10/26/19

Are We A Lot


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Are We a Lot?

October 26, 2019

 

[I am speaking of the Lot related to Abraham, not a measure. I just read several commentaries on his escape from Sodom and they bring forth several interesting ideas I would like to share with you.]

 

(Gen 19:12-14 KJV) And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of Yahweh; and Yahweh hath sent us to destroy it.19:14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for Yahweh will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

 

A. Hast thou here any besides? ... we will destroy this place — Apostolic authority has declared Lot was “a righteous man” (2Pe_2:8), at bottom good, though he contented himself with lamenting the sins that he saw, instead of acting on his own convictions, and withdrawing himself and family from such a sink of corruption. But favor was shown him: and even his bad relatives had, for his sake, an offer of deliverance, which was ridiculed and spurned (2Pe_3:4).

 

B. It was a very weak nature that heaven was so eager to rescue. Though described as a righteous man, Lot was a very weak one. He had pitched his tent toward Sodom, but apparently had been unable to resist its attractions, and had gone to live within its precincts. It would almost appear that he had become one of its leading citizens. Therefore, his testimony for God was invalidated and worthless. He seemed as one that mocked, even to his own family. How the angels must have loved this work. There were four people to be saved, and between them, in the human forms they had assumed, there were four hands-one for each. Is not this work in which we all should share? Let us hasten the lingerers! It is fatal to look behind. All our past is strewn with the memories of our sins and failures. There is but one hope. Escape to the Cross of the Divine Redeemer! Shelter in the cleft Rock of Ages! Hasten to the open arms of the Father!

 

C. And the men said unto Lot,.... When they had got him into the house again, they began to make themselves known unto him, and to acquaint him with the business they came to do:

hast thou here any besides? which they ask not as being ignorant, though angels know not everything relative to men, but to show their great regard to Lot, who had been so kind to them, and so careful of them; that for his sake they would save them all, if they would take the benefit of their protection, and in this they doubtless had the mind of God revealed to them:

son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters; it should be rendered either "son-in-law, or thy sons, or thy daughters" (o); if thou hast any son-in-law that has married a daughter of thine, or any sons of thine own that live from thee; or grandsons, the sons of thy married daughters, as Jarchi interprets it; or any other daughters besides those two we here see:

and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place; that is, whatsoever relations he had, whether more near or remote; for as for his goods, whether in his own house, or in any other part of the city, there was no time for saving them.

(Gen 19:15-23 KJV) And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. 19:16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; Yahweh being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 19:17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 19:18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19:19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: 19:20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. 19:21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. 19:22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. 19:23 KJV The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

A. Genesis 19:15-17 The kindly interest the angels took in the preservation of Lot is beautifully displayed. But he “lingered.” Was it from sorrow at the prospect of losing all his property, the acquisition of many years? Or was it that his benevolent heart was paralyzed by thoughts of the awful crisis? This is the charitable way of accounting for a delay that would have been fatal but for the friendly urgency of the angel.

C. Genesis 19:15

And when the morning arose,.... When it was break of day, for as yet the sun was not risen, nor did it rise until Lot got to Zoar, Gen_19:23. He was now returned from his sons-in-law, and by this time it began to be light:

then the angels hastened Lot; urged him to get out of his house as fast as he could:

saying, arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; from whence Aben Ezra, and others, have concluded, as has been observed, that he had other daughters elsewhere, which they suppose were married to men of Sodom; but the phrase, "which are here", or "are found", or "are present" (t), relates to his wife, as well as his daughters, and only signifies, that he should take all his relations that were present; and these may be only opposed to and distinguished from his sons-in-law that were absent, and refused to hearken to his advice and exhortations. Onkelos paraphrases the words, "who are found faithful with thee"; who believed what the angels said concerning the destruction of Sodom, as well as he, as did his wife and two daughters:

lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city; in the punishment inflicted on the city for their iniquity. See Rev_18:4.

