Genesis Chapter 19 Questions and Answers

In Genesis Chapter 19 - The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a sad testimony of the wages of sin and at the same time a fearful testimony to the judgement of God.

About these Answers

Day One

1.  Compare the hospitality of Lot in Genesis chapter 19 to that of Abraham in chapter 18.  What are three ways they behaved both similarly and differently as hosts to their guests?

How Abraham and Lot behaved similarly

Both Abraham and Lot:

  1. greet the visitors (18:1-5; 19:1-2)
  2. bowed to the ground when they greeted them (18:2; 19:1)
  3. refer to themselves as "your servant" (18:3; 19:2)
  4. offer to have the guest's feet washed (18:4; 19:2)

How Abraham and Lot behaved differently

  1. Abraham ran to meet his guests (18:2), but Lot simply got up to meet them (19:1)
  2. Abraham offers his guests food (18:5), Lot does not mention food but prepared a feast anyway (19:3)
  3. Lot offers them lodging (19:2), but Abraham does not (18:1-5), although he likely would have if they had arrived in the evening
  4. Abraham served them as they ate (18:8) but Lot did not (19:1-3)

2.  Review the Scriptures below.  What do they tell you about Lot?

  • Genesis 13:10-11
  • Genesis 13:12
  • Genesis 14:12
  • Genesis 19:1

  • Genesis 13:10-11 - Lot walked by sight (what he could see) rather than by faith (what he could not see)
  • Genesis 13:12 - First Lot chose to live in cities and set up his tent near Sodom
  • Genesis 14:12 - Then Lot moved from his tent near Sodom to live in Sodom
  • Genesis 19:1 - Now Lot is sitting at Sodom's gate and is therefore either a person of authority in Sodom or at least respected enough by the people to conduct business there

Lot had moved from pitching his tent near Sodom to living in Sodom.  Although he was distressed by the unrestrained behavior of the immoral (II Peter 2:7-9), Lot continued to live in the city of Sodom.   The men of Sodom knew where Lot lived (19:4) and remarked that Lot had come to Sodom "as a foreigner" (19:9) indicating they knew him and his background. 

Lot had likely lived in Sodom for many years at this point in the story.  Since he had departed from Abraham (13:12) Ishmael had been born and was 13 years old prior to this event (17:25).  Now we learn that Lot also has a family and daughters who are engaged to be married (19:14).  It's interesting that Lot addresses the men who surrounded his house as "my brothers" (19:7). 

In light of these facts, one might assume that Lot had, to some extent, become comfortable in Sodom; yet, at the same time conflicted (II peter 2:7-9).  In his commentary The Genesis Record, Henry M. Morris offers the following observation on this:

". . . Lot presents to us a rather disheartening picture.  Here is a man who had participated in one of the highest callings ever given by God to men, one who had been at hand to experience with Abraham marvelous revelations and deliverances from God, and yet who now was right at home in the midst of one of the most wicked cities that ever disgraced the earth."

Day Two

3.  When the men of Sodom demanded to have sex with Lot's visitors, Lot characterized their desires as evil in verse 8.  Review the following passages of Scripture.  What do they tell us about God's view of homosexuality?

  • Leviticus 18:22; 20:13
  • Romans 1:26-32

Under the law of Moses, homosexuality was a detestable abomination to God (Leviticus 18:22) and worthy of death (Leviticus 20:13).  The fact that God had such an aversion to the perversion indicates that it was truly very evil and because His prescription of punishment was death indicates that He had no tolerance for the evil.  This is seen also in Sodom, where no righteous were found and the evil practice of homosexuality was punished by God Himself with death.

In the New Testament example, we see that the Apostle Paul explains that those who reject God are unrighteous and without excuse because God has revealed Himself to them (Romans 1:18-20).  Paul explains that instead, the unrighteous unbelievers exchanged the acknowledgement and worship of the one true God for the worship and idolatry of false gods (Romans 1:21-23).  Therefore, Paul explains, God gave them up to the desire of their hearts for sexual impurity, which is a manifestation of their idolatry (Romans 1:24-25). Paul then explains that homosexuality is an extreme example of this sinful idolatry (Romans 1:26-27). 

Homosexuality is the exact opposite of God's design for the family.  According to Genesis 1:26-28 and 2:18-24, God made both men and women in the image of Himself.  He did not make man to complement man, God made women as a complement for men.  He then commanded them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.  God's design is for a man and a woman to be one flesh.  This cannot happen between two males or two females because God didn't design us that way.  A homosexual couple cannot have a child.  Therefore, they can't become a partner in God's plan for creation.  They can't serve their intended purpose.  They can't have a child who could become a worshiper of the One True God.  They can only selfishly serve themselves in their sexual union.

God's view of homosexuality is that it's evil; it's rebellious to His intended design for men and women; and it's an extreme example of idolatrous behavior.  But that doesn't make it, or those who practice it, more evil than other types of sins.  All sin is evil; therefore, we should pray for homosexuals just as we pray for ourselves and other sinners.  God hates sin in all it's forms and Jesus Christ died for all people and for all types of sins.

4.  How many righteous people were found to be living in Sodom?

Four righteous people were found living in Sodom (19:15):

  1. Lot
  2. Lot's wife
  3. Lot's first daughter
  4. Lot's second daughter

Abraham didn't know what God knew all along - there were not ten righteous people living in Sodom (18:32-3). Had Lot's sons in law joined him, then there would have been six.  By the way, these men were considered sons in law when they became betrothed to his virgin daughters.  Some hold the view that Lot's sons in law were married to other daughters besides the two mentioned as being with Lot (19:15), but that doesn't change the number of righteous people found in Sodom.  

