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admonition. Sooner or later, the wrath of God will come upon all the children of disobedience. Learn also your duty to pray earnestly for the souls around you, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledgment of the truth. The world is still Sodom. Your neighbourhood may be a Sodom. You may live in the midst of a Sodom. Can you behold these wicked multitudes, and not pity and pray for them ? Besides, you may have some Lot among them ; some one near and dear to you may be exposed to the fiery indignation. Do, then, as Abraham did; pity them, pray for them, pour forth your supplications for them. Who knows, but that God may hear your cries, and, in answer to your prayer for Christ's sake, grant you to other among them as “a brand plucked out of the fire." (Zech. iii. 2.)
have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye
them as is good in your eyes : only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of
roof. 9 And they said, Stand back. said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, eren Lot, and came near to break the door.
10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
12 | 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:
13 For we will destroy this place, because the
cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.
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 the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
15 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.
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; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
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.
18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord :
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 iny life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:
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.
21 And he said unto him, See, I have ac
CHAPTER XIX. 1 Lot entertaineth turo angels. 4 The vicious Sodomites are
stricken with blindness. 12 Lot is sent for safety into
even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house ; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
4. But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us,
that we may know them.
6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
8 Behold now, I have two daughters which
(1) Heb. are found.
(4) That is, Little. (5) Heb. gone forth.
cepted 'thee concerning this thing also, that I 38 And the
and will not overthrow this city, for the which thou called his name Ben-ammi: the same is the hast spoken.
father of the children of Ammon unto this day, 22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I can
(3) Heb. thy face. not do any thing till thou be come thither. (2) Or, punishment. Therefore the name of the city was called * Zoar.
23 | The sun was 6 risen upon the earth In this chapter we have an account of the when Lot entered into Zoar.
awful manner in which the Lord destroyed 24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and Sodom and Gomorrah, and all the cities of the upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the
plain, with fire and brimstone from heaven. LORD out of heaven;
To shew his care for his poor servant Lot, and 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities,
the righteous doom of those wicked places, and that which grew upon the ground.
several facts are here recorded. 26 | But his wife looked back from behind
First, note the wickedness of Sodom. No him, and she became a pillar of salt.
can read over the contents of this 27 And Abraham gat up early in the chapter without perceiving that the people morning to the place where he stood before
of that place were ripe for ruin. Such unthe LORD:
heard-of wickedness must not pass un28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, punished. For a long time, indeed, they had and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country
been “sinners before the Lord exceedingly." went up as the smoke of a furnace.
(Gen. xiii. 13.) Fallen man, polluted as 29 | And it came to pass, when God de- he is, would blush to mention the crimes in stroyed the cities of the plain, that God remem- which they revelled with impious delight. bered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst Can we wonder that God arose to judgment ? of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities Can we wonder that he determined to sweep in the which Lot dwelt.
them off from the earth? And ought not 30 9 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters
wicked men to lay this to heart? God will with him ; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and not wink at your crimes; you cannot provoke he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. him with impunity. There is a certain limit, 31 And the firstborn said unto the younger,
beyond which even divine forbearance will not Our father is old, and there is not a man in last. And of what consequence is it by what the earth to come in unto us after the manner
means you are cut off, if you sink into hell at of all the earth :
last ? Pause, then, and consider your ways, 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve
before it be too late. seed of our father.
Next observe the Lord's care for Lot. The 33 And they made their father drink wine same heavenly messengers, which before had that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay intimated to Abraham what the Lord was with her father; and he perceived not when about to do, now approach the gates of she lay down, nor when she arose.
Sodom, as Lot sat in the entrance of the 34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that city, at the close of the day. These apparent the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I
strangers Lot receives, according to the custom lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in,
of friendly hospitality. And after the men of and lie with him, that we may preserve seed
the place had given renewed proofs of their of our father.
abominable wickedness, these angels open to 35 And they made their father drink wine Lot the purpose of their coming; and charge that night also: and the younger arose, and him to go forth and warn all those who were lay with him; and he perceived not when she
connected with him, of the coming doom. lay down, nor when she arose. 36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot
How was he regarded ? They did not believe with child by their father.
his message, nor credit the warning. “ He 37 And the firstborn bare a son, and called
seemed as one that mocked unto his sonshis name Moab: the same is the father of the in-law” (v. 14). Alas! it is painful to note
Moabites unto this day.