D. Genesis 19:15-23 Here is, I. The rescue of Lot out of Sodom. Thought there were not ten righteous men in Sodom, for whose sakes it might be spared, yet that one righteous man that was among them delivered his own soul, Eze_14:14. Early in the morning his own guests, in kindness to him, turned him out of doors, and his family with him, Gen_19:15. His daughters that were married perished with their unbelieving husbands; but those that continued with him were preserved with him. Observe,

1. With what a gracious violence Lot was brought out of Sodom, Gen_19:16. It seems, though he did not make a jest of the warning given, as his sons-in-law did, yet he lingered, he trifled, he did not make so much haste as the case required. Thus many that are under some convictions about the misery of their spiritual state, and the necessity of a change, yet defer that needful work, and foolishly linger. Lot did so, and it might have been fatal to him it the angels had not laid hold of his hand, and brought him forth, and saved him with fear, Jud_1:23. Herein it is said, The Lord was merciful to him; otherwise he might justly have left him to perish, since he was so loth to depart. Note, (1.) The salvation of the most righteous men must be attributed to God's mercy, not to their own merit. We are saved by grace. (2.) God's power also must be acknowledged in the bringing of souls out of a sinful state. If God had not brought us forth, we had never come forth. (3.) If God had not been merciful to us, our lingering had been our ruin.

2. With what a gracious vehemence he was urged to make the best of his way, when he was brought forth, Gen_19:17. (1.) He must still apprehend himself in danger of being consumed, and be quickened by the law of self-preservation to flee for his life. Note, A holy fear and trembling are found necessary to the working out of our salvation. (2.) He must therefore mind his business with the utmost care and diligence. He must not hanker after Sodom: Look not behind thee. He must not loiter by the way: Stay not in the plain; for it would all be made one dead sea. He must not take up short of the place of refuge appointed him: Escape to the mountain. Such as these are the commands given to those who through grace are delivered out of a sinful state. [1.] Return not to sin and Satan, for that is looking back to Sodom. [2.] Rest not in self and the world, for that is staying in the plain. And, [3.] Reach towards Christ and heaven, for that is escaping to the mountain, short of which we must not take up.

II. The fixing of a place of refuge for him. The mountain was first appointed for him to flee to, but, 1. He begged for a city of refuge, one of the five that lay together, called Bela, Gen_14:2, Gen_14:18-20. It was Lot's weakness to think a city of his own choosing safer than the mountain of God's appointing. And he argued against himself when he pleaded, Thou hast magnified thy mercy in saving my life, and I cannot escape to the mountain; for could not he that plucked him out of Sodom, when he lingered, carry him safely to the mountain, though he began to tire? Could not he that saved him from greater evils save him from the less? He insists much in his petition upon the smallness of the place: It is a little one, it is not? therefore, it was to be hoped, not so bad as the rest. This gave a new name to the place; it was called Zoar, a little one. Intercessions for little ones are worthy to be remembered. 2. God granted him his request, though there was much infirmity in it, Gen_19:21, Gen_19:22. See what favour God showed to a true saint, though weak. (1.) Zoar was spared, to gratify him. Though his intercession for it was not, as Abraham's for Sodom, from a principle of generous charity, but merely from self-interest, yet God granted him his request, to show how much the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails. (2.) Sodom's ruin was suspended till he was safe: I cannot do any thing till thou shalt have come thither. Note, The very presence of good men in a place helps to keep off judgments. See what care God takes for the preservation of his people. The winds are held till God's servants are sealed, Rev_7:3; Eze_9:4.

III. It is taken notice of that the sun had risen when Lot entered into Zoar; for when a good man comes into a place he brings light along with him, or should do.

(Gen 19:24-29 KJV) Then Yahweh rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Yahweh out of heaven; 19:25 And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. 19:27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before Yahweh: 19:28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. 19:29 And it came to pass, when Almighty destroyed the cities of the plain, that Almighty remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

A. Genesis 19:24 Then the Lord rained ... brimstone and fire from ... heaven — God, in accomplishing His purposes, acts immediately or mediately through the agency of means; and there are strong grounds for believing that it was in the latter way He effected the overthrow of the cities of the plain - that it was, in fact, by a volcanic eruption. The raining down of fire and brimstone from heaven is perfectly accordant with this idea since those very substances, being raised into the air by the force of the volcano, would fall in a fiery shower on the surrounding region. This view seems countenanced by Job [Job_1:16; Job_18:15]. Whether it was miraculously produced, or the natural operation employed by God, it is not of much consequence to determine: it was a divine judgment, foretold and designed for the punishment of those who were sinners exceedingly.

