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Monday, October 14, 2019

2019.10.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 19:12-29

Questions from the Scripture text: How does Genesis 19:12 identify the speakers? By whom does Genesis 19:13 say they were sent? Whom does Genesis 19:21-22 say will overthrow the city? Whom does Genesis 19:24 say rained down brimstone and fire? Before whom had Abraham stood (Genesis 19:27)? What question does Yahweh ask Lot in Genesis 19:12? Considering  Genesis 18:32 and Genesis 19:13 (and Who it is that is asking!), what does he already know is the answer? Whom did Lot warn about the city’s destruction (Genesis 19:14)? Why did they not heed him? What had Lot suggested would happen early in the morning (Genesis 19:2)? What actually happened (Genesis 19:15)? When he lingered, what did they do (Genesis 19:16)? Why? Where do they tell him to go (Genesis 19:17)? What does he recognize that the Lord has done for him (Genesis 19:19)? But, what does he think may happen if he goes so far? Where does he ask to go, and why (Genesis 19:20-23)? What happens in Genesis 19:24-25? Where are they when Genesis 19:25 happens? What happens to his wife and why (Genesis 19:26)? Who else looks that direction, and what does he see (Genesis 19:27-28)? Why had God spared Lot (Genesis 19:29)?
We want to pay good attention to God’s judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, because that is the future of all the earth. In Acts 17:30-31, the apostle Paul is preaching to people who have heard of all sorts of religions, but do not know the one true God, and have not heard of Jesus Christ. He announces to them one implication of the resurrection that doesn’t often receive much attention: that the resurrection is assurance that Jesus is the Judge by Whom God will judge the world in righteousness, and that therefore the resurrection is a command that all men everywhere repent.

So, as we consider the command for repentance in light of Genesis 19, we are keen to know whether or not there can be mercy. None of us have righteousness of our own. None of us could withstand, in ourselves, a judging of the world in righteousness. But—praise God!—what we find in this passage is mercy in the midst of judgment.

We find the cause of mercy. Genesis 19:16 is a beautiful snapshot of the fact that the cause of mercy is in the Lord Himself. Lot—who has brought so much of this upon himself, despite having a soul that trusts in Christ for eternal salvation and that is tormented by evil—is now lingering (can you imagine?!). There is nothing in Lot himself that could be the cause of mercy. He is doing the very thing for which his wife is about to be righteously judged. But the Lord is simply merciful. That is the cause of His mercy to some, or else we would all be condemned.

We also find the command of mercy. In Genesis 19:12, and then on Lot’s lips in Genesis 19:14, and then again in Genesis 19:15, and then Genesis 19:17, and then Genesis 19:22… over and over again, we see the urging to flee the wrath to come. This was the great cry of John the baptizer, as he was preparing the way for the Lord Jesus, and it is a command of mercy. Flee the wrath to come! Do you not know that there is wrath coming? Not merely upon one nation or another, but upon this entire wicked world that must be burned with fire and created anew—and especially upon the devil and his angels, and all people who are not united to Christ by faith, all of whom will be thrown forever into what Scripture calls the lake of fire.

Third, we find the compelling of mercy. Sometimes there are those who have heard, and whom God is saving, but who are sluggish to do so—even after repeated and urgent commands. And yet God, in His mercy, brings them by some compelling providence—a picture of which we have in Genesis 19:16. The Lord here, appearing as these two angels, literally drags Lot, his wife, and his two daughters, by the hand outside the city! O, that the Lord would show such mercy to us—and to all our dear ones—who have heard the gospel but are slow of heart to leave this world’s pleasures and purposes behind!

Finally, we find the commitment (covenant) of mercy. When Genesis 19:29 summarizes this great judgment, it summarizes it primarily as a demonstration of mercy, and it tells us the mechanism by which the justice of God is satisfied, while the mercy of God is exercised: God remembered Abraham. Of course, the promise about Abraham is first and foremost a promise about his Seed, Jesus Christ, that offspring through Whom all of the families of the earth will be blessed. There is one God and one Mediator, the Man Jesus Christ. There is no other Name given under heaven by which one may be saved. Salvation is in Him alone—cling to Him! For, when the day of overthrow comes, God will remember the Lord Jesus Christ and all of those who are united to Him.
How real to you is the wrath to come? How urgent has God been with you? In what/whom are you hoping?
Suggested Songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage” or TPH385 “The Lord Will Come”

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