Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed
1: And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 2: And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. 3: And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. 4: But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6: And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7: And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 8: Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. 9: And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. 10: But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 11: And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. 12: And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: 13: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. 14: And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. 15: And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 16: And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 17: And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18: And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19: 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: 20: 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. 21: 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. 22: Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. 23: The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. 24: Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25: And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 26: But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. 27: And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: 28: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. 29: And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.
Incest in Lot’s family
30: And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31: And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: 32: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 33: And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 34: And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our Father. 35: And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 36: Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 37: And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. 38: And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.
Abraham & Abimelech
1: And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. 2: And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. 3: But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife. 4: But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? 5: Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. 6: And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. 7: Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine. 8: Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid. 9: Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done. 10: And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? 11: And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake. 12: And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13: And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother. 14: And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and womenservants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. 15: And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee. 16: And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved. 17: So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children. 18: For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.
In today’s Bible reading we have three incidents all of them are sad. First we have the judgment of God on Sodom and Gomorrah. Then we will read of sin in Lot’s family and lastly we see judgment averted on Abimelech. First we see that the two angels arrive at Sodom. Previously Lot had pitched his tent toward Sodom but mow he sits ‘in the gate’. This phrase indicates he is a judge or magistrate. The men of Sodom were glad of Lot’s judgment. He was a righteous man. When he saw the men coming he pleaded with them to stay at his house. (He has left off living in a tent) They initially refused but afterward consented and sat down to a meal of unleavened bread. However the men of the city surrounded the place demanding to take the men to rape them. Lot shut the door behind him and pleaded with them to not do this wicked thing. Then Lot offered his two virgin daughters to satisfy their lust. They said stand aside, you came to live with us and you insist on being judge over us now we will have you instead and they pushed forward to take Lot and they tried to break down the door. The angels pulled Lot into the house and shut the door and then they blinded all the men who were outside so that they couldn’t find the door. The men asked Lot to collect his family because the Lord was going to destroy the city. These angels were sent specifically to destroy the city. To his sons in law he seemed to be joking. When the daylight broke the angels told Lot to take his wife and his married daughters and their husbands and children and his virgin daughters and to leave. Possibly 10 altogether. Because they lingered unwilling to go the angels took them by the hand and pulled them along. When they were outside the city they said escape for you life and do not look behind you. Escape to the mountain lest you are destroyed. Lot pleaded with the angels because he was afraid of the mountains. He asked to go to a little city nearby and they relented. The city is on the east of the valley and called Zoar to this day. As soon as the sun shone on the valley the family arrived at Zoar. And it the moment fire and brimstone fell from heaven on Sodom and Gomorrah and all the people perished. However Lots wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. When Abraham woke early to meet the Lord he looked toward the cities and saw the smoke rising from the whole valley. Both Lot and Abraham saw the destruction of the cities of the plain but from either side of the valley. Abraham on the west and Lot on the east. Perhaps they never met again. God remembered the prayer of Abraham and saved Lot. God got Lot out of Sodom but he could not get Lot’s wife into safety and he could not get Sodom out of Lots virgin daughters. Lot eventually overcame his fear of the mountains and left Zoar and he took his virgin daughters with him. He was afraid to live at Zoar and he lived in a cave. Next we have the sad incident of the incest of Lot’s virgin daughters which they committed against him. They turned to strong drunk to overcome him. After this great wickedness both his daughters were pregnant and had sons. One was called Moab and the other Benammi (the father of the Ammonites). These two men led tribes that were a snare to Israel all their days. These tribes lived on the east of the dead sea valley. Abraham left the area and journeyed south. It was on the plain between Gaza and Beersheba on the road to Egypt. Again Abraham took the ploy of calling Sarah his sister. The king of Gerar Abimelech took Sarah with the prospect of being his wife but God stepped in and spoke to Abimelech in a dream saying you are a dead man! because the woman to have belongs to another. Abimelech had not touched her yet and he pleaded with God will you slay a righteous man? he said l have done what l understood to be right, Abraham did not give me all of the information. The Lord said yes l know you are a honest man and that is why l kept her from you. But if you do not give her back to Abraham you will die. The king rose early and told his servants what had happened and Abraham was called. The king demanded of Abraham why he had brought this great sin into his kingdom. Abraham said l did not know whether you feared God and so l told you Sarah was my sister in case you killed me to have her. And it is true she is my fathers daughter but not my mothers daughter. She is my half sister. Abimelech gave great riches to Abraham servants and herds and he gave his Sarah. Then Abimelech said all the land is available live wherever you please. Abraham prayed unto the Lord and the Lord healed Abimelech and his wife and family and they bare children. God has cursed them with barrenness.