Genesis 19:26 Lot was accompanied by his wife and two daughters. But whether it was from irresistible curiosity or perturbation of feeling, or that she was about to return to save something, his wife lingered, and while thus disobeying the parting counsel, “to look not back, nor stay in all the plain” [Gen_19:17], the torrent of liquid lava enveloped her so that she became the victim of her supine indolence or sinful rashness.

Genesis 19:27 Abraham gat up early in the morning, etc. — Abraham was at this time in Mamre, near Hebron, and a traveller last year verified the truth of this passage. “From the height which overlooks Hebron, where the patriarch stood, the observer at the present day has an extensive view spread out before him towards the Dead Sea. A cloud of smoke rising from the plain would be visible to a person at Hebron now, and could have been, therefore, to Abraham as he looked toward Sodom on the morning of its destruction by God” [Hackett]. It must have been an awful sight, and is frequently alluded to in Scripture (Deu_29:23; Isa_13:19; Jud_1:7). “The plain which is now covered by the Salt or Dead Sea shows in the great difference of level between the bottoms of the northern and southern ends of the lake - the latter being thirteen feet and the former thirteen hundred - that the southern end was of recent formation, and submerged at the time of the fall of the cities” [Lynch].

(Gen 19:24 TLV) and Yahweh rained sulfur and fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah from Yahweh out of the sky.19:25 So He demolished these cities and the whole surrounding area, all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation of the ground.

A. Genesis 19:24

Then the Lord rained ... brimstone and fire from ... heaven — God, in accomplishing His purposes, acts immediately or mediately through the agency of means; and there are strong grounds for believing that it was in the latter way He effected the overthrow of the cities of the plain - that it was, in fact, by a volcanic eruption. The raining down of fire and brimstone from heaven is perfectly accordant with this idea since those very substances, being raised into the air by the force of the volcano, would fall in a fiery shower on the surrounding region. This view seems countenanced by Job [Job_1:16; Job_18:15]. Whether it was miraculously produced, or the natural operation employed by God, it is not of much consequence to determine: it was a divine judgment, foretold and designed for the punishment of those who were sinners exceedingly.

B. Genesis 19:24 Then the Lord rained ... brimstone and fire from ... heaven — God, in accomplishing His purposes, acts immediately or mediately through the agency of means; and there are strong grounds for believing that it was in the latter way He effected the overthrow of the cities of the plain - that it was, in fact, by a volcanic eruption. The raining down of fire and brimstone from heaven is perfectly accordant with this idea since those very substances, being raised into the air by the force of the volcano, would fall in a fiery shower on the surrounding region. This view seems countenanced by Job [Job_1:16; Job_18:15]. Whether it was miraculously produced, or the natural operation employed by God, it is not of much consequence to determine: it was a divine judgment, foretold and designed for the punishment of those who were sinners exceedingly.

C. Genesis 19:24

Then the Lord rained upon Sodom, and upon Gomorrah, brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And not upon those two cities only, but upon Admah and Zeboiim also, see Deu_29:23; this was not a common storm of thunder and lightning, with which often there is a smell of sulphur or brimstone; but this was a continued shower of sulphurous fire, or of burning flaming brimstone, which at once consumed those cities and the inhabitants of them; and the land adjacent being bituminous, or however some parts of it, full of slimepits, or pits of bitumen, a liquid of a pitchy quality, Gen_14:10; this flaming sulphur falling thereon, must burn in a most fierce and furious manner; and which utterly consumed not only houses, goods, and everything upon the land, but the land itself, and turned it into a bituminous lake, called to this day, from thence, the Lake Asphaltites, the Greek word for bitumen being "asphaltos". Of this conflagration some Heathen writers speak, as particularly Tacitus (f) who says, some large and famous cities, or, as some copies have it, Jewish ones, not far from Jordan, were struck with thunderbolts, and were fired "igni ceolesti", with fire from heaven, and were consumed; and so Solinus (g) relates, that,"at some distance from Jerusalem, a sorrowful lake appears, which the black ground testifies was stricken by heaven and turned into ashes; where were two towns, the one called Sodomum, the other Gomorrum.''This was a righteous judgment on those cities, and a just retaliation for their sin; their sin was an unnatural one, and nature is inverted to punish them, fire comes down from heaven, or hell from heaven, as Salvian's words are, to consume them; they burned with lusts one against another, and flaming sheets of sulphurous fire fall upon them, burn and destroy them; and, in allusion to this terrible conflagration, hell is called the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, Jud_1:7 Rev_20:14; and this destruction was brought upon them by Jehovah the Son of God, who had appeared to Abraham in an human form, and gave him notice of it, and heard all he had to plead for those cities, and then departed from him to Sodom, and was the author of this sad catastrophe; this amazing shower of fire and brimstone was rained by him from Jehovah his Father, out of heaven; so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem both call him, the Word of the Lord.

