Genesis

Lesson 21 w/AnswersGenesis Chapters 18 and 19

Beginnings

In this lesson, which covers Genesis Chapters 18 and 19, we look at the story of God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. True to His promise, we will see that even during a time of extreme judgment on the cities, God protects and saves Lot and his daughters. There is much to learn, so let’s get started.

Read Genesis Chapters 18 and 19, then consider the following:

  1. In Genesis 18:1, we read that "the LORD appeared to Abraham". How is He described in verse 2? (see Gen. 18:1-2)
    1. ANSWER: The scripture says that when Abraham looked up, he saw not one person, but three.
  2. How do we know that the LORD was one of the three men visiting with Abraham? (see Gen. 18:16-22 and 19:1)
    1. ANSWER: There were three men visiting with Lot, but only the two "angels" went to Sodom; the LORD remained to talk with Abraham.
  3. After learning of the LORD’s plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham intercedes. Why do you suppose Abraham believes that there are righteous people living in these cities? (see Gen. 18:23-32)
    1. ANSWER 1: One reason could easily be that Abraham assumed there were righteous people, even if a minority, living in every city.
    2. ANSWER 2: Another, more probable, reason is he knew that Lot and his family were not only living there now, but had been for a long time. Abraham no doubt thought and that their influence in both cities would have caused others to follow God as well.
    3. ANSWER 3; Further, this event takes place after the previous war, in which the two cities were overrun and everyone carried off, only to be subsequently rescued by Abraham who gave God all the glory. Abraham probably believed that this witness would also have had a positive influence on the population of both cities.
  4. We can learn a lot about God’s judgment of the wicked by examining the story in Genesis chapter 19. For instance, who does God use to carry out His judgment? (see Gen. 19:13 and 2 Kings 19:35)
    1. ANSWER: God uses angels; they are his messengers and they can also carry out His out his judgments.
  5. Does God warn of His coming judgments? (see Gen. 19:13, and all of Revelation, for example.)
    1. ANSWER: Yes; without question, God warns of His fierce wrath and judgment. Again, in this narrative, the angels warn Lot of what will happen so that he can save his entire family.
  6. Contrast the scene when the angels visited Abraham, vs. the scene when they visited Lot, specifically with respect to where they were each found sitting. (see Gen. 18:1-2, and Gen. 19:1)
    1. ANSWER: Abraham was at home, sitting in the entrance of his tent, while Lot was not at home; but rather, in the evening, was found in the midst of activities in Sodom, sitting "in the gateway of the city".
  7. When Lot’s guests are ready for bed, Lot’s home is surrounded by an angry crowd of homosexual men. Compare Lot’s definition of a "wicked thing" with what he proposes as a proper solution. (see Gen. 19:4-8)
    1. ANSWER: Lot recognizes that allowing this crowd of gay men to have sex with his angelic visitors is wicked and completely wrong. However, to demonstrate his twisted sense of righteousness, he offers his daughters up to them hoping to appease them and safeguard his visitors. Somehow this doesn’t seem wrong to Lot.
  8. What Biblical precept regarding God’s protection from judgment is demonstrated in the reaction of the visitors to Lot’s dilemma outside the house? (see Gen. 19:9-11 and 2 Pet. 2:6-8)
    1. ANSWER: Even though Lot was a sinner, and indeed at that very moment was outside offering up his daughters in order to protect the angels, his faith made him righteous in God’s eyes. So God reached out, through the use of His two angels, and protected Lot from evil, and from the coming judgment.
  9. How do we know that Lot believed in God and believed that God was going to bring judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah? (see Gen. 19:14)
    1. ANSWER: When the angels told Lot what was going to happen, he believed them and immediately went out to save his wife, children, and their husbands, knowing that judgment was coming quickly.
  10. Even though Sodom had been overrun in the prior war, and even though it would now be destroyed, did Lot now want to return to the mountains where Abraham lived? If not, where did he want to live? (see Gen. 19:15-23)
    1. ANSWER: In spite of all that had happened, and what was about to happen, Lot wanted to remain on the plains, and not return to the mountains. This is a vivid example of the twisted life of Lot: He is torn between the spiritual world, having a strong walk with God, versus the material world, i.e., remaining on the plains. As Peter wrote in 2 Peter 2:6-8, it vexed his very soul; and his behavior following the judgment of the two cities will demonstrate that once again.
  11. Lot’s wife ignores the angels’ instructions and looks back as they flee; she immediately turns into a pillar of salt. The only people who are actually saved out of all the people in both cities, are Lot and his two daughters. Where does Lot go to live after he witnesses the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah from Zoar? (see Gen. 19:30)
    1. ANSWER: Lot and his two daughters actually go up into the mountains and live in a cave, because having seen the destruction of the two cities, he is afraid to stay on the plains.
  12. As the narrative indicates, the angels take Lot and his family out of the city, but they tell Lot that he has until nightfall to get to the city of Zoar; since they will wait to bring judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah at that time. Back in Sodom, after a night of bizarre behavior, the angels blinding the angry crowd of men, and Lot running around to the homes of his daughters and sons-in-law warning of the coming judgment, peace now returns. The "trouble-makers" (Lot, his wife, and his daughters), have all been taken out of the city by the two angels. What is the parallel here between this judgment, and the Rapture theory and coming judgment when Christ returns?
    1. ANSWER 1: The Rapture theory holds that, prior to the judgment, Christ will call out the saved so that the judgments referred to in the book of Revelation will only fall on the unsaved.
    2. ANSWER 2: It also shows that once Lot and the angels left the city, life pretty much went back to normal; and the thought of any oncoming judgment quickly faded.
    3. ANSWER 3: We can easily envision how this is possible even today. The Bible tells us man’s heart is continually evil. Without God’s intervention, man is lost.
    4. ANSWER 4: It also indicates to us that God’s judgment comes at a time when man does not expect it; and when it does come, it comes quickly and accomplishes God’s specific will.
  13. Now that it’s just Lot and his two daughters living in a cave in the mountains, what happens to his family? (see Gen. 19:30-38)
    1. ANSWER: On consecutive nights, each daughter sleeps with their father Lot, and the children that they have will go on to become the Moabites and the Ammonites.
  14. King David’s grandmother came from what people? (see Ruth 1:2)
    1. ANSWER: The Moabites
  15. What did David have to do with the Ammonites? (see 2 Sam. 11:1)
    1. ANSWER: The Ammonites, from the very beginning of their existence, became a long-time enemy of Israel. In fact, during the period of time when David remained behind in the palace and sinned against Bathsheba, he had sent his army under Joab’s leadership to fight and destroy the Ammonites.

In this lesson, one exceptionally strong message stands out from the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah: even though we are sinners and live lives that times are not at all within God’s will, God himself is faithful to protect us from His judgment. Just as He did during Noah’s time, just as He will do when he brings the nation of Israel out of Egypt, and just as He will do when Christ returns; God will preserve and protect us, His people, during times of judgment. He is unchangeable, immutable, and full of grace and mercy beyond anything that we can comprehend.

Our challenge, now that we have read this story, is to live the life that Christ would have us to live: in His will and not ours, and demonstrating His mercy and grace to everyone that we encounter, regardless of how far they may have fallen from grace.

Have a great week everyone, and thanks for being faithful in studying with us.

In Christ,

Wes

[2014]

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