Two Angels Arrived at Sodom in the Evening

19: 1-11

DIG: As Abraham did in 18:2-8, how does Lot show hospitality to these angelic visitors? What would have likely happened if Lot had not taken them in? In turn, what might have happened to Lot had it not been for the intervention of the two angels inside? How do you explain Lot’s distorted judgment and shocking compromise with his two daughters? What does this say about him? How does Jude use this account?

REFLECT: How does our society today compare with Sodom? Is it any less brazen? What do you think has prevented its total destruction? Can a believer live in Sodom and be unaffected? If bad company corrupts good character (First Corinthians 15:33), who do you need to be careful not to associate with?

The two angels moved quickly and arrived at Sodom in the evening. The rabbis teach that one angel came to destroy Sodom and the other came to rescue Lot, and the third angel returned to heaven. Remember, Jews do not believe that the third person was the Lord. And Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city (19:1a). So we have a progression. First, he lived in a tent outside the city (13:12), then he lived in a house inside Sodom (14:12), and here he was sitting in the gateway of the city. The ones who sat in the gateway of a city were the judges. So Lot not only moved to Sodom, he became an influential member of their city, giving his opinion on legal transactions. It seems that Lot said the right words, but he lived compromising lifestyle with the wrong people.315

When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground (19:1b). When the Lord’s messengers came to do His will, Lot suddenly found himself in an unbearable situation. He welcomed and entertained them as was the demands of his culture, just as Abraham had done in the previous chapter. Sirs he said: Please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet, as was the custom, and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning. No, they answered: We will spend the night in the square. But Lot knew the streets of Sodom were quite dangerous. There was enough decency in his character to try to intervene on their behalf.316 Because he insisted so strongly, they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast (the first mention of unleavened bread in the Bible), and they ate (19:2-3). While they ate, the sin of Sodom was ready to be exposed.

The scene depicted in the next two verses is almost unbelievable, for the true nature of Sodom’s sin is clearly revealed. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom, both young and old, surrounded the house (19:4). The word that these two men were in the city had spread very quickly. This was not an obnoxious minority, they were all there, both young and old. But there was not one righteous man to protest.

They called to Lot in a not to subtle way: Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them (19:5). The name that has been put on this sin from that day to this is sodomy. Let there be no mistake about this. ADONAI hates homosexuality and says so in both Covenants. In the TaNaKh He says: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; this is hateful, or detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13; also see Judges 19:16-23; 1 Kings 14:24, 15:12 and 2 Kings 23:7).

In the New Covenant the Ruach says that there are those who have exchanged the truth of God for a lie (see Romans 1:18-25), and one of the lies is homosexuality. God says that even women have exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones (Romans 1:26-27, also see First Corinthians 6:9-11 and First Timothy 1:8-10). But even with the clear teaching of Scripture, some people still think that they can sin with impunity. Like the men of Sodom, homosexuals are getting more and more brazen in the world today. Jude uses them as an example of how life will be in the end times before the Lord returns to set up His messianic Kingdom (see my commentary on Jude Al – Like Sodom and Gomorrah, They Give Themselves Up to Sexual Immorality and Perversion). The godly standard, however, has not changed (Hebrews 13:8). Therefore, it is important to remember that anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God, and it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (James 4:4; Hebrews 10:31).

Today gay theology starts with the undeniable truth that everyone, and in particular gay men and women, are included in God's love. But then gay theology parts ways with the truth by its application. Like the men of Sodom, they preach a gospel of inclusiveness (Galatians 1:1-9). The gay church cannot tell the truth: While the Gospel is for everyone and must be proclaimed to everyone, it does not include everyone. The ugly truth is that most will hear the Gospel, but never accept it. In his book, The Triumph of Mockers, F. Connor Cason gives us four key scriptures from Jesus' teaching to emphasize this point:

1.    For I have come to turn a son against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man's enemies will be the members of his own household (Matthew 10:35-66).The Gospel divides. They way becomes clear between those who believe and submit and those who refuse. This is the root of contention between the true believer and gay men and women who have not submitted to Jesus Christ. There will always be a conflict between true believers and the world around them.

2.     A farmer wentout to sow his seed . . . Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no moisture or root . . . other seed fell among the weeds, which grew up with it and choked the plants so that they did not bear grain (Matthew 13:3-7; Mark 4:3-7; Luke 8:5-7). This aspect of the Gospel was so important that Messiah not only gave the parable, He went to great lengths to interpret it for His apostles. The conclusion? Some will hear and not believe. Some will not be included in the Kingdom. It is important to understand that this parable is not about the seed, the Gospel, which is good, but about the heart of the hearer, which is hard. This is not an inclusive Gospel, but a Gospel that divides (First Peter 2:8).

3.    When the young rabbi heard this, his face fell and he became very sad (I am sure it saddened Jesus as well). His hopes dashed and his response was telling. He went away sad (but not sad enough to change) because he had great wealth (Matthew 19:22; Mark 10:22; Luke 18:23). After this interaction with Jesus, this young man turned his back on the Son of God and the Gospel He was preaching. This would still be the case today.

4.    Enter through the narrow gate. In Yeshua's Kingdom, the gate to life is not easy, but narrow. But wide is the gate and broad is the way of the world that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Therefore, there are many people on their way through life, yet only a few on the more difficult way of Christ. But narrow is the gate and difficult the way that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:13-14 DBT). The teaching of Jesus is clearly not inclusive. In fact, it's just the opposite: only a few find it. So much for slogans and politically inspired theology.

