21 Jan. Genesis 19:1-26

21 Jan. God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah

"The two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting near the city gate. When he saw them, he got up and went to them and bowed face down on the ground."

"Lot said, 'Sirs, please come to my house and spend the night. There you can wash your feet, and then tomorrow you may continue your journey.' The angels answered, 'No, we will spend the night in the city's public square.' "

"But Lot begged them to come, so they agreed and went to his house. Then Lot prepared a meal for them. He baked bread without yeast, and they ate it."

"Before bedtime, men both young and old and from every part of Sodom surrounded Lot's house. They called to Lot, 'Where are the two men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sexual relations with them.' "

"Lot went outside to them, closing the door behind him. He said, 'No, my brothers! Do not do this evil thing'... The men around the house answered, 'Move out of the way!'... They said to Lot, 'We will do worse things to you than to them.' They started pushing him back and were ready to break down the door."

"But the two men staying with Lot opened the door, pulled him back inside the house, and then closed the door. They struck those outside the door with blindness, so the men, both young and old, could not find the door."

"The two men said to Lot, 'Do you have any other relatives in this city?... If you do, tell them to leave now, because we are about to destroy this city. The LORD has heard of all the evil that is here, so he has sent us to destroy it..."

"At dawn the next morning, the angels begged Lot to hurry. They said, 'Go, take your wife and your two daughters with you so you will not be destroyed when the city is punished.' But Lot delayed. So the two men took the hands of Lot, his wife and his two daughters and led them safely out of the city..."

"After they brought them out of the city, one of the men said, 'Run for your lives! Don't look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Run to the mountains, or you will be destroyed..."

"The sun had already come up when Lot entered [the small town of] Zoar. The LORD sent a rain of burning sulphur down from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed those cities. He also destroyed the whole Jordan Valley, everyone living in the cities, and even all the plants."

"At that point Lot's wife looked back. When she did, she became a pillar of salt."

          (Genesis 19:1-26)


 

God revealed to Abraham that he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness. Abraham pleaded successfully with God to save the few righteous inhabitants (including his nephew, Lot) (see Genesis 18:16-33).

Two angels (messengers from God) arrived at Sodom. Lot insisted that, for their own safety, they must stay overnight with him. Lot protected them from the wicked men of the city.

The messengers warned Lot that God was going to destroy the city. They urged Lot and his family to "run to the mountains" during the night and "don't look back" (Genesis 19:17).

Lot could only run as far as a small town nearby, called Zoar. ('Zoar' sounds like the Hebrew for ‘small’.) It was probably on the site of the modern town at Safi. Lot reached Zoar at sunrise, and was saved from the cataclysm that followed shortly after when “burning sulphur” (Genesis 19:24) rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah and a volcanic eruption engulfed the cities of the plain.

Disobeying the angels’ instructions, Lot's wife looked back. She was overcome by the heat of the eruption and her corpse became a “pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26). Perhaps she hankered after the old life, paused too long outside the city, and was overcome by the burning volcanic ash.

The photo (by xta11) shows a small pillar of salt near the Dead Sea. These salt-covered pillars are common here, and any object lying in the water is soon encrusted with salt deposits as the water evaporates in the hot sun. This may explain why Lot’s wife, overcome by burning volcanic ash, was turned into a pillar of salt.

You can read more about the Dead Sea @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/23-the-journeys-of-adam-enoch-noah-abraham/sodom-and-gomorrah-are-destroyed/


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