(f) Hist. l. 5. c. 7. (g) Polyhistor. c. 48.

Genesis 19:25

And he overthrew those cities,.... Of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim: very probably at the same time that this fiery tempest was in the heavens, there was an earthquake which overthrew the cities; and so Strabo (h) makes the lake, which is now the place where they stood, to be owing to earthquakes and eruptions of fire, and of hot bituminous and sulphurous waters; and says nothing of fire from heaven, which yet Tacitus and Solinus do, being unacquainted with the sacred history:

and all the plain; the plain of Jordan, and the cities on it, all but Zoar; not all the five cities, as Josephus (i): Egesippus (k) and other authors mistake, only the four above mentioned. Strabo (l) speaks of thirteen cities being formerly upon this spot, of which Sodom was the metropolis:

and all the inhabitants of the cities; none were spared, all were destroyed, but Lot, his wife, and two daughters:

and that which grew upon the ground; the trees, herbs, and plants; these were all turned up by the earthquake, and burnt with fire from heaven: Tacitus, in his account of this conflagration, says,"the fields, which were formerly fruitful, and inhabited by many cities, were burnt up with lightning; and there are traces (he adds) yet remain; the earth itself looks torrid, and has lost its fruitful virtue; for whatsoever grows up of itself, or is sown and rises up in the plant or flower, or grows up to its usual species, becomes black and empty, and vanishes into ashes.''The place where those cities stood is now a lake, and is sometimes called the salt sea, Gen_14:3; and sometimes the dead sea, because it is said, no creature can live in it; and sometimes called the Lake Asphaltites, from its bituminous and pitchy quality: though Reland (o) has attempted to confute the notion that the cities of Sodom, &c. stood where this lake now is: and the many things that have been reported of this lake and parts adjacent, by various historians, supposed to be of good credit, are by modern travellers exploded (p); as those of no living creature being bred in it; of bodies not sinking in it; and of birds being unable to fly over it; and of the cities appearing under water in a clear day; and of the apples of Sodom, which look beautiful to the eye, but when touched fall into ashes; many of which Josephus (q) himself relates: indeed, Ludovicus Vartomanus (r), a traveller in those parts in the beginning of the sixteenth century, says,"there yet remain the ruins of the destroyed city, as a witness of God's wrath; we may affirm, there are three cities, and each of them situated on the decline of three hills, and the ruins appear about the height of three or four cubits; there is yet seen, I scarce know what, something like blood, or rather like red wax mixed with earth:''and our countryman Mr. Sandys (s), though he questions some of the above things before related, especially concerning the apples, yet says,"not far from thence grows a tree whose fruit is like a green walnut, which he saw, and which they say never ripens.''This lake of Sodom, according to Josephus (t), is five hundred and eighty furlongs in length unto Zoar, and one hundred fifty broad; but, according to modern accounts, it is twenty four leagues in length, and six or seven in breadth (u); the Arabic geographer (w) says, it is sixty miles in length, and twelve in breadth; it is now called by the Arabs, Bahar Louth, Lot's lake.

(h) Geograph. l. 16. p. 526. (i) De Bello Jud. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 4. (k) De excidio urb. l. 4. c. 18. (l) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 16. p. 526.) (o) Palestina illustrata, tom. 1. l. 1. c. 38. p. 254, &c. (p) Vid. Universal History, vol. 2. p. 421, &c. See Egmont and Heyman's Travels, vol. 1. p. 341. (q) De Bello Jud. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 4. (r) Navigat. l. 1. c. 10. (s) Travels, l. 3. p. 110, 111. Ed. 5. (t) Ut supra. (De Bello Jud. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 4.) (u) Universal History, ib. p. 424. See Egmont, &c. ib, p. 342. (w) Scherif Ibn Idris, apud Reland. ib. p. 249.

