Message Seven: Living in Fellowship with God
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Scripture Reading: Gen. 18; 2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8; James 2:23
Gen 18:1        And Jehovah appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre as he was sitting at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day.
Gen 18:2        And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and there were three men standing opposite him. And when he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them. And he bowed down to the earth
Gen 18:3        And said, My Lord, if I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass on from Your servant.
Gen 18:4        Please let a little water be fetched, and do wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.
Gen 18:5        And let me fetch a morsel of bread that you may sustain yourselves. After that you may pass on, since you have come to your servant. So they said, Do as you have said.
Gen 18:6        And Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, Quickly prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it, and make cakes.
Gen 18:7        And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, and he hurried to prepare it.
Gen 18:8        And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set them before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.
Gen 18:9        And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, There, in the tent.
Gen 18:10      And He said, I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and then Sarah your wife shall have a son. And Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind Him.
Gen 18:11      Now Abraham and Sarah were old and advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah according to the manner of women.
Gen 18:12      And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
Gen 18:13      And Jehovah said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I indeed bear a child when I am old?
Gen 18:14      Is anything too marvelous for Jehovah? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
Gen 18:15      Then Sarah denied it, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And He said, No, but you did laugh.
Gen 18:16      And the men rose up from there and looked down upon Sodom. And Abraham walked with them to send them away.
Gen 18:17      And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
Gen 18:18      Since Abraham will indeed become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him?
Gen 18:19      For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him to keep the way of Jehovah by doing righteousness and justice, that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken concerning him.
Gen 18:20      And Jehovah said, The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah, how great it is; and their sin, how very heavy it is!
Gen 18:21      I shall go down and see whether they have done altogether according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.
Gen 18:22      And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before Jehovah.
Gen 18:23      And Abraham came near and said, Will You indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Gen 18:24      Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed destroy and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?
Gen 18:25      Far be it from You to do such a thing, to put to death the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked. Far be it from You! Shall the Judge of all the earth not do justly?
Gen 18:26      And Jehovah said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place for their sake.
Gen 18:27      And Abraham answered and said, Now behold, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord, though I am but dust and ashes.
Gen 18:28      Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five? And He said, I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.
Gen 18:29      And he spoke to Him yet again and said, Suppose forty are found there? And He said, I will not do it, because of the forty.
Gen 18:30      And he said, Oh may the Lord not be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there? And He said, I will not do it if I find thirty there.
Gen 18:31      And he said, Now behold, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there? And He said, I will not destroy it, because of the twenty.
Gen 18:32      And he said, Oh let the Lord not be angry if I speak yet once more. Suppose ten are found there? And He said, I will not destroy it, because of the ten.
Gen 18:33      And Jehovah went away as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
2 Chron 20:7  Did You not, O our God, dispossess the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the seed of Abraham Your friend?
Isa 41:8          But you, Israel, My servant, / Jacob, whom I have chosen, / The seed of Abraham My friend;
James 2:23    And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God.
 
I.     “Jehovah appeared to him [Abraham] by the oaks of Mamre as he was sitting at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and there were three men standing opposite him. And when he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them”— Gen. 18:1-2:
A.     One of these three men was Jehovah God as Christ (vv. 13-14, 22); the other two were angels (v. 22; 19:1).
Gen 18:13      And Jehovah said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I indeed bear a child when I am old?
Gen 18:14      Is anything too marvelous for Jehovah? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
Gen 18:22      And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before Jehovah.
Gen 19:1        And the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. And when Lot saw them, he rose up to meet them and bowed with his face to the ground.
B.     After he was circumcised and his natural strength was terminated, Abraham lived in intimate fellowship with God and became God’s friend—2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8; James 2:23.
2 Chron 20:7  Did You not, O our God, dispossess the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the seed of Abraham Your friend?
Isa 41:8          But you, Israel, My servant, / Jacob, whom I have chosen, / The seed of Abraham My friend;
James 2:23    And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God.
