(Luke 17:28-30) “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
There is an old fashioned song that had as its title; “Heaven knows anything goes.” In the time of Lot anything went in the city of Sodom and the LORD knew all about that city and as far as He was concerned it was an evil and corrupt city along with its sister city Gomorrah. Sodom is where we get the word “Sodomy.” Sodomy of course is sexual perversion that goes beyond the normal relations between men and women. The western democracies including Israel today promote Gay Pride Events in their cities. In Sodom and Gomorrah anything went. There were no moral or ethical restraints just like it is in the world today. Multitudes will say “Anything goes” and “if it feels good then do it!” Postmodernism, sexual perversion and existentialism are rife in the world and in Christendom. (Institutionalised Christianity) According to the words of the Lord Jesus what was happening in Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot’s time will happen again just before He comes back.
Now Lot had come into the Land of Canaan with Abraham his uncle and after being given the first choice of the land by Abraham Lot had chosen the fertile plain before the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to settle down there. We read what happened. “Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan towards Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out towards the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.” (Genesis 13:10-13) Abraham chose to live in tents away from the cities on the plain rather than in them which he already knew were sinful and morally depraved cities, especially Sodom. However, he gave Lot the choice. Lot was a young believer whose fleshly desires got the better of him. He chose to live among the cities and pitched his tent near Sodom. The lure of the world was very strong even though he, like Abraham, lived by faith. In reality it was a choice between the desires of the Spirit and the desires of the flesh. Abraham was a spiritual man and walked with God. He had a clear revelation of the LORD but Lot was still young and did not have the revelation of the LORD that his uncle Abraham had.
Sometime later we find Lot and his family living in Sodom itself. The attraction of the city life had lured Lot into the city. He became someone quite important. People always go along with those who are rich and Lot had plenty. Undoubtedly his wife and two daughters loved the boutiques, the bazaars and the buzz of society and the entertaining sights and sounds of the big city life. His wife also became immersed in the high society circle as Lot became quite a prominent man in the city. His two daughters had been betrothed to two men from Sodom. However, we are told in the New Testament that Lot was “a righteous man distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard).” (2 Peter 2:7-8) He had faith but did not have a good testimony to that faith to the Sodomites among whom he lived yet their conversation and conduct vexed his soul.
A war broke out between 10 kings, five against four. Sodom and Gomorrah were among the five kings going into battle. When the war was over Sodom found themselves on the losing side and all of the possessions and goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and their food supply were taken including Lot and his possessions. We read what Abraham did. It was family business. “When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which north of Damascus. He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people.” (Genesis 14:14-16) However, after this we find Lot back in the city of Sodom once again. Abraham on the other hand was a stranger and Alien in the land and dwelt in tents away from the city. Abraham was a heavenly minded man but lot was a carnal and fleshly minded man. He was a believer like his uncle but his fleshly desires were too strong for him and so once again he chose to go back to live in Sodom along with his family. He was finding it hard to disengage himself from the priorities, the ambitions and the pursuits of the world in which he lived. All of us as believers struggle in this area at times. Lot did not learn his lesson.
The three messengers
Three heavenly messengers came to visit Abraham to tell him that he would have a son of his own even though he and his wife Sarah could not have one naturally and were both well advanced in years. One of these messengers was the LORD Himself, and He remained with Abraham while the other two messengers went down to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because the LORD had decided to destroy those wicked cities on the plain. Abraham pleaded with the Lord to spare the city. He had Lot in mind when he interceded with the LORD for his Nephew. Now let’s look at the text as we reflect on the Days of Sodom…
(Vs. 1-3} “Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.”
“Living in two worlds?”
