This text relates to us the history of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the earnest warning given to Lot and his wife to escape the judgments of God which were to fall upon the inhabitants, that they give diligent heed lest they also be consumed.
The history of Lot is registered in Genesis eleven and twelve. The Lord God had called Abram out of the Chaldees, where Lot, his nephew, was born. In obedience to God's command, Abram, Sarah his wife, and Lot traveled to the promised land of Canaan. The Lord also promised to Abram that from his seed (that is from his son Isaac) Christ was to be born. Indeed, it was a special privilege for Lot that he might be in the company of such a godly man, a friend of God to whom the Lord revealed His council, a man of prayer and supplication. It is unto this Abram that the Lord promised: “In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” He was thus blessed with the spiritual blessing of having, in Christ, the remission of sin and life eternal, along with all earthly blessings whereof we read in Gen. 13:2, “And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.”
In Gen. 13:5 we read: “And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.” Their substance was so great that they could not dwell together, And we read further in verse seven of this chapter: “And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle, and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.” The riches which Lot had were blessings to him because he went with Abram. We can learn a lesson also for ourselves that those that are partners with God's people in their obedience and sufferings shall be sharers with their joys and comforts. Lot likewise was privileged with the grace of God in his heart, but riches and wealth sometimes separates the best of friends. The strife was not between Abram and Lot personally, but it was their herdmen who could not get along with one another. Quarrels between flesh and blood, or with our best friends, should be settled peaceably. When differences do occur, it is best to quench them with all speed. Abram who was the senior stayed the strife with a motion; verse 8: “And Abram said unto Lot, let there be no strife between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.”
Abram, being loved of his God, likewise had received grace in his heart to be the least, loving his fellow man. This he proved when he made the proposal to Lot in verse nine: “Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.” We read not that sadness filled the heart of Lot thinking to depart from his uncle Abram, or that he remitted the choice back again to Abram. This, at least, would have been civil; no, he accepted the proposal as we read in verse ten: “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere.” The riches of the fields and his temporal welfare were uppermost in his mind. In this he failed also to make the choice a matter of prayer: “Lord what wouldest Thou have me to do?” The temptations of worldly wealth separateth the access to the throne of grace. The plain of Jordan became to him as the garden of Eden itself, yielding him a most pleasant prospect. Thus he bids farewell to Abram seemingly without any regret.
Would Lot prosper in the tent which he had placed towards Sodom? He no doubt figured himself quite well at home. However, we read that it was but a short time, while he tarried there, that four kings made war against five kings at which time the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals were taken captive, also taking Lot who dwelt there, and his goods, and departed. This news was brought to Abram of whom we read in Gen. 14:14-16: “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.” He smote the enemies, “And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.” What would have become of Lot had it not been for God's mercy towards him, because of His beloved servant and friend Abram? Blessed indeed is the man who has the God of Abraham to his help.
We may believe that Lot was indeed grateful towards his uncle, however that which is not recorded in the Word of God we cannot ascertain. He did, however, return to Sodom and occupied a prominent place in the gates of Sodom. One would think that Lot would have had at least some concern for his spiritual welfare, and the welfare of his wife and children, after so great a deliverance, to remain in that wicked city of Sodom.
Sad indeed, that we find even a child of God had become so accustomed to the things of this world, that he failed to warn his own regarding the unbecoming state of his dwelling place. It is as we read in Amos 5:13: “Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.” It would have been wiser for Lot had he inquired of the Lord to direct him to another place, where he might associate with those who fear Him. Under all circumstances, also when we are young and consider a place of employment, we should enquire whether we may receive the Lord's approbation to direct us to such a place where the Lord has His people.
We find the results of Lot's negligence when it first pleased the Lord to reveal unto Abraham, His friend, that Sodom would be destroyed. The iniquity of Sodom was crying for vengeance; that is, it was so very provoking that it impelled God to punish. In Genesis eighteen we find Abraham's intercession for Sodom. And he surely was mindful of his nephew Lot and his family when he finally pled in verse thirty two: “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.” Does not Abraham's familiarity with his God create a holy jealousy within you? Oh, to have the God of Abraham to be your Lord?