 
II.   The glorious intercession that Abraham made before God was not a prayer from man on earth to God in heaven; it was a human, intimate conversation between two friends, an intimate talk according to the unveiling of God’s heart’s desire—Rom. 4:12; 2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8; James 2:23; S. S. 1:1-4; Rev. 2:17; Gen. 18; 1 Tim. 2:1, 8:
Rom 4:12       And the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision.
2 Chron 20:7  Did You not, O our God, dispossess the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the seed of Abraham Your friend?
Isa 41:8          But you, Israel, My servant, / Jacob, whom I have chosen, / The seed of Abraham My friend;
James 2:23    And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God.
S.S. 1:1         The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's.
S.S. 1:2         Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! / For your love is better than wine.
S.S. 1:3         Your anointing oils have a pleasant fragrance; / Your name is like ointment poured forth; / Therefore the virgins love you.
S.S. 1:4         Draw me; we will run after you - The king has brought me into his chambers - / We will be glad and rejoice in you; / We will extol your love more than wine. / Rightly do they love you.
Rev 2:17        He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give of the hidden manna, and to him I will give a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knows except he who receives it.
Gen 18           (be omitted.)
1 Tim 2:1        I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men;
1 Tim 2:8        I desire therefore that men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and reasoning;
A.     Even before the incarnation (John 1:14) Jehovah as Christ appeared to Abraham in a human form, with a human body, and communed with him on a human level (Gen. 13:18; 18:1-2, 13-15).
John 1:14       And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only Begotten from the Father), full of grace and reality.
Gen 13:18      And Abram moved his tent and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and there he built an altar to Jehovah.
Gen 18:1        And Jehovah appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre as he was sitting at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day.
Gen 18:2        And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and there were three men standing opposite him. And when he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them. And he bowed down to the earth
Gen 18:13      And Jehovah said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I indeed bear a child when I am old?
Gen 18:14      Is anything too marvelous for Jehovah? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
Gen 18:15      Then Sarah denied it, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And He said, No, but you did laugh.
B.     As Abraham was enjoying sweet fellowship with God, he received a revelation from Him regarding the birth of Isaac and the destruction of Sodom—vv. 9-22:
Gen 18:9        And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, There, in the tent.
Gen 18:10      And He said, I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and then Sarah your wife shall have a son. And Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind Him.
Gen 18:11      Now Abraham and Sarah were old and advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah according to the manner of women.
Gen 18:12      And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
Gen 18:13      And Jehovah said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I indeed bear a child when I am old?
Gen 18:14      Is anything too marvelous for Jehovah? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
Gen 18:15      Then Sarah denied it, saying, I did not laugh; for she was afraid. And He said, No, but you did laugh.
Gen 18:16      And the men rose up from there and looked down upon Sodom. And Abraham walked with them to send them away.
Gen 18:17      And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
Gen 18:18      Since Abraham will indeed become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him?
Gen 18:19      For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him to keep the way of Jehovah by doing righteousness and justice, that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken concerning him.
Gen 18:20      And Jehovah said, The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah, how great it is; and their sin, how very heavy it is!
Gen 18:21      I shall go down and see whether they have done altogether according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.
Gen 18:22      And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before Jehovah.
1.      The birth of Isaac is related to Christ, and the destruction of Sodom is related to God’s judgment upon sin; this means that Christ must come in and that sin must go out.
2.      This shows that God’s intention is to work Christ into us, to bring Christ forth through us, and to destroy the “Sodom” in our home life, in our work life, and in our Christian and church life — Gal. 1:15-16; 2:20; 4:19; 1 Cor. 5:8.
Gal 1:15         But when it pleased God, who set me apart from my mother's womb and called me through His grace,
Gal 1:16         To reveal His Son in me that I might announce Him as the gospel among the Gentiles, immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood,
Gal 2:20         I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Gal 4:19         My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you,
1 Cor 5:8        So then let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
3.      In our intimate fellowship with God, we receive the revelation that all the impossibilities become possibilities with Christ— Gen. 18:14; Luke 18:27.
Gen 18:14      Is anything too marvelous for Jehovah? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
Luke 18:27     But He said, The things that are impossible with men are possible with God.