Rabbi Sha'ul said: Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. And that is what these men of Sodom were doing, mocking. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature he will reap destruction (Galatians 6:7-8a, also see Job 4:8; Proverbs 1:31-33 and Hosea 8:7, 10:12). The Bible calls homosexuality sin. There is no homosexual gene. That’s the big lie of today. If there were a gay gene then homosexuals wouldn’t have to take any responsibility for their depravity. How convenient, I wonder who thought that one up? They want to play the persecuted minority instead of facing their wickedness. Make no mistake, as we approach the last days this shameless, evil epidemic of homosexuality will do nothing but increase. Like the men of Sodom, they will force you to make a stand. I beg you to make your stand with God and His Word.

I would like to say a few words about forgiveness. Homosexuality is not the unforgiveable sin (see my commentary on The Life of Christ Em – Whoever Blasphemes Against the Holy Spirit Will Never Be Forgiven). But it must be seen as sin. This is not a civil rights issue; it is a sin issue. But don't insist on a checklist of conditions that have to be met before they can be saved. Forget about changing them. That's the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Just love them and do not retreat from the Word of God. Before the Lord can forgive anyone for their sins four things must happen.

First, sin must be seen clearly as sin. It cannot be rationalized away. People recovering from alcoholism talk about “a moment of clarity,” actually seeing or being fully aware that they are powerless over alcohol. When engaged in ongoing sin, there must be “a moment of spiritual clarity,” when sin is not sugarcoated, but seen for what it really is. And not only that, but it must be acknowledged that they are powerless over it and cannot escape it alone.

Second, sin must be confessed. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His Word is not in us (First John 1:8-10).

Third, sin must be repented of. Repentance means going in a different direction. It is as if you were walking in one direction and you turned right around and started walking in the other direction. So there needs to be a change of action. You don’t think about turning, you actually turn and walk in another direction. We all have sinful urges, but it doesn’t mean we have to act on them. We all must choose to believe God’s Word – then act on it. We must never forget that feelings are the caboose of our lives, not the engine.

And forth, a new pattern needs to be established. Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves: Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like (James 1:22-23). This is the evidence that God the Holy Spirit has changed us. We are not talking about perfection here, but holy living must become a pattern of your life.

The men of Sodom were haughty and did detestable things before God; therefore, He was about to destroy them (Ezekiel 16:50). What the Bible calls wicked, believers must not condone. Don’t say that we have a primitive view of the LORD in Genesis, but that we have a more modern one today. Don’t say that the God of the TaNaKh was mean and vindictive, and the God of the New Covenant is gentle and forgiving. Don’t argue that, after all, Jesus associated with sinners. He sure did! But when He got through with them, He had changed them. The prostitute who came to Him was no longer in business. When she came to the Lord, she changed. The same thing happened to other sinners. A tax collector came to Him, and he left the tax collecting business. He gave up that which was crooked when he came to the Messiah. If you have come to the Anointed One, you will be changed. Many people say we are living in a new day and things have changed. That is true, we are living in a new day, but it just happens to be Sodom and Gomorrah all over again!317

Then Lot became the mediator and went outside to meet the sodomites. He shut the door behind him to prevent any entry (19:6). He begged: No my friends (with friends like this, who needs enemies). Don’t do this wicked thing (19:7). He was offended on behalf of his guests and knew it was a sin, but his next statement showed the degree to which his thinking had been corrupted by living in Sodom. Peter tells us that for a righteous man, living among them day after day, he was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard (Second Peter 2:8). But even though he was righteous, their sin still had influenced him. Even though he was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (Second Peter 2:7), he stayed. My friend, you can’t swim in the toilet and come up smelling like a rose. Slowly, without even realizing it, he had been influenced by their sin. He thought he would have an effect on them, but they had corrupted him!

Today the gay rights movement teaches that the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah actually had to do with the sin of not being hospitable to guests. They knew they had to come up with some sort of answer and that was the best they could do. The Genesis account is very clear about the sin of homosexuality, but the gay church apologists of today are still using this argument successfully.

Protecting one’s guests was part of hospitality, but the years of compromise had taken their toll. He pleaded: Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. Would Lot have ever said something like that when he was associated with Abraham? Never! But he went on. Please don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof” (19:8). It was tragic that the tradition of protecting those under his roof was more important to Lot than his duty to protect his two daughters. He was willing to offer them to the mob, but he was not willing to offer himself.318 The angels’ visit had shattered the uneasy peace in which he had lived for far too long.319

But these sodomites would not be held back! Get out of our way, they replied. And they said: This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them (19:9). They realized that Lot was judging them when he called their homosexual desires wicked. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Today, homosexuals become indignant when anyone dares to call their lifestyle wicked or sinful. Like the men of Sodom, they view their lifestyle as “normal” and there is nothing they won’t do to protect it. The homosexuals in Sodom would not compromise and neither will they today.

With one action, Lot’s best thinking had jeopardized his daughters, enraged the men of Sodom, and required his rescue from those he was trying to protect. But the men inside opened the door, reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door (19:10). At what point did Lot figure out who these guys really were?

Then the two angels struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness (19:11a).Outside of this verse, the word blindness is found only in Second Kings 6:18, where the LORD struck the Aramean army with blindness in order to save Elisha. It is a rare word that refers to partial blindness with mental confusion coming from distorted vision, so that they could not find the door (19:11b). They were so insistent upon their wickedness, so intent on their lust, that even after being struck with blindness they still tried to get through the door to find the men inside.

They had become reprobate. Rabbi Sha’ul says it this way: Therefore, God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. Even women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion (Romans 1:26-27). Lot had been on the spiritual fence for far to long. It was time for him to make a decision. Would he stay or would he flee the wrath to come?

 

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