Others may argue that Lot's wife wasn't righteous because she "looked back".  That argument is understandable but its probably better said that she was punished by herself and her desires for the world than by God for her sins.  Therefore, she's counted as righteous for the sake of this question along with her husband and daughters.

Day Three

5.  Sin tempts us to make bad decisions in our lives like the people of Sodom.  What can we learn from the following passages of Scripture about overcoming temptation?

  • Psalm 119:11
  • Luke 4:1-13
  • Hebrews 2:18
  • I Corinthians 10:13

To avoid temptation of any kind, including sexual temptation: 

  1. We must keep God's Word in our hearts to avoid temptation (Psalm 199:11). 
  2. Then when temptation arrives, we can remember and declare the truth of God's Word (Luke 4:1-13).
  3. We can claim Jesus' promises of protection from temptation (Hebrews 2:18).
  4. We can have power to overcome Satan's temptations (I Corinthians 10:13). 

6.  Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt when she lingered behind her husband and looked back (19:26).  Today the locations of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are unknown despite much archaeological effort.  The first century historian Josephus claimed to have seen the remains of Lot's wife as did Clement of Rome in the second century. 

However, we don't really know where these cities once were in the formally fertile plain of Jordan (13:10), which was likened to the Garden of Eden.  Nor do we know the location of the pillar of salt that once was Lot's wife if it really did exist.

Archaeologists have found evidence of ancient volcanic activity in the region where Sodom and Gomorrah are thought to have been.  Today we can visit the ruins of the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy to gain just an idea of how the remains of Lot's wife may have appeared.  

Therefore, the preserved remains of the victims of Pompeii and Herculaneum may give us an idea of what happened to Lot's wife.  But we don't really know exactly how she appeared when she died.  What we do know is that she did not heed the warning of the angel who gave Lot and his family four commands. 

What were the four commands?

In verse 17 the angels command Lot and his family to:

  1. run for your lives
  2. don't look back
  3. don't stop anywhere on the plain
  4. run to the mountains

The angel also told Lot's family that if they didn't do what they were told, they would be swept away in God's punishment (verse 15).

Day Four

7.  Read Luke 17:20-36.  There are many points in this passage that relate to His second coming and he mentions Lot's wife.  What's the lesson Jesus teaches us in telling us to remember Lot's wife?  

The context of that passage is set in verse 20 where the Pharisees ask Jesus when the kingdom of God will come. The passage is immensely rich in teachings about Jesus' second coming.

The main point Jesus makes is that the coming of the kingdom of God is not something we can prepare for, instead we must be ready for it before it arrives.  Jesus emphasizes that when He returns, we must be prepared and not hesitate to leave this world and our worldly pleasures and possessions if we're to join Him in His kingdom. 

To properly prepare your heart for Jesus' return, you must become a follower of Him.  To become a follower of Jesus, you must turn from your sin.  Ask God to forgive you for your sins, and ask Jesus to come into your heart, to guide you as your Master.  In short, you must become dead to your old way of life and commit yourself to a new life in Christ.  Only then will your heart be prepared for the kingdom of God.  

You cannot be like Lot's wife.  She was attached and longing for, or clinging to the things that would perish.  We must be prepared to leave behind the things of this  world that won't last for eternity.  Instead we must long for the eternal and wonderful things of God and welcome His kingdom with a prepared and joyful heart.

8.  Lot offers to sacrifice his innocent daughters to the evil men of Sodom.  This is recognized as one of the most difficult passages of Scripture to understand.  Although his culture's emphasis on hospitality may have demanded protection for his guests, in the modern western mind the idea of protecting women and children (especially your own family), causes us to view Lot's decision as disgusting and ridiculous.

God offered His innocent Son - Jesus Christ - to be sacrificed for our sins.  Why or how was Lot's offer to sacrifice his daughters different?

First, no human being is comparable to God or Jesus Christ, including Lot.  The purpose of this question is to compare the feeble remedies of man, in this case Lot, to the perfect remedies of our perfect God. 

  • Lot didn't offer himself, he offered his children. Jesus was and is God (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1; Revelation 22:13), therefore God offered Himself.  In fact, Jesus Christ willingly laid down His life (John 10:18), but there's no indication or reason to believe that Lot's daughters were willing to be sacrificed.
  • God's the perfect Judge because He knows everything (I John 3:20), Lot wasn't in a position to determine if his proposal was correct because he could't know everything as God does to properly judge sin.
  • God's sacrifice resulting in sin being forgiven (John 3:16; Romans 3:25), Lot's proposal traded one sin (rape) for another similar sin (homosexual rape).

Lot's attempt to rescue his guests failed miserably.  In fact, Lot's guests rescue him instead.  Unlike man's feeble attempts to make things right that often fail, God never fails.  God is always ready to rescue the lost from their sins and He always succeeds.

Day Five

9.  Verse 29 tells us that the Lord remembered Abraham and for his sake, Lot was rescued.  However, all else besides Lot's two daughters perished.  Jesus said that the people of Sodom would have repented and the city wouldn't have been destroyed if they had seen the miracles He performed in Capernaum (Matthew 11:23-24). 

What do you think it will take for our society to repent of it's sins?  

Your Answer Here

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