C.     God revealed to Abraham His intention to destroy Sodom, because He was seeking an intercessor—Gen. 18:17-22; cf. Heb. 7:25; Isa. 59:16; Ezek. 22:30:
Gen 18:17      And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
Gen 18:18      Since Abraham will indeed become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him?
Gen 18:19      For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him to keep the way of Jehovah by doing righteousness and justice, that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken concerning him.
Gen 18:20      And Jehovah said, The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah, how great it is; and their sin, how very heavy it is!
Gen 18:21      I shall go down and see whether they have done altogether according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.
Gen 18:22      And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before Jehovah.
Heb 7:25        Hence also He is able to save to the uttermost those who come forward to God through Him, since He lives always to intercede for them.
Isa 59:16        And He saw that there was no man, / And He was appalled that there was no intercessor. / Therefore His arm accomplished salvation for Him, / And His righteousness sustained Him.
Ezek 22:30     And I sought a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the breach before Me for the sake of the land so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one.
1.      While God intended to destroy Sodom, His heart was concerned for Lot, who was dwelling in Sodom— Gen. 13:12; 14:12; 19:1.
Gen 13:12      Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and moved his tent as far as Sodom.
Gen 14:12      And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, and his possessions and departed, for he was dwelling in Sodom.
Gen 19:1        And the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. And when Lot saw them, he rose up to meet them and bowed with his face to the ground.
2.      God wanted to save Lot in order to protect Christ’s genealogy through Ruth, a Moabitess and a descendant of Lot (v. 37; Ruth 1:4; Matt. 1:5), but He could not do so without an intercessor.
Gen 19:37      And the firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day.
Ruth 1:4         And they took wives for themselves from among the Moabite women. One's name was Orpah, and the second's name was Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years.
Matt 1:5         And Salmon begot Boaz of Rahab, and Boaz begot Obed of Ruth, and Obed begot Jesse,
3.      Thus, in His intimate fellowship with Abraham, in a mysterious way, without mentioning Lot’s name, God revealed His heart’s desire; Abraham’s purpose in standing before Jehovah was to intercede for Lot— Gen. 18:22.
Gen 18:22      And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before Jehovah.
D.     Genesis 18 presents a clear revelation of the basic principles of intercession:
Gen 18           (be omitted.)
1.      The proper intercession is not initiated by man but by God’s revelation; thus, proper intercession expresses God’s desire and carries out God’s will—vv. 17, 20-21; 19:27-29; Psa. 27:4-8; Heb. 4:16; 7:25; James 5:17.
Gen 18:17      And Jehovah said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
Gen 18:20      And Jehovah said, The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah, how great it is; and their sin, how very heavy it is!
Gen 18:21      I shall go down and see whether they have done altogether according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.
Gen 19:27      And Abraham rose up early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before Jehovah.
Gen 19:28      And he looked down upon Sodom and Gomorrah and upon all the land of the plain. And as he looked, there it was: the smoke of the land was going up like the smoke of a furnace.
Gen 19:29      And when God destroyed the cities of the plain, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out from the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities among which Lot dwelt.
Psa 27:4        One thing I have asked from Jehovah; / That do I seek: / To dwell in the house of Jehovah / All the days of my life, / To behold the beauty of Jehovah, / And to inquire in His temple.
Psa 27:5        For He will conceal me in His shelter / In the day of trouble; / He will hide me in the hiding place of His tent; / He will raise me up upon a rock.
Psa 27:6        And now my head is lifted up / Above my enemies who surround me. / And I will offer in His tent / Sacrifices of shouts of joy: / I will sing and psalm to Jehovah.
Psa 27:7        Hear, O Jehovah, when I call with my voice, / And be gracious to me and answer me.
Psa 27:8        When You say, Seek My face, / To You my heart says, Your face, O Jehovah, will I seek.
Heb 4:16        Let us therefore come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help.
Heb 7:25        Hence also He is able to save to the uttermost those who come forward to God through Him, since He lives always to intercede for them.
James 5:17    Elijah was a man of like feeling with us, and he earnestly prayed that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
2.      Apparently, Abraham was interceding for Sodom; actually, he was interceding for Lot by implication (Gen. 14:12; 18:23; 19:1, 27-29), showing that we should intercede for God’s people who have drifted into the world.
