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We read, chap. 18. of God's coming to take a view of the state of
Sodom, what its wickedness was, and what righteous there were in it:
here we have the result of that enquiry.
- It was found upon trial that Lot was very good, ver. 1, 2, 3.
and it did not appear that there were any more of the same character.
- It was found that the Sodomites were very wicked, ver. 4 - 11.
- Special care was therefore taken for the securing of Lot and
his family, ver, 12 - 23.
- The ruin of Sodom, and of Lot's wife, ver. 24 - 26.
with a general repetition of the story, ver. 27 - 29.
- A foul sin that Lot was guilty of, in committing incest with his
two daughters, ver. 30 - 38.
1: And there came two - Probably two of the three that had just
before been with Abraham, the two created angels who were sent to
execute God's purpose concerning Sodom.
3: And he pressed upon them greatly - Partly because he would by no
means have them to expose themselves to the perils of lodging in the
streets of Sodom, and partly because he was desirous of their converse.
4: Here were old and young all from every quarter - The old were
not past it, and the young were soon come up to it. Either they had no
magistrates to protect the peaceable, or their magistrates were themselves
aiding and abetting.
8: I have two daughters - This was unadvisedly and unjustifiably
offered. It is true, of two evils we must chose the less, but of two sins
we must chose neither, nor ever do evil that good may come of it.
11: And they smote the men with blindness - This was designed to put
an end to their attempt, and to be an earnest of their utter ruin the next
13: We will destroy this place - The holy angels are ministers of
God's wrath for the destruction of sinners, as well as of his mercy for the
preservation and deliverance of his people.
14: Up, get you out this place - The manner of expression is
startling. It was not time to trifle, when the destruction was just at the
door. But he seemed to them as one that mocked - They thought perhaps
that the assault which the Sodomites had just now made upon his house
had disturbed his head, and put him into such a fright that be knew not what
he said. They that made a jest of every thing, made a jest of that, and so
perished in the overthrow. Thus many who are warned of the danger they are
in by sin, make a light matter of it; such will perish with their blood upon
16: Tho' Lot did not make a jest of the warning as his sons - in - law,
yet he lingered, he did not make so much haste as the case required.
And it might have been fatal to him, if the angels had not laid hold on
his hand, and brought him forth. Herein the Lord was merciful to
him, otherwise he might justly have left him to perish, since he was
loath to depart. If God had not been merciful to us, our lingering had
been our ruin.
17: Look not behind thee - He must not loiter by the way; stay
not in all the plain - For it would all be made one dead sea: he must
not take up short of the place of refuge appointed him; escape to the
mountain - Such as these are the commands given to those who through grace
are delivered out of a sinful state.
- Return not to sin and Satan, for that's looking back to Sodom.
- Rest not in the world, for that's staying in the plain. And,
- Reach toward Christ and heaven, for that is escaping to the
mountain, short of which we must not take up.
22: I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither - The very
presence of good men in a place helps to keep off judgments. See what care
God takes for the preservation of his people!
24: Then the Lord rained - from the Lord - God the Son, from
God the Father, for the Father has committed all judgment to the
Son. He that is the Saviour will be the destroyer of those that reject
25: And he overthrew the cities, and all the inhabitants of
them, the plain, and all that grew upon the ground - It was an utter
ruin, and irreparable; that fruitful valley remains to this day a great
lake, or dead sea. Travelers say it is about thirty miles long, and ten
miles broad. It has no living creature in it: it is not moved by the wind:
the smell of it is offensive: things do not easily sink in it. The
Greeks call it Asphaltis, from a sort of pitch which it casts up.
Jordan falls into it, and is lost there. It was a punishment that
answered their sin. Burning lusts against nature were justly punished with
this preternatural burning.
26: But his wife looked back from behind him - Herein she disobeyed
an express command. Probably she hankered after her house and goods in
Sodom, and was loath to leave them. Christ intimates this to be her
sin, (Lu 17:31,32), she too much regarded her stuff. And her looking
back spoke an inclination to go back; and therefore our Saviour uses it as a
warning against apostasy from our Christian profession. And she became
a pillar of salt - She was struck dead in the place, yet her body did not
fall down, but stood fixed and erect like a pillar or monument, not liable
to waste or decay, as human bodies exposed to the air are, but metamorphosed
into a metallic substance, which would last perpetually.
Our communion with God consists in our gracious regard to him, and his
gracious regard to us. We have here therefore the communion that was
between God and Abraham in the event concerning Sodom, as before in
the consultation concerning It; for communion with God is to be kept up
in providences as well as in ordinances.
27: And Abraham gat up early - And to see what was become of his
prayers, he went to the very place were he had stood before the Lord.
28: And he looked toward Sodom - Not as Lot's wife did, tacitly
reflecting upon the divine severity, but humbly adoring it, and acquiescing
in it. Here is God's favourable regard to Abraham, (Ge 19:29).
As before when Abraham prayed for Ishmael, God heard him for
Isaac, so now when he prayed for Sodom, he heard for Lot.
29: God remembered Abraham, and for his sake sent Lot out of the
overthrow - God will certainly give an answer of peace to the prayer of
faith in his own way and time.
30: He feared to dwell in Zoar - Here is the great trouble and
distress that Lot was brought into after his deliverance,(Ge 19:29).
He was frightened out of Zoar, durst not dwell there, either because
he was conscious to himself that it was a refuge of his own chusing, and
that therein he had foolishly prescribed to God, and therefore could not but
distrust his safety in it. Probably he found it as wicked as Sodom; and
therefore concluded it could not long survive it; or perhaps he observed the
rise and increase of those waters, which, after the conflagration, began to
overflow the plain, and which, mixing with the ruins, by degrees made the
dead sea; in those waters he concluded Zoar must needs perish, (though
it had escaped the fire) because it stood upon the same flat. He was now
glad to go to the mountain, the place which God had appointed for his
shelter. See in Lot what those bring themselves to at last, that
forsake the communion of saints for secular advantages.