D. Genesis 19:24-25

Then, when Lot had got safely into Zoar, then this ruin came; for good men are taken away from the evil to come. Then, when the sun had risen bright and clear, promising a fair day, then this storm arose, to show that it was not from natural causes. Concerning this destruction observe, 1. God was the immediate author of it. It was destruction from the Almighty: The Lord rained - from the Lord (Gen_19:24), that is, God from himself, by his own immediate power, and not in the common course of nature. Or, God the Son from God the Father; for the Father has committed all judgment to the Son. Note, He that is the Saviour will be the destroyer of those that reject the salvation. 2. It was a strange punishment, Job_31:3. Never was the like before nor since. Hell was rained from heaven upon them. Fire, and brimstone, and a horrible tempest, were the portion of their cup (Psa_11:6); not a flash of lightning, which is destructive enough when God gives it commission, but a shower of lightning. Brimstone was scattered upon their habitation (Job_18:15), and then the fire soon fastened upon them. God could have drowned them, as he did the old world; but he would show that he has many arrows in his quiver, fire as well as water. 3. It was a judgment that laid all waste: It overthrew the cities, and destroyed all the inhabitants of them, the plain, and all that grew upon the ground, Gen_19:25. It was an utter ruin, and irreparable. That fruitful valley remains to this day a great lake, or dead sea; it is called the Salt Sea, Num_34:12. Travellers say that it is about thirty miles long and ten miles broad; it has no living creature in it; it is not moved by the wind; the smell of it is offensive; things do not easily sink in it. The Greeks call it Asphaltites, from a sort of pitch which it casts up. Jordan falls into it, and is lost there. 4. It was a punishment that answered to their sin. Burning lusts against nature were justly punished with this preternatural burning. Those that went after strange flesh were destroyed by strange fire, Jud_1:7. They persecuted the angels with their rabble, and made Lot afraid; and now God persecuted them with his tempest, and made them afraid with his storm, Psa_83:15. 5. It was designed for a standing revelation of the wrath of God against sin and sinners in all ages. It is, accordingly, often referred to in the scripture, and made a pattern of the ruin of Israel (Deu_29:23), of Babylon (Isa_13:19), of Edom (Jer_49:18), of Moab and Ammon, Zep_2:9. Nay, it was typical of the vengeance of eternal fire (Jud_1:7), and the ruin of all that live ungodly (2Pe_2:6), especially that despise the gospel, Mat_10:15. It is in allusion to this destruction that the place of the damned is often represented by a lake that burns, as Sodom did, with fire and brimstone. Let us learn from it, (1.) The evil of sin, and the hurtful nature of it. Iniquity tends to ruin. (2.) The terrors of the Lord. See what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God!

(Gen 19:26 TLV)  But his wife looked behind him and she turned into a pillar of salt.

A. Genesis 19:26

Lot was accompanied by his wife and two daughters. But whether it was from irresistible curiosity or perturbation of feeling, or that she was about to return to save something, his wife lingered, and while thus disobeying the parting counsel, “to look not back, nor stay in all the plain” [Gen_19:17], the torrent of liquid lava enveloped her so that she became the victim of her supine indolence or sinful rashness.

B. Genesis 19:24-29

LOT AND HIS DAUGHTERS RESCUED

God had mercy on Lot for Abraham’s sake. A missionary told me that when, on writing home to his mother, he narrated his miraculous deliverance from an infuriated mob, she replied by quoting a special entry in her diary to the effect that, during those exact hours, she was detained before God in a perfect agony of intercession for him. Lot was saved from Sodom, but took Sodom with him. He was saved so as by fire, but his life-work was burned up. See 1Co_3:15. Even his wife might have been saved, but her heart was inveterately wedded to the city. In modern cities there are traces of the sins that doomed Sodom. Let us bear witness against them, that we may arrest inevitable judgment. Jude tells us that in the fate of these cities we have an example of eternal fire. Have a place where you stand before God. Only from that eminence can you venture to look out on the awful retribution of human rebellion.

