Lesson 9 - Sodom & Gomorrah

    Suggested Bible Reading: Genesis, Chapters 13-19

    We will learn some very important truths in this lesson. For example, does God care if people choose to live an immoral life? Is homosexuality really a sin? Will God really judge the wickedness of this world? The Bible answer is clear.

    Abraham and Lot Follow God Together.

    The Bible says in Genesis 13:5-7, “And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.” God had given Abraham instructions to leave his homeland and follow God to an unknown place. Abraham was very rich and had many servants, cattle, sheep, and goats. He took all that he owned with him when God called him to go to another land. It is impossible for us to understand everything that was involved in such a journey, and how difficult it must have been. Abraham's decision to follow God was not a desire for adventure, but because he believed God. He obeyed God in spite of the difficulties and social pressures. He trusted all his family, possessions and reputation into God's care. It is not always easy to follow God, but it is always best!

    Lot, Abraham's nephew, also went with them. Lot was also rich like his uncle Abraham. They both owned many sheep and cattle. But, soon trouble developed between the servants that were taking care of their herds and flocks. The Bible says in Genesis 13:8-11, “And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left. And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.”

    Lot Makes a Bad Choice.

    Abraham valued his relationship with Lot, more than he valued his own possessions of cattle and sheep. Abraham allowed Lot to decide where he wanted to keep his animals and then willingly offered to go the other way with his own. Lot looked around and made his choice. He chose the grassy plains which he thought would be best for his animals. Lot was not thinking of what was best for Abraham. He was not even thinking of what was best for his family and how this move would affect his relationship with God. Lot was thinking only of himself and how to make more money. Some terrible things happened to Lot because of his choice.

    We need to be careful of the choices we make. In our society, we are continually pressured to make choices like, How can I get a better job? What shall I buy? Where will I live? The real important issues of life are seldom ever mentioned. What about our relationship with God? What do our children know about God? What has God written for us in his Word? What consequences will we face for ignoring what God wants us to do?

    The Bible says in Genesis 13:12-13, “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” Abram stayed up in the rocky, less fertile hills and mountains. Lot moved down to the fertile plain. It seemed like Lot had made a better choice because he received a better portion of land for his animals; but Lot would soon face some very sad consequences for his decision to move closer towards Sodom. Lot was soon to learn that material possessions and prosperity are not always a sign of God’s blessing.

    God Judges Sin.

    The two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were located down on the plains. These cities were very wicked. The people who lived there did not want to know God. They were only thinking of themselves and enjoying the evil things they were doing. Lot chose what seemed to look the best to him, but in doing so, he took a step away from God and toward a dangerous place of great evil. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” We should not rely on our own wisdom to make decisions, but rather should seek advice from God’s Word!

    God knew all about the wickedness of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. People may choose to reject God and follow Satan, but God will judge them when He decides that He has given enough time to repent. God decided that he could not tolerate their disobedience any longer. He was patient with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah for a long time and wanted them to repent. Do you remember how long God patiently waited for the people to repent in the days of Noah? The answer is 120 years. When God decided that He had given enough time, the people who refused to repent did not escape judgment. God does not always punish sin immediately, and it may seem like God overlooks it at times. However, He will eventually punish all disobedience. No one can escape God's judgment.

    The Bible says in Genesis 19:1-3, “And there came two angels to Sodom at 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; 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. 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.” Apparently Lot had moved again, and now he was living in Sodom with these wicked people. God sent two angels to Sodom to warn Lot and his family that He was preparing to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and that they needed to leave immediately.

    The Bible says in Genesis 19:4-7, “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: 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. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.” What a sickening story. God's only plan for sex was that it be the special bond between a husband and wife. The unnatural, perverted, out-of-control sexual passions that plagued Sodom are still raging in our world today. Our whole society is threatened by horrible diseases (Aids, etc.) because men and women have refused God's plan for their lives.

    God Delivers Those That Believe Him.

    The Bible says in Genesis 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.” God sent the angels to lead Lot out of the wicked city before it was destroyed. God did not save Lot and his family because they were good. Lot was born separated from God just like everyone else. Even though he should not have been living in Sodom, the Bible does tell us that Lot still believed God. He believed the promises given to Adam and to his uncle Abraham about the coming Savior. God saves people who believe Him from His judgment. Noah believed God, and He saved him from the flood. Lot believed God, and He delivered him before Sodom was destroyed. Once Lot was safely outside the city, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah by raining down fire.

    The Bible says in Genesis 19:24-26, “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” When the angels took Lot, his wife, and his two daughters out of Sodom, they told them not to look behind, but to run to the mountains. Lot's wife disobeyed. She looked back, because she enjoyed living in Sodom. She did not want to leave. She was very foolish to ignore God's warning. God turned her into a pillar of salt when she looked back.

    Even though there are billions of people in the world today, God still knows and is interested in every individual person. God cares about you and wants you to believe Him, so that He can deliver you. He is also righteous and will judge every person who disobeys Him.

    Study Questions

    1. God always makes it easy for us to obey and follow Him.
    2. Lot’s decision to move toward Sodom was based on…
    3. Material possessions and prosperity are not always a sign of God’s .
    4. Follow your heart, it will always lead you the right way!
    5. God always judges wickedness immediately.
    6. God’s plan for sex is …
    7. Fornication and Adultery have threatened our society with horrible diseases.
    8. God delivered Lot and his family, because he God.
    9. God cares about you and wants you to believe Him, so He can you.

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