the mournful fact, that Lot had suffered his children to form such unhallowed connexions between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned with the wicked people of that abandoned
in Gerar. place! But so it was. One sin leads to
2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She another. One false step leads to others; and
is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar God only can tell where the danger may end,
sent, and took Sarah.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream or how the snare may be broken. Are not by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art sinners in general much like these men of but a dead man, for the woman which thou Sodom? Who believes the testimony of God? hast taken; for she is 'a man's wife. Who hearkens to the warnings of his minister- 4 But Abimelech had not come near her: ing servants ?
and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a But there can be no more delay. If his
righteous nation? sons-in-law will not leave the place, they
5 Said he not unto me, She is my sister?
and she, even she herself said, He is my must be left behind. The time is short. The
brother: in the 'integrity of my heart and injudgment is ready to break forth. Lot must
nocency of my hands have I done this. go at once. His wife and his daughters, with 6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, him, must instantly leave the place. They I know that thou didst this in the integrity of must all haste for their lives, to escape the
thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinimpending ruin. He lingers! He is un
ning against me: therefore suffered I thee not
to touch her. willing to go even now! What! must he
7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; leave all behind; all his cattle, riches,
for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, neighbours, friends ? Yes; all must be left
and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her behind! Oh, what a trial! He is unequal not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, for the effort. His steps falter! He is un- thou, and all that are thine. willing to move! Nor was it till the “men 8 Therefore Abimelech rose early in the laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand
morning, and called all his servants, and told of his wife, and upon the hand of his two
all these things in their ears: and the men
were sore afraid. daughters," and, by a sort of gracious compul
9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and sion constrained him to go, that he aban- said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? doned the devoted city! And then came and what have I offended thee, that thou hast down the fire and brimstone from heaven, brought on me and on my kingdom a great and destroyed those places utterly.
sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought Alas, for the perverseness of human nature!
not to be done. Is not the sinner still unwilling to leave his
10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham,
What sawest thou, that thou hast done sins, his wicked companions, and this wicked
this thing? world, for the sake of Christ and his salva
11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, tion? Does he not hesitate and linger, time Surely the fear of God is not in this place; after time, though the wrath of God is before and they will slay me for my wife's sake. him? And is it not always found, that this
12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is continues to be the case, till the Holy Spirit
the daughter of my father, but not the daughtakes him by the hand, and leads him to Christ
ter of my mother; and she became my wife. for salvation ? Happy the day when grace
13 And it came to pass, when God caused
me to wander from my father's house, that I thus conquers the unwilling soul! Happy
said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou the man who is thus delivered from Sodom,
shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we and flees to the Rock of Salvation for safety! shall come, say of me, He is my brother.
14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen,
and menservants, and womenservants, and CHAPTER XX.
gave them unto Abraham, and restored him
Sarah his wife. 1 Abraham sojourneth at Gerar, 2 denieth his wife, and loseth
15 And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is her. 3 Abimelech is reproved for her in a dream. 9 He rebuketh Abraham, 14 restoreth Sarah, 16 and reproveth
before thee: dwell · where it pleaseth thee. her. 17 He is healed by Abraham's prayer.
16 And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have ND Abraham journeyed from thence to- given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: ward the south country, and dwelled behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes,
(1) Heb. married to an husband.
unto all that are with thee, and with all the heart of man! Sometimes by proviother : thus she was reproved.
dential circumstances; at others, by force of 17 [ So Abraham prayed unto God: and
conscience; and, as here, in a dream or a God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his
vision of the night, he can seal instruction maidservants; and they bare children. 18 For the Lord had fast closed up all the
upon the mind, and keep man from his purwombs of the house of Abimelech, because of
pose. Indeed, whatever restrains men from Sarah Abraham's wife.
sin, ought to be regarded as a great mercy;
and, where the fear of the Lord is, it will be (2) Or, simplicity, or, sincerity. (3) Heb. as is good in thine eges.
so improved. But it is a humiliating con
sideration, when one, who ought to be a It is said in the last chapter, that when God pattern for others, has been tempted to do overthrew the cities of the plain, He “re- wrong, and is reproved by another who by membered Abraham, and sent Lot out of that fault has been unwittingly led into sin. midst of the overthrow” (xix. 29). The de- And whenever the female character is so lost liverance was granted in answer to prayer; to a sense of propriety as to put wrong for and the view of the destruction of those places right, where chastity and honour are at stake, must have led to more fervent supplication, it deservedly stands open to censure and reand the increase of faith.
buke. Thus, while Abimelech expostulated But, passing over Lot's grievous fall imme- with Abraham for acting so ungenerously todiately after his merciful deliverance, let us wards him, he reproved Sarah for sanctioning view the father of the faithful in the chapter the deception. In all these respects, each before us.