Lot was sitting in the gate and this teaches us that he was not completely at home in the world of Sodom. Possibly he was reflecting on what had happened to him during the war between the cities that had resulted in his capture. Possibly he was thinking things over and looking out towards the place where Abraham his Uncle lived. Lot was trying to live in two worlds. He was vexed by the wicked conduct of the people of Sodom and tormented by their lifestyles constantly. The Apostle Peter spoke about Lot when he wrote; “Righteous Lot, was greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked.” (2 Peter 2:7) As believers passing through this world we are really aliens and strangers to those among whom we live who are not saved. (1 Peter v2:11) In the Last Days, like Lot, we will be vexed and tempted by the world, the flesh and the devil and have constantly thrust in front of us the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. We cannot avoid these things as long as we live in our bodies. As the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus gets closer the battle between the desires from the flesh will be constantly at war with the desires from the Spirit within us if we are saved. Satan knows that his time is short and his main attacks are aimed at faithful believers. He is not concerned about the people in this world, the unsaved, as they are his anyway. The ones he is worried about are those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus and are trusting in Him. If the truth be known we scare Satan and the Bible tells us if we continuously submit ourselves to the LORD and resist the devil and do not give in he will flee from us. His attacks at times are fierce and relentless. (James 4:7)
“Attached to things”
Lot was sitting in the gate. He wanted to be with Abraham but also found himself tied to the world. He did not love the world or the things of the world as such but he had wealth and investments and he was a well-known and prominent business man in Sodom and it was hard for him to let these things go. Every true believer passing through this world wants to go to be with the Lord Jesus but often instead of owning the things of this world they own us. In a very real sense, the more we have in this world the harder it will be to leave it! I think this was the problem facing Lot. I think Lot really wanted to get out of the city to be with his uncle Abraham but was finding it difficult to make a decision. He was not really at home any longer in Sodom. His past experience in the war between the cities had sobered him up to the reality of the impermanency of living in the world of Sodom. His uncle’s world must have looked quite inviting. Lot’s heart was not really in Sodom. At first he had been enamoured by the bright lights of the city and had most probably never been confronted with life in the Big City and all that came with it, the bazaars, the entertainment and the business opportunities he saw.
Now the LORD saw the heart of Lot and had been moved by the intercession of Abraham who most probably had Lot in mind when pleading for the LORD to spare the city. In the end there were not even 10 righteous people in the city and so judgement was certain. Of course when we see Abraham interceding for the righteous ones we see a picture of our Great High Priest the Lord Jesus interceding with God on our behalf as we pass through the Sodom of this world. As the writer to the Hebrews says; “But because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly befits us—One who is holy, innocent, undefiled, set apart from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.” (Hebrews 7:24-26)
The Heavenly messengers
The LORD has sent the two heavenly messengers to get Lot and his family out of the city. When Lot saw them he invited them into his house and knowing the danger after dark from the sodomite men and boys that roamed the streets and alleyways of Sodom and he wanted to protect them. When Lot saw these heavenly messengers he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. He knew they were no ordinary messengers but realising them to be heavenly messengers and not mere men, he gave them unleavened bread. Unleavened bread symbolised sinlessness and was appropriate for these angelic beings.
(Vs. 4-5) “Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.”
The city of Sodom was totally given over to perversion and unnatural sexual depravity. We are told that both men and boys from every part of the city had come in force to Lot’s house to sexually violate Lot’s guests. This was a militant and violent homosexuality. These men and boys roamed around the city looking for other men to assault and rape. When we see the rapid rise of sodomites today in many countries and even in Israel we see Sodom all over again. These men surrounding Lot’s house were militant and violent, much like many Sodomites today.
(Vs. 6-8) “But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.”
“You cannot make a deal with the devil”
Now Lot tried to reason with them, after all he was well known and respected in the city, or was he? He shut the door behind him and tried to pacify these men and boys by offering them his two virgin daughters. Of course he knew that they were not interested in women. Here we see a weakness in Lot. He was willing to give these Sodomites his two virgin daughters. He was desperate but also knew that the guests he had were under his roof and under his protection. One of the things we see in the Bible is that God’s men and women at times failed miserably and even said and did things that were done out of fear or for some other motive other than faith. Lot was no exception. Lot knew that once a guest had stayed under a man’s roof to eat and to sleep that he was responsible for that man. In the last Days loyalty and faithfulness to our brothers and sisters in Messiah will be of paramount importance because persecution is on the horizon for Christians in the western democracies. With the intake of Islamic ‘refuges’ Christians will be targeted and are already being targeted by Islamic Jihadists. Now much of Europe by enlarge has gone and it is only a matter of time. In Lot’s case he was experiencing persecution by those who were demonized deviates. You cannot deal with the devil!
(Vs.9) “But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door.”
“Nailing your colours to the mast!”
In the 18th Century, when the war galleons were about to engage in battle on the high seas, they always showed their battle flag. They “nailed their colours to the mast”. It was a declaration that they were about to engage the enemy at close quarters. Now these deviates in Lot’s time showed their true colours. Lot most probably knew many of them and possibly had done business with them in the city. Now they called Lot an “alien” and a “judge.” Today we see the same thing don’t we in our society where those who speak out about sodomy and sodomites are censured and accused of being judgemental resulting in alienation from the world. These men and boys opposing Lot were a reflection of the moral and spiritual corruption and decay of Sodom itself, much like the world is today. These men threatened Lot and most probably would have raped and even killed him. They pressed hard against Lot and nearly broke down the door of his house. In the last Days persecution will escalate and many believers will find themselves in the same situation Lot found himself in. Even now many believers are already being raped and even sodomised by the ISIS as multitudes of believers are persecuted for righteousness sake. Lot was spared the terrible ignominy of being sodomised. Now let’s continue…
(Vs.10-11) “…But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.”