For Review Questions on Genesis see the e-Sword Book Comments.

C. Genesis 19:26

But his wife looked back from behind him,.... That is, the wife of Lot, whose name the Jewish writers (x) say was Adith, or as others Irith (y); and, according to the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, she was a native of Sodom: now, as they were going from Sodom to Zoar, she was behind Lot, his back was to her, so that he could not see her; this was a temptation to her to look back, since her husband could not see her; and this she did, either, as the above paraphrases suggest, that she might see what would be the end of her father's house and family, or whether her married daughters, if she had any, were following her, after whom her bowels yearned; or being grieved for the goods and substance left behind, and for the people of Sodom in general, for whom she had too much concern; however, be it on what account it may, she was severely punished for it:

and she became a pillar of salt; was struck dead at once, either by the immediate hand of God, or by the shower of fire and brimstone; and her body was at once changed into a metallic substance, a kind of salt, hard and durable, such as Pliny (z) speaks of, cut out of rocks, with which houses were built, and hardened with the sun, and could scarcely be cut with an iron instrument; so that she did not fall to the ground, but stood up erect as a pillar, retaining very probably the human form, Josephus (a) says, this pillar continued to his times, and that he saw it; Irenaeus (b) and Tertullian (c) speak of it as in their times, a thing incredible; and Benjamin of Tudela says (d), it stood in his times two parsas from the sea of Sodom; and though the flocks were continually licking it, yet it grew again to its former size. Rauwolff (e) relates something of the same kind by information, but not on his own testimony; that the pilgrims who visit it used to beat off some small pieces, and yet was found whole again; nay, which is beyond all credit, that they once knocked off a whole hand and took it away, and when they returned found it whole again: and one (f) that travelled in those parts in the beginning of the sixteenth century affirms, that almost in the midway to Zoar is seen to this day the pillar of salt into which Lot's wife was turned; he does not say indeed that he saw it, but leaves his reader to think so; and the Jerusalem Targum says, it will remain until the resurrection; but modern travellers of credit and intelligence could never see it; and when they have inquired of the country people about it, they either tell them there is no such thing, or say it stands in the mountains, where it cannot be come at, because of the Arabs, or because of wild beasts (g): but no doubt there was such a statue, but how long it continued cannot be said; nor should it be thought incredible, when there are similar facts affirmed by authors of the best credit and reputation: Aventinus (h) reports, that in Bavaria, in 1348, more than fifty peasants, with the cows they had milked, at the time of an earthquake were struck with a pestilential air, and stiffened into statues of salt, and which he himself saw, and the chancellor of Austria: and Bisselius relates (i), that Didacus Almagrus, who was the first person that with his army penetrated through the cold countries from Peru into Chile, lost abundance of his men, through the extremity of the cold and a pestiferous air; and that, returning to the same place five months afterwards, he found his men, horse and foot, standing unmoved, unconsumed, in the same situation, form, and habit, the pestilence had fastened them; one lying on the ground, another standing upright, another holding his bridle in his hand, as if about to shake it; in short, he found them just as he left them, without any ill smell or colour, common to corpses: indeed, the very fables of the Heathens, which seem to be hammered out of this history, serve to confirm the truth of the whole of it: as the fable of Jupiter and Mercury coming to a certain place in Phrygia, where they were hospitably entertained by Baucis and Philemon, when the doors were shut against them by others; wherefore they directed their guests, after being entertained by them, to leave the place and follow them to the mountains, when they turned the town into a standing lake (k): and also that of Niobe being changed into a marble stone while weeping for the death of her children: and of Olenus and Lethaea, turned into stones also (l). But, leaving these, and passing by other instances that might be observed, we are directed to remember this wonderful case by our Lord himself, Luk_17:32; and it should be an instruction to us not to look back nor turn back from the profession of the true religion we have made, but to follow Christ, and abide by his truths and ordinances.