Gen 14:12      And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, and his possessions and departed, for he was dwelling in Sodom.
Gen 18:23      And Abraham came near and said, Will You indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Gen 19:1        And the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. And when Lot saw them, he rose up to meet them and bowed with his face to the ground.
Gen 19:27      And Abraham rose up early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before Jehovah.
Gen 19:28      And he looked down upon Sodom and Gomorrah and upon all the land of the plain. And as he looked, there it was: the smoke of the land was going up like the smoke of a furnace.
Gen 19:29      And when God destroyed the cities of the plain, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out from the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities among which Lot dwelt.
3.      Intercession is an intimate conversation with God according to the inward intention of His heart; for this we must learn to linger in the presence of God—18:22-33; Matt. 6:6.
Gen 18:22      And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before Jehovah.
Gen 18:23      And Abraham came near and said, Will You indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Gen 18:24      Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed destroy and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?
Gen 18:25      Far be it from You to do such a thing, to put to death the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked. Far be it from You! Shall the Judge of all the earth not do justly?
Gen 18:26      And Jehovah said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place for their sake.
Gen 18:27      And Abraham answered and said, Now behold, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord, though I am but dust and ashes.
Gen 18:28      Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five? And He said, I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.
Gen 18:29      And he spoke to Him yet again and said, Suppose forty are found there? And He said, I will not do it, because of the forty.
Gen 18:30      And he said, Oh may the Lord not be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there? And He said, I will not do it if I find thirty there.
Gen 18:31      And he said, Now behold, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there? And He said, I will not destroy it, because of the twenty.
Gen 18:32      And he said, Oh let the Lord not be angry if I speak yet once more. Suppose ten are found there? And He said, I will not destroy it, because of the ten.
Gen 18:33      And Jehovah went away as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
Matt 6:6         But you, when you pray, enter into your private room, and shut your door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
4.      Intercession is according to God’s righteous way:
a.      In Abraham’s intercession for Lot, he did not beg God according to His love and grace; he challenged God according to His righteous way.
b.      God’s righteousness binds Him much more than His love and grace do— Gen. 18:23-25; Rom. 1:17.
Gen 18:23      And Abraham came near and said, Will You indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Gen 18:24      Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed destroy and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?
Gen 18:25      Far be it from You to do such a thing, to put to death the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked. Far be it from You! Shall the Judge of all the earth not do justly?
Rom 1:17       For the righteousness of God is revealed in it out of faith to faith, as it is written, "But the righteous shall have life and live by faith."
5.      Abraham’s intercession did not terminate with Abraham’s speaking but with God’s, showing that genuine intercession is God’s speaking in our speaking— Gen. 18:33; John 15:7; Rom. 8:26-27.
Gen 18:33      And Jehovah went away as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
John 15:7       If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
Rom 8:26       Moreover, in like manner the Spirit also joins in to help us in our weakness, for we do not know for what we should pray as is fitting, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Rom 8:27       But He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to God.
 
III.  To maintain our living in fellowship with God, we need to overcome the stupefying effect of the world’s indulgent living—Luke 17:26-32; Gen. 19:
Luke 17:26     And even as it happened in the days of Noah, so will it be also in the days of the Son of Man:
Luke 17:27     They were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day in which Noah entered into the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Luke 17:28     Likewise, even as it happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building;
Luke 17:29     But on the day in which Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Luke 17:30     It will be in the same way on the day in which the Son of Man is revealed.
Luke 17:31     In that day, he who will be on the housetop and his goods in the house, let him not come down to take them away; and he who is in the field, likewise, let him not turn back to the things behind.
Luke 17:32     Remember Lot's wife.
Gen 19           (be omitted.)
A.     Lot became defeated because he separated himself from Abraham, with whom was God’s witness and testimony, and drifted into the wicked city of Sodom—13:5-13; 14:12; 2 Pet. 2:6-9.
Gen 13:5        And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.
Gen 13:6        And the land could not support them that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together.
Gen 13:7        And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. And at that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites dwelt in the land.