Has Abraham cause for which had need to cry for mercy and forgiveness. he might glory over his lapsed relative? And who, alas! has not abundant cause to Alas! no. Both of them fall, though in do the same? different ways. Both prove that there is
But what led to this false step on Abranothing in man but sin and corruption. ham's part ? A hasty conclusion! He thought Have we yet learned this lesson ?
the fear of God was not in that place (v. 11); say with the apostle, “In me, that is, in my and that the people would not hesitate to kill flesh, dwelleth no good thing ?” (Rom. vii. 18.) him for the sake of his wife. In this he was If not, we do not know ourselves. We do
wrong. The fear of God was in that place, not really know what we have done in time and in the heart of one whom he least of all past; nor what we are capable of doing in
suspected of being endued with that blessing. time to come.
And what does this fact teach us ? Not to The same fault before noticed in Abraham's
be too precipitate in drawing our conclusions character, we here see. Alas! what opposites respecting any place or any people. There are there in the same man! Strong confi
may be much more that is favourable than, dence, and weak faith! The father of the
at first sight, we may be apt to conclude. faithful evincing the most culpable timidity There
may be some who fear the Lord, where and unbelief! What, could he not confide
we think there
Abraham was a the care of his beloved wife to him who cared
stranger; and how could he know the state of for their souls? Why did he prevaricate? the place? We should seek to become more See the result. The very thing he most of acquainted with people, before we decide so all dreaded, and which had been the snare
serious a question. Generally speaking, hasty which the tempter laid to entangle his unwary conclusions are seldom right, and they always feet; and but for the gracious interposition
open the way for temptation, and give the of God, by not suffering Abimelech to touch
enemy some decided advantage over us.
Let her, none can tell what the consequences us learn to watch and pray; let us always might have been. The least deviation from
adhere to the truth. Never tell a lie. Comtruth leads to sin. The path of uprightness
The path of uprightness mit yourself to the Lord's keeping; and he and truth will always be found to be the path
will preserve you from all evil, both in body of safety.
and soul, for ever. But in how many ways can God restrain
Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the 1 Isaac is born. 4 He is circumcised. 6 Sarah's joy. 9 voice of the lad where he is.
Hagar and Ishmuel are cast forth. 15 Hayar in distress. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in 17 The angel comforteth her. Abimelech's covenant
thine hand; for I will make him a great with Abraham at Beer-sheba.
nation. said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as
19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw he had spoken.
a well of water; and she went, and filled the 2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham
bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. a son in his old age, at the set time of which
20 And God was with the lad; and he God had spoken to him.
grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became 3 And Abraham called the name of his son
an archer. that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to
21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran:
and his mother took him a wife out of the him, Isaac. 4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac
land of Egypt. being eight days old, as God had commanded 22 | And it came to pass at that time, that him.
Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his 5 And Abraham was an hundred years old,
host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with when his son Isaac was born unto him.
thee in all that thou doest: 6 | And Sarah said, God hath made me to
23 Now therefore swear unto me here by laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
God 'that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, 7 And she said, Who would have said
nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given
according to the kindness that I have done children suck ? for I have born him a son in
unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the his old age.
land wherein thou hast sojourned.' 8 And the child grew, and was weaned:
24 And Abraham said, I will swear. and Abraham made a great feast the same day
25 And Abraham reproved Abimelech bethat Isaac was weaned.
cause of a well of water, which Abimelech's 9 | And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the
servants had violently taken away. Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham,
26 And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath
done this thing: neither didst thou tell me, mocking. 10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast
neither yet heard I of it, but to day.
I out this bondwoman and her son: for the son
27 And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my
gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them
made a covenant. son, even with Isaac. 11 And the thing was very grievous in
28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of Abraham's sight because of his son.
the flock by themselves.
29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, 12 | And God said unto Abraham, Let it
What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all
hast set by themselves ? that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her
30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs
shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 13 And also of the son of the bondwoman
a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.
31 Wherefore he called that place ? Beer14 And Abraham rose up early in the
sheba; because there they sware both of them. morning, and took bread, and a bottle of
32 Thus they made a covenant at Beerwater, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on
sheba : then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol her shoulder, and the child, and sent her
the chief captain of his host, and they return
ed into the land of the Philistines. away: and she departed, and wandered in
33 | And Abraham planted a 'grove in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. 15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and
Beer-sheba, and called there on the name of she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
the LORD, the everlasting God. 16 And she went, and sat her down over
34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philis
tines' land many days. against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death (1) Heb. if thou shalt lie unto I (2) That is, The well of the oath. of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the lad;
They that wait for the Lord shall never be and the angel of God called to Hagar out of disappointed. Mercies may be long delayed, heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, but they will surely come in the appointed