(x) Pirke Eliezer, c. 25. (y) Baal Hatturim in loc. (z) Nat. Hist. l. 31. c. 7. (a) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 11. sect. 4. (b) Adv. Haeres. l. 4. c. 51. (c) In Carmine Sodoma. (d) ltinerarium, p. 44. (e) Travels, par. 3. c. 21. p. 313. by Ray. (f) Baumgarten. Peregrinatio, l. 3. c. 12. p. 96. (g) Universal History, ib. p. 124. Witsii Miscellan. Sacr. tom. 2. p. 195. (h) Annal. Bojor. apud Heidegger. Hist. Patriarch. tom. 2. exercitat. 8. p. 270. & Witsii Miscellan. tom. 2. exercitat. 7. p. 201. (i) Argonaut. Americ. l. 14. c. 2. apud Witsium, ib. p. 202. (k) Ovid. Metamorph. l. 8. fab. 8. (l) Ib. l. 6. fab. 4. & l. 10. fab. 1. Apollodor. de Deorum Orig. l. 3. p. 146.

D. Genesis 19:26

This also is written for our admonition. Our Saviour refers to it (Luk_17:32), Remember Lot's wife. As by the example of Sodom the wicked are warned to turn from their wickedness, so by the example of Lot's wife the righteous are warned not to turn from their righteousness. See Eze_3:18, Eze_3:20. We have here,

I. The sin of Lot's wife: She looked back from behind him. This seemed a small thing, but we are sure, by the punishment of it, that it was a great sin, and exceedingly sinful. 1. She disobeyed an express command, and so sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, which ruined us all. 2. Unbelief was at the bottom of it; she questioned whether Sodom would be destroyed, and thought she might still have been safe in it. 3. She looked back upon her neighbours whom she had left behind with more concern than was fit, now that their day of grace was over, and divine justice was glorifying itself in their ruin. See Isa_66:24. 4. Probably she hankered after her house and goods in Sodom, and was loth to leave them. Christ intimates this to be her sin (Luk_17:31, Luk_17:32); she too much regarded her stuff. 5. Her looking back evinced an inclination to go back; and therefore our Saviour uses it as a warning against apostasy from our Christian profession. We have all renounced the world and the flesh, and have set our faces heaven-ward; we are in the plain, upon our probation; and it is at our peril if we return into the interests we profess to have abandoned. Drawing back is to perdition, and looking back is towards it. Let us therefore fear, Heb_4:1.

II. The punishment of Lot's wife for this sin. She was struck dead in the place; yet her body did not fall down, but stood fixed and erect like a pillar, or monument, not liable to waste nor decay, as human bodies exposed to the air are, but metamorphosed into a metallic substance which would last perpetually. Come, behold the goodness and severity of God (Rom_11:22), towards Lot, who went forward, goodness; towards his wife, who looked back, severity. Though she was nearly related to a righteous man, though better than her neighbours, and though a monument of distinguishing mercy in her deliverance out of Sodom, yet God did not connive at her disobedience; for great privileges will not secure us from the wrath of God if we do not carefully and faithfully improve them. This pillar of salt should season us. Since it is such a dangerous thing to look back, let us always press forward, Php_3:13, Php_3:14.

[We all have sinned! Some of us greatly! But we have been called to repentance. It is a repentance we need to hold on to! Lot and his family were called out of sin. The extended family chose to stay and there was nothing Lot could do for them or about them. They had free choice, as do we. I know, from personal family problems, how hard it is to watch your loved ones continue on a path of destruction. You want to help! Your heart cries for their pain, for those outside Yahweh's clearly stated teachings, always have much pain that cannot be quenched by any thing they try. I know for I have been there!

We have prayer, praise, and personal example to offer those who are inclined to join us worshiping and obeying Yahweh. Praising and Thanking Yahshua for His sacrifice for us is the best, very best thing we can do for both those who have joined themselves to Yahweh and those looking in!

When we come to the place we can lay our burdens at the feet of Yahshua and leave them there we will find His Shalom, guaranteed. Pick up the burden again and you defeat the original purpose of laying it down. You and yourself have not been able to help in a lasting way – that is why you gave it to Yahweh in the first place! Do not rob the beloved on earth by taking them out of the hands of the one who loves them best!]

References:

A. Jamieson - Fausset – Brown

B. F. B. Meyer

C. John Gill

D. Matthew Henry

 

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