Gen 13:8        And Abram said to Lot, Let there please be no strife between me and you and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers.
Gen 13:9        Is not the whole land before you? Please separate yourself from me. If you go to the left, then I will go to the right. Or if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.
Gen 13:10      And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw the entire plain of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere-this was before Jehovah had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah-like the garden of Jehovah, like the land of Egypt, as you go to Zoar.
Gen 13:11      So Lot chose for himself the entire plain of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed east; and they separated themselves from each other.
Gen 13:12      Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and moved his tent as far as Sodom.
Gen 13:13      Now the men of Sodom were very wicked and sinful toward Jehovah.
Gen 14:12      And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, and his possessions and departed, for he was dwelling in Sodom.
2 Pet 2:6        And having reduced to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, condemned them to ruin, having set them as an example to those who intend to live an ungodly life,
2 Pet 2:7        And rescued righteous Lot, who had been oppressed by the licentious manner of life of the lawless
2 Pet 2:8        (For that righteous man, who settled down among them, in seeing and hearing tormented his righteous soul day after day with their lawless works);
2 Pet 2:9        The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of trial and how to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,
B.     Ur of Chaldea as a place of idols, Egypt as a place of worldly riches and pleasures, and Sodom as a city of sin form a triangular boundary around the land of Canaan; God’s called ones live within this triangle and must be careful lest they fall back to the city of idols, go down to the place of worldly pleasures, or drift into the city of sin— Jer. 2:13; 1 John 5:21; 2 Tim. 3:1-5.
Jer 2:13         For My people have committed two evils: / They have forsaken Me, / The fountain of living waters, / To hew out for themselves cisterns, / Broken cisterns, / Which hold no water.
1 John 5:21    Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
2 Tim 3:1        But know this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
2 Tim 3:2        For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2 Tim 3:3        Without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, not lovers of good,
2 Tim 3:4        Traitors, reckless, blinded with pride, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2 Tim 3:5        Having an outward form of godliness, though denying its power; from these also turn away.
C.     In their giving up God, the wicked Sodomites were given up by God to “passions of dishonor”; this is the ultimate issue of man’s rebelling against God and rejecting his conscience — Gen. 19:4-11; Rom. 1:21-27; 2:14-15; 1 Tim. 4:2:
Gen 19:4        But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter;
Gen 19:5        And they called to Lot and said to him, Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them.
Gen 19:6        And Lot went out to them at the entrance and shut the door behind him.
Gen 19:7        And he said, Please, my brothers, do not act so wickedly.
Gen 19:8        I have here two daughters who have not known a man. Please, let me bring them out to you, and do to them as is fitting in your eyes; only do not do anything to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.
Gen 19:9        But they said, Stand aside. Then they said, This one came here to sojourn, and already he is acting like a judge. Now we will treat you worse than we would have them. And they pressed hard against the man, against Lot, and came near in order to break down the door.
Gen 19:10      But the men stretched out their hand and brought Lot into the house to them and shut the door.
Gen 19:11      And they struck the men who were at the entrance of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the entrance.
Rom 1:21       Because though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or thank Him, but rather became vain in their reasonings, and their heart, lacking understanding, was darkened.
Rom 1:22       Professing to be wise, they became fools
Rom 1:23       And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and reptiles.
Rom 1:24       Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, so that they dishonor their bodies among themselves,
Rom 1:25       Who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Rom 1:26       Therefore God gave them up to passions of dishonor; for their females exchanged the natural use for that which is contrary to nature;
Rom 1:27       And likewise also the males, leaving the natural use of the female, burned in their craving toward one another, males with males committing unseemliness and fully receiving in themselves the retribution of their error which was due.
Rom 2:14       For when Gentiles, who have no law, do by nature the things of the law, these, though they have no law, are a law to themselves,
Rom 2:15       Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness with it and their reasonings, one with the other, accusing or even excusing them)
1 Tim 4:2        By means of the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, of men who are branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron,
1.     In God’s complete salvation we can be washed from all the sinful things of Sodom, sanctified by God, and justified, accepted, by God—1 Cor. 6:9-11.