“God takes care of His own”
In Lot’s case things had become so bad at that moment that the heavenly messengers struck the sodomites with blindness and yet they still groped around, driven by their lust to find the door to Lot’s house. Even though God sends judgement on the unrepentant they still refuse to repent. The day is rapidly approaching when the LORD will deliver His people from the clutches of their persecutors and deal out retribution to them. Suddenly the tide will turn and the LORD will send His angels to rescue His elect especially the ones who cry out to Him day and night because of what they are suffering. Lot was about to be taken out of Sodom. The rapture and the resurrection will happen at the time when the beast empire of Antichrist is doing his worst to persecute believers in the Lord Jesus. As it is written; “The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the Day of Judgment.” (2 Peter 2:9) Even in suffering those who know the LORD will be kept by Him and even though they suffer physical persecution and even martyrdom in this life they will already have received deliverance in their hearts and even though their bodies are destroyed yet in their flesh (resurrected bodies) they will see God! Always keep in mind that if we are walking with the LORD every day that nothing will happen to us until we have finished our course in this world. Spurgeon said something like this; “If we need grace to live everyday then we will most certainly need great grace when we come to die.”
(Vs.12-14) “Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the Lord will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting.
Scoffers have always been around
God is into saving families as was the case with Lot and his family. All of them had a chance to escape the coming wrath of God. Lot tried to warn his future sons-in law but they would not listen. In the Last Days there will be those associated with the Church who will laugh and scoff when people speak about the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. Today there is much less interest in Biblical eschatology than there was 30-40 years ago and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus is much closer now than it was then. Peter speaks about this kind of attitude in the last Days when he writes; “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3:3-7)
Passing through ‘the night’
Lot’s future sons-laws thought he was joking. They thought their world would go on forever. It wasn’t even on their radar. It did not even occur to them that anything was wrong. Lot’s daughters were betrothed to unbelievers. These were not family members. Lot was allowing his daughters to become unequally yoked with unbelieving husbands; He should have known better but did nothing about it. The night passed and the night used here can be used in an eschatological context. The faithful believers go into the night of the Great Tribulation but are taken out at the rapture and resurrection. This is what happened to Lot and this teaches us about what will happen at the end. Well morning came and it was time to leave. In fact there was no more time left and it will be like that when Jesus comes back for His bride.
(Vs.15-16) “When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city.”
“If the righteous are scarcely saved?”
The departure was a quick one! It was to be done quickly and without delay. The rapture and resurrection will be that way. It will happen in the twinkling of an eye just before the bowls of God’s wrath are poured out on the sinful Sodom of this world. Now we read that Lot hesitated, why did he do this? Well possibly he still had some attachments to this world, some business deals yet to go through or possibly he was thinking about ‘the good life’ he had enjoyed for many years in Sodom. However, in the end he did not have the strength to leave and had to be dragged out by the angels. Peter writing in his first letter said; “And if the righteous is scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?” (1 Peter 4:16) When the Lord Jesus comes back there will be some believers who are so weak that they will not have the strength to stand any longer because of the pressure they have been under. As it has been said; “It will be a miracles if any of us make it out of here!” Some will only escape by the skin of their teeth! Some will be resurrected and raptured to a great reward but others resurrected and raptured to just being saved and that will be about it for them. The comforting thing is that not one sincere and faithful believer will be left behind even though they have differing levels of sanctification. The real reason Lot was rescued out is clear for we read “the compassion of the Lord was upon him.” Abraham was still interceding for his somewhat misguided and wayward Nephew and this in itself caused the LORD to have great compassion on Lot.
“In the nick of time!”
The reason we will make it out of here as faithful believers, if we are walking with the LORD, is not because we will be so spiritual, if anything we will be hard-pressed to withstand the onslaught of Satan against us. The world, the flesh and the devil will be working 24/7 around the clock to destroy our faith as they always do. However, because of the intercession of our Great and faithful High Priest the Lord Jesus Christ the compassion of the LORD will be upon us as it was upon Lot and the rescue will come in the nick of time and there is not much of it left! Lots wife and daughters were also being rescued. Now let’s continue…
(Vs.17) “When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.”
Where are your eyes fixed?
