Genesis 19:1-38

 |  April 9, 2018

Gen. 19:1-38

  1. Locate the passage

Abraham was successful in bargaining with the Lord for a reduced minimum number of righteous people required before the Lord would destroy the city, but was still unsuccessful in saving the city. In this passage, the messengers of the Lord came to Sodom for one final act of grace before God brought judgment.

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative. It records conversations between Lot and the angels, the men of Sodom and Lot, Lot and his sons-in-law, and Lot’s daughters among themselves.

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

19:1-3 – Lot welcomes angels into his home

19:4-11 – The men of Sodom reveal the reason for God’s judgment on the city

19:12-23 – Lot and his family are instructed to leave Sodom

19:24-26 – The Lord’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah

19:27-29 – The Lord remembered Abraham

19:30-38 – Lot’s daughters reveal how much living in Sodom affected them

  1. Exegete the passage

This passage bears striking similarities to the corruption in Gibeah in Judges 19:13-26: guests in a city welcomed into one man’s home, the men of the city surround the home insisting that the guests be brought out to them, the intended homosexual molestation is clear in both passages, the unheeded plea of the host not to harm his guests, and the offer of the host to appease the men of the city by offering his virgin daughter (s).

The two “men” from 18:2 are here clarified to be “angels.” The use of the definite article on the word “angels” and also the proximity of the passages confirms the connection of the “angels” with the “men.”

19:1 – The angels appeared to Lot

19:2-3 – “Turn in to your servant’s house”

19:4 – Before they lay down … the men of Sodom … surrounded the house

19:5-8 – The men of the city demand that Lot release his guests to them to sexually  molest them. Inexplicably, Lot offers to them his two virgin daughters instead. Undoubtedly, Lot is attempting to be a good host and protect them since “they  have come under the shadow of my roof.” However, his offer of his daughters  suggests that he may have been more affected by Sodom’s   corruption than he realized.

19:10-11 – The angels pulled Lot into his home and shut the door protecting him from the mob. Next, the angels “struck” (Hb. “nakah”) them with blindness. This word  usually refers to a physical beating (Ex. 2:11-13; 5:14, 16), but it was as God “struck” Egypt with the plagues (Ex. 3:20; 8:12; 9:15; 12:12).

19:12-16 – The angels warned Lot to rescue his family, but Lot was unable to convince his sons in law to flee with him. When Lot hesitated, the angels physically brought him outside the city. This emphasizes the Lord’s clear intention on rescuing Lot. The narrator reminds the reader that Lot’s rescue was due to “the  Lord being merciful to him.”

19:19-21 – Lot is aware that he is a recipient of the “favor” (Hb. “chen”) and “mercy” (Hb “chesed”). Yet, he fears that “evil” might still come to him, so he requests to be given time to flee to a nearby city. Thus, in this way, Lot is rescuing the  people of that city, since the Lord “will not overthrow this city.”

19:24 – The Lord rained brimstone and fire and “overthrew” the city.

19:26 – Lot’s wife looked back

19:27 – Abraham returned to the place where he had previously met the Lord (18:16-33)

19:29 – The Lord “remembered” Abraham

19:30-38 – This passage shows the impact Sodom had on Lot’s family. It also reflects the fear of Lot’s daughters and may even reflect their awareness of Lot’s previous   offer of them to the mob. Their sexual abuse of their father mirrors the offer Lot   made to the mob to sexually abuse them. Lot’s getting drunk with his daughters two nights in a row may suggest his own fear of their future.

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

Category: Sermon Structure
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