In Genesis nineteen we read: “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot, seeing them, arose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 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 arise up early, and go on your ways.” Note that Lot was not in his inner chamber, pleading that he might be delivered from the wickedness of Sodom. It was manifest in Lot's condition, that the farther God's people depart from His ways, that the fruit of their salvation is not found in themselves.
It was the Lord who sent two angels to execute God's purpose concerning Sodom. Obeisance immediately filled Lot's heart, for we read he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. He awoke out of his spiritual darkness, for the Lord had quickened him, and came to fulfill His promise, that where He had begun the work of salvation in the heart of His people; “I will not leave nor forsake thee.” In verse 12 and 13, of chapter 19, we read:“And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou any here besides; son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: 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.” In verse 14 we read; “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.” Behold, there were not TEN righteous people in Sodom ONLY ONE, that was Lot. His wife, his daughters at home, and his married daughters and sons in law were given the opportunity to be snatched as brands out of the fire. Had Lot only made himself free from his daughters, and sons in law heretofore, but now he is mocked with disdain. Sad fruit for parents who do not warn their children until it is too late. IT IS NIGHT; they can still escape, time is given them until the morning. NOW IT IS TOO LATE. 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;” verse 15.
Note the sovereign mercy of God; we read that Lot lingered, he trifled as it were, as though he questioned; shall the Lord execute His judgment upon this city, and shall my married daughters be consumed also? But the angels had to lay their hands upon his hands and of his wife, and upon the hands of his two daughters, with the warning in verse 17, “ESCAPE FOR THY LIFE; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” He pled, in verse 18, “Oh, not so, my Lord.” He feared death would overtake him and begged for escape to Zoar, and the Lord refrained His judgment upon Sodom until Lot, His child, arrived in Zoar, to give him and his daughters a place of shelter. “ALMOST LOST —BUT SAVED.” For him it is here; what we read in Isa. 54:8: “In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy redeemer.” Oh, super abounding grace for a vessel of mercy having departed so far from the ordinances of the Lord. “SALVATION IS OF THE LORD.”
Lot obeyed the voice of the Lord with his two daughters, but his wife looked back from behind him. Her affections were, without question, within the city of Sodom where she had enjoyed so much friendship with her friends in the vanity of life. Shall Sodom really be destroyed as they were told by the angels? Disobeying God's command was her great sin, and looking upon the fire and brimstone falling from heaven, she became a pillar of salt. She was ALMOST SAVED — BUT LOST. Eternally lost into outer darkness.
Dear fellow travelers to eternity, “IT IS NIGHT!” God's judgments will soon fall upon the whole earth. All the nations have far exceeded the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. The demoralization of mankind is boldly demonstrated in the immorality of the male and female, even in the life of many a teenager, and homosexuality is the order of the day. We see Satan's wicked devises in displaying all lewdness, and in filling man's heart with “The filthy conversation of the wicked,” Job 2:7. Our past Ancestries have never heard that a Nation has forbidden prayer and Bible reading in our Public Schools and has approved the killing of the infant embryo in mothers. Do we know ourselves to be so wicked that we have no right to live?
“O, earth, earth, earth, hear the Word of the Lord,” Jer. 22:29. Shall not the Righteous Lord revenge Himself upon such Nations as this for their disobedience? See 2 Cor. 10:6. Shall we escape? Parents, have we been upon our bended knees with our children, imploring at God's mercy seat for them and for our generation? Have we admonished them, or have we taken part in their worldly pleasures? The hour of God's Holy wrath and indignation shall soon fall upon us all. Fire and brimstone shall consume this present world and eternity is before us. We are presently still admonished to escape His wrath, lest we, too, shall be consumed. IT IS NIGHT. “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light,” Eph. 5:14.
Shall our children witness against us for not warning them and permitting them the pleasures of this world?
The NIGHT is spent, and it shall soon strike TWELVE, and then TOO LATE — FOREVER TOO LATE.
ALMOST LOST — BUT SAVED
Where shall we spend eternity? May God place this question upon our hearts.
— C.F. Boerkoel, Sr.
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