1 Cor 6:9        Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be led astray; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor effeminate nor homosexuals
1 Cor 6:10      Nor thieves nor the covetous, not drunkards, not revilers, not the rapacious will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Cor 6:11      And these things were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
2.      If we glorify God, thank God, worship God, and serve God, we will be protected from every kind of evil—Rom. 1:21, 25.
Rom 1:21       Because though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or thank Him, but rather became vain in their reasonings, and their heart, lacking understanding, was darkened.
Rom 1:25       Who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
D.     Lot’s willingness to sacrifice his two virgin daughters to satisfy the Sodomites’ lust shows that Lot, having dwelt a considerable time in the sinful city of Sodom, had lost his sense of morality and shame — Gen. 19:8, 11-13, 30-38:
Gen 19:8        I have here two daughters who have not known a man. Please, let me bring them out to you, and do to them as is fitting in your eyes; only do not do anything to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.
Gen 19:11      And they struck the men who were at the entrance of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the entrance.
Gen 19:12      And the men said to Lot, Whom else do you have here? A son-in-law or your sons and your daughters or anyone you have in the city-bring them out of the place.
Gen 19:13      For we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before Jehovah that Jehovah has sent us to destroy it.
Gen 19:30      Then Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters with him, for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. And he and his two daughters dwelt in a cave.
Gen 19:31      And the firstborn said to the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man on the earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth.
Gen 19:32      Come, let us make our father drink wine; and let us lie with him, that we may preserve alive seed from our father.
Gen 19:33      And they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
Gen 19:34      And the next day the firstborn said to the younger, I have now lain with my father last night. Let us make him drink wine tonight also; and you go in, and lie with him, that we may preserve alive seed from our father.
Gen 19:35      And they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger one arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
Gen 19:36      Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father.
Gen 19:37      And the firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day.
Gen 19:38      And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the children of Ammon to this day.
1.      Throughout the whole world the sense of shame and morality has been drugged; because most of the young people were raised in a sinful atmosphere, their senses have been drugged—1 John 5:19.
1 John 5:19    We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the evil one.
2.      But if they would come into the church life and remain in its pure atmosphere for a few months, they would never return to the sinful world.
3.      We all must escape Sodom and shut our doors to its evil atmosphere.
E.      Lot had no willingness to escape from the evil and condemned city, but the Lord was merciful, pulling him out of Sodom like wood plucked out of a fire—Gen. 19:16; cf. Zech. 3:2; Jude 19-23.
Gen 19:16      But he lingered; so the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
Zech 3:2        And Jehovah said to Satan, Jehovah rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, Jehovah, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?
Jude 19         These are those who make divisions, soulish, having no spirit.
Jude 20         But you, beloved, building up yourselves upon your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
Jude 21         Keep yourselves in the love of God, awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Jude 22         And on some have mercy, on those who are wavering;
Jude 23         Save them by snatching them out of the fire. On others have mercy in fear, hating even the inner garment spotted from the flesh.
F.      “Remember Lot’s wife” is a solemn warning to the world-loving believers—Luke 17:31-32; Gen. 19:15-17, 26; Luke 14:34-35; 1 John 2:27-28.
Luke 17:31     In that day, he who will be on the housetop and his goods in the house, let him not come down to take them away; and he who is in the field, likewise, let him not turn back to the things behind.
Luke 17:32     Remember Lot's wife.
Gen 19:15      And when the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, Rise up; take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be destroyed in the iniquity of the city.
Gen 19:16      But he lingered; so the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
Gen 19:17      And when they had brought them outside, He said, Escape for your life. Do not look behind you, neither stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the hills, lest you be destroyed.
Gen 19:26      But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
Luke 14:34     Therefore salt is good; but if even the salt becomes tasteless, with what will its saltiness be restored?
Luke 14:35     It is fit neither for the land nor for the manure pile; they will throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
1 John 2:27    And as for you, the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you; but as His anointing teaches you concerning all things and is true and is not a lie, and even as it has taught you, abide in Him.
1 John 2:28    And now, little children, abide in Him, so that if He is manifested, we may have boldness and not be put to shame from Him at His coming.
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