Appearance of Heavenly Visitors

“Not long after Abraham has responded to God’s instructions regarding circumcision, God appears to Abraham in the form of a human visitor.  It is not clear whether Abraham immediately recognizes his Lord as being more than simply a personage of superior authority.  If not, the Visitor’s divine nature begins to unfold to Abraham when the Visitor seems to know not only Sarah’s name but also the innermost thoughts of her heart.”

Read Genesis 18:1-15

Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

“If God is perturbed by Sarah’s impulsive deception, it is nothing to compare with the righteous wrath he is soon to display against the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Jordan Plain, presumably near what is today known as the Dead Sea. It is in Sodom that Abraham’s nephew, Lot, lives with his wife and two daughters.  So it is understandable that, when God tells Abraham he is going to destroy Sodom, Abraham should plead that at least the righteous in Sodom be saved.  God’s response to Abraham’s calculated bargaining reveals God’s sublime righteousness and mercy.

God’s extraordinary judgment against Sodom is apparently prompted by an uncommon wickedness, made all the more repulsive because of the unnaturalness, violence, and presumptuousness with which its inhabitants’ lives are filled.  Even Lot seems not to have escaped the influence of Sodom’s wickedness.

This account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah contains a wealth of insight into man’s sinful state, as well as God’s judgment and mercy.  It shows that God’s judgment, although markedly righteous, is catastrophic, unexpected, and certainly complete.  Thus it calls sinful man to flee from his own unrighteousness, without turning back to inevitable moral destruction, but persevering until he has reached the safety of God’s promised rest.”

Read Genesis 18:16-19:28

The Scheme of Lot’s Daughters

“As Abraham looks out from the heights of Hebron over the now-desolate Jordan Plain — undoubtedly with awe, and with obvious concern for Lot — he apparently has no way of knowing whether Lot was sufficiently righteous to be saved.  There is no record that Abraham ever again sees Lot, or even learns of his escape. 

What follows is the last historical record of Lot.  Strangely, it involves a somewhat bizarre scheme on the part of Lot’s two daughters to bear children by their father.  Of continuing historical significance are the two sons born as a result of this incestuous relationship and the people who descend from them who will come into conflict repeatedly with Abraham’s descendants.”

Read Genesis 19:30-38

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible