters actions. Essentially the same can be said about Amon that has been said about Moab. Even though God is going to give over these kingdoms to Babylon, He finishes His pronouncement by telling them that He will “restore their fortunes.” I have been amazed at the grace and mercy of God in Jeremiah, for while God will punish the nations and His people for their sins, He will restore them back to a right relationship with Himself. This is true about the believer, we do fall into sin patterns, but Our God will restore us to fellowship if we will repent and turn from our wicked ways.

Moving on to Chapter 490, we encounter Edom or Esau; this is a lot closer to Israel that the other nations. However, Edom is not chosen of God – Jacob was. The mistreatment by Edom while Israel was in the wilderness is repaid here. Edom will be a horror to all who witness their destruction. No promise of restoration is given to them. By the way – Edom becomes 1st century Idumea the heritage of King Herod. Think through that for a moment. Later in the chapter we read of two kingdoms, obscure at first but highly significant – Kedar and Hazor. The significance is they are the root ancestry of Mohammad, Islam and Muslims. Known as the “men of the east.” These two places will be haunted, desolate and uninhabited.  God continues His punishment of the nations with Elam, which is the capital of Susa, better known as Iran. [of course we have the story of Esther and how God used her to save the Jews] Finally at the end of the book, while all along God has been telling Jeremiah that Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar are the instruments of God for disciplining Judah, we find that God will also take away the kingdom and posture of Babylon. Why? Because of the “over the top” actions towards Judah. The lesson here is God may use who ever He wants, but there is still accountability for how we implement His plans.

In chapter 52, the fall of Judah is complete, the exiles are taken, the Temple is destroyed. A remnant remains – out of all the Jews only 4600 are captive and will be the nucleus that God uses to rebuild and restore the nation.  So begins with the close of Jeremiah 70 years of exile. Why? The people would not listen!! He that has ears let him hear what the angels says to the churches.

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