Genesis 19 Commentary

Genesis 19 Commentary

So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
Genesis 19:29 NIV

Key verse. The LORD spares Lot from disaster on account of Abraham. This is what the blessing to Abraham meant. This is the blessing that is fulfilled by the LORD Jesus when, through salvation the LORD remembers us on account of Jesus. Remember that the Bible is a story following a script. In this case the script is written more than two thousand years later by Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus. In this genealogy Jesus is the son Joseph, the son of……the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. And it ends there. We know Abraham had a father who in turn had his own father but Matthew ends at Abraham because it is a script about God’s promise of blessing to Abraham.

In this chapter the two angels are referred to as men. They were men enough for the wicked men of Sodom to even think of having sex with them. It helps us to understand the nature of angels. The tradition of the church is that angels are dressed in white with wings and flying. But generally the picture we see in the Bible is that of ordinary men or them having an appearance of ordinary men. Many many believers have encountered them without ever knowing, even in our day. They show up and speak our language (Tumbuka, for example).

Another point is that the two men had been part of the three collectively identified as ‘the LORD’. Abraham identified them as such. Lot never identified them as either angels or as ‘the LORD’. It’s a case of a fallen man that the LORD becomes so remote that any visitation, any visitation regardless of the accompanying glory, is nothing but random events of good fortune.

As we see the wickedness of the men of the city we are reminded of the wickedness of the world today. It’s nothing new because the devil is not new. We look at Lot in disbelief as he offers his own daughters. This is just how far backslidden Lot is. He no longer knows the character of Abraham’s God. As we live in this wicked world the warning is there for us on the wall. It’s easy to fall to this very low level of holiness where we think a less evil act is better than the bigger evil act. Lot is shockingly compromised.

Verse 14 gives us a picture that indeed these two men who had come to destroy the two cities were angels as they described themselves as messengers from the LORD. We want to believe the same LORD who had remained talking with Abraham. On this basis we can also assume that the LORD Jesus is the God who appeared to Abraham but in the company of two angels. I’m just playing with understanding here as I know the LORD could appear in any way and any any form at any time – and in any multiple.

Lot’s wife makes for an interesting reading. She perished for failure to obey instructions. Lot’s testimony was so bad that it completely failed to influence anyone, not even his own family. His own sons in-law thought of him as a joker. Another sad story told in these pages will confirm Lot’s rotten world. His own daughters conspired to have sex with him in order to conceive. These are bad and sinful ideas that were obviously considered as nothing in Sodom and Gomorrah. The entire story stinks to the core. Man is placing himself in a very bad position with the God of holiness.

Later on we shall meet the Ammonites and Moabites. They lived in constant tension with God’s people. Later on the LORD commanded Israel to completely destroy the Ammonites because their sins had reached a dangerous level. Moabite women would cause Israel to fall as they engaged in sexual relations with God’s children – encouraged by Balaam. Sin is very much a product of inheritance. You know where it’s coming from.

Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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