Genesis 19: Destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah

June 19, 2023 ·

Summary:
The two angels from the previous chapter arrive in Sodom, and Lot insists that they stay with him. However, all the men of Sodom demand to engage in inappropriate acts with the angels. In response, Lot offers his own daughters instead (a rather questionable choice). Nevertheless, the men are dissatisfied and persist in their pursuit, until the angels intervene by blinding them. Displeased with their experience in Sodom, the angels arrange for its destruction along with Gomorrah. They urgently instruct Lot and his family to flee without delay, but Lot and his family hesitate to leave. Therefore, the angels have to physically guide them out of Sodom. As Sodom and Gomorrah are consumed by fire, Lot’s wife disobeys the warning not to look back and is transformed into a pillar of salt. Meanwhile, Abraham witnesses the smoke rising from the destroyed cities.

In subsequent events, Lot and his daughters find refuge in the mountains. The daughters, fearing that their family line will cease, decide to have sexual relations with their father. They exploit Lot’s drunken state to carry out this plan. The sons born from these relationships are named Moab (father of the Moabites) and Ben-Ammi (father of the Ammonites).

Key Verses:

  1. And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.
  1. Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven.

My thoughts:
This chapter introduces the first mention of homosexuality in the Bible, as seen in the men of Sodom desiring to engage in inappropriate acts with the angels. In fact, the term “sodomy” still in use today is derived from the name Sodom. Homosexuality is undoubtedly a significant issue within the church today, and I hold the belief that the Bible consistently condemns homosexuality. However, I will delve into this matter further in Leviticus 18. For now, it is important to note that this chapter cannot be solely used to condemn homosexuality. The actions the men of Sodom intended to commit were acts of mass gang rape, which is morally wrong whether it involves homosexuality or heterosexuality. It is not explicitly specified whether the homosexual aspect of the Sodomites’ behavior was also deemed sinful.

When Lot fled Sodom, he was explicitly instructed not to look back. Unfortunately, his wife disregarded this warning and consequently turned into or was struck as a pillar of salt. Often, when God calls us to embark on a new life or a new path, we spend too much time dwelling on the life God has called us out of. I have witnessed new Christians who become so nostalgic about their former sinful lives that it doesn’t take long for them to return to those ways. This tendency to look back inhibits our progress in moving forward towards what God is doing in the present, rather than remaining fixated on the past. Christ calls us to be born again, to let go of our former lives, and to strive towards the life God has destined for us without looking back. When God leads us somewhere, as He always does, He desires our trust and obedience because He is leading us to something better, even if we do not perceive it at the moment. So, let us not look back!

Clearly, it was sinful for Lot’s daughters to engage in incestuous relations with him, as the Bible explicitly condemns such behavior in Leviticus 18. It is not surprising that the accounts of two of the Jewish people’s most despised neighboring nations trace their beginnings back to sin. In contrast, Isaac’s birth is depicted as a miraculous event orchestrated by God. However, despite the accounts involving sin, I do believe them to be accurate historical records.

In category:Genesis
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