God in His mercy had prepared a refuge for lot and his family in the mountains. In that high place they would be protected from the fiery holocaust that was about to descend on those wicked cities in the plain. Furthermore, they were not to look back but keep going towards the place of safety. Their ultimate security lay in the mountains. If they looked back it would show they still hungered for the world of Sodom. The same will be true at the rapture and resurrection. Those who have their eyes fixed first and foremost on their rescue and their rescuer the Lord Jesus Christ will make it out of here! They will no longer be attached to the things of this world. In fact the whole world is a city of Sodom and those who really belong to the LORD realise that this world and its lusts and pleasures and pursuits and business conglomerates will all pass away like the grass in the field or the fading flower as they are destined for the wrath to come. We who follow the Lord Jesus need to constantly ask ourselves are we using the things of the world as our servants to fulfil the will of God or do they own us? Where are our eyes fixed? Are they on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith or on the things we possess. Remember the Lord Jesus said, “Watch out! Guard yourselves against every form of greed, for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
(Vs.18-22) “But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lords! Now behold, your servant has found favour in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die; now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) that my life may be saved. He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also, not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken. Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the town was called Zoar.”
Missing out on God’s best
Even as Lot was escaping the city he could not fully trust the Word of God through these heavenly men. He missed out on God’s best for him. Because the LORD’s compassion was on Lot he was spared but fell short of all that God had planned for his life. In heaven some believers will shine more brightly than others like the stars shine in their varying luminosity. Some will shine very brightly but others less brightly but they will still shine. Zoar means “small.” Lot missed out on God’s best but he was rescued because he was righteous through faith in God even though his faith was less than what it should have been. Lot ended his days without fulfilling all that the LORD had for him.
“Saved as through fire”
In the rapture and resurrection and the life that follows there will be some saved with nothing to offer the LORD for their time on earth. They will be saved as through fire as Paul writes; “Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:13-15) In the Bible all of us are told “to flee from the wrath to come!” If we run to Jesus we will be safe! As it is written; “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)
(Vs. 23 -26) “The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”
A fiery end!
The rising of the sun in metaphor in this account speaks metaphorically of the brightness of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The very day Lot left the city the fire of God’s wrath fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah. Nothing was spared, everything was burnt up! This is a picture of the last Judgement on a Christ hating, Christ rejecting world. Notice that “the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.” Here we have the LORD raining down fire from the LORD in heaven. Here we have a view of the Father and the Son in their eternal relationship within the Godhead. The LORD (God the Son) rains down fire from the LORD (God the Father) out of heaven. The Apostle Peter speaks about this fiery judgement to come upon the ‘Sodom’ of this world. He writes: “…as you anticipate and hasten the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will be dissolved by fire and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with God’s promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, as you anticipate these things, make every effort to be found at peace with Him, without spot or blemish.” (2 Peter 3:10-14). It is only the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that can cleanse us from every spot and stain of sin. (1 John 1:7-9) It is also the blood of Jesus that will protect us from the wrath to come for when God sees us sheltering under the blood of Jesus by faith He will pass over us when the destroying angel is doing his work. (Romans 5:9).
Lot’s wife looked back and perished in the flames. She along with Lot and his daughters were escaping out of the city; however her heart was still in this world. Possibly she was thinking of her past life of luxury with her social network, the boutiques and the restaurants and places of entertainment and the shopping malls and loved her life too much in this world and perished. She was escaping but her heart was not right and she succumbed to those things which led to her demise in the end. Her heart was chained to this world and to the things of this world. James the apostle writes; “Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore, whoever chooses to be a friend of the world renders himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4) John the Apostle also wrote; “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17) Sadly there will be some who are escaping but who are also looking back and in the end they will not make it!
(Vs.27-29) “Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the Lord; and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace. Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.”
Fixing our eyes upon Jesus!
It was due to the intercession of Abraham that Lot was rescued. God remembered Abraham. As believers we have a Great High Priest who ever lives to make intercession for us with God. We also have the blessed Holy Spirit who intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. All of us who belong to the Lord Jesus are living in the ‘Sodom’ of this world and at times we are hard pressed to maintain our separation to the LORD, Lot did not look back but his wife did yet both of them were escaping from the doomed city. Some will escape, others are escaping and some just won’t make it in the end. With these things in view let us take to heart the scripture which says; “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
This world is not our home
As believers in our Lord Jesus Christ we need to remind ourselves every day that our home is not in this world and in the things of this world but we are looking for a better city, an eternal city whose foundation and builder is God. We are either heading for that eternal city or to perish in this temporal world when the fire of God will once again fall from heaven. Today if you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit calling you to repent of your sins and to turn to God through faith in the Lord Jesus for mercy, pardon and cleansing then run to Jesus now, don’t run from Him! Do not delay! Time is running out for this world! Come now. Escape the Sodom of this world because the fire of God will surely descend upon the nations. You can be rescued! You can be saved! As it is written; “For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the LORD shall be saved… today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts” Remember Lot’s wife!