Lesson 1: September 1, 2019

Genesis 19:1, 15–26, 29 People’s lives are often affected by what others have done or are doing on their behalf. How do the actions of others affect our lives? Genesis says that God preserved Lot when Sodom was destroyed because of the righteousness of his uncle Abraham.

Faith and Doubt

Bible Background • GENESIS 18:16–19:29
Printed Text • GENESIS 19:1, 15–26, 29 | Devotional Reading • LUKE 17:22, 26–37

Aim for Change

By the end of the lesson, we will: EXPLORE the reasons the angels spared Lot and his family from the destruction of Sodom, IDENTIFY with Lot’s fear of impending disaster, and CELEBRATE God’s deliverance from seemingly hopeless situations.

In Focus

Charon and her husband Chauncey moved with their two children, Jesse and Bryan, outside of Pomona, California, into their dream home. Charon, who is an interior designer, and Chauncey, who is an independent contractor, had saved, made good investments, and worked hard to afford their custom-designed home. Although they never said it, they both knew the other was happy to have some time alone with their children in their sanctuary.

It was six months to the day when the raging fires began engulfing homes within 20 miles of their home. Fortunately, no one was killed, and there were only minor injuries. Although their home and lives were spared, it woke Chauncey and Charon up to a reality they had forgotten. They said a quick word of thanks to God for their new home and spent time praising and thanking God for their safety from the fire and the care of others. They decided that evening to pray with the children and give thanks unto the Lord. Charon and Chauncey reminded their children to always be thankful to the Lord and say, “Thank you” for protecting and caring for them and others.

God’s protection comes in many ways. When have you forgotten to say, “Thank you,” to God? How do you, your family, or community praise the Lord?

“And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt” (Genesis 19:29, KJV).

“But God had listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain” (Genesis 19:29, NLT).

The People, Places, and Times

Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom, Gomorrah, and Zoar belonged to the “five cities of the plain.” This plain has been engulfed by the Dead Sea in modern times. However, while they stood, Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other three cities were on the southeastern shore of the Dead Sea, with the plain stretching further south of them. These cities became synonymous with the sinful behavior that infested them in Lot’s day.

Brimstone. A sulfurous deposit in rock which is easily flammable. When brimstone catches fire, it melts the stone, releasing the terrible and possibly poisonous smell of sulfur into the air. Deposits of this stone are found around the world, especially around volcanoes, and famously around the Dead Sea.

Background

In Genesis 18–19, Sodom and Gomorrah are facing impending judgment and destruction as a result of their wickedness. Genesis is not explicit as to which sins of Sodom and Gomorrah caused God to want to destroy the cities, but the Lord later tells Ezekiel some reasons as part of a prophecy against Jerusalem (Read Ezekiel 16:44–50). Abraham intercedes for the city, asking that the Lord spare the cities if there are only ten righteous people there (Genesis 18:16–33). The Lord agrees, but when the angels go to visit Lot, they find the outcries of wickedness to be true (Genesis 19:4–9). All the men of the city wanted to sexually assault the angels, and when Lot refuses to give them up, they promise to abuse him even worse. The angels blind the men of the city and protect Lot for the night and then tell him to take his family and flee the city. In contrast to Abraham’s plea, there were not even ten righteous men, and the outcry of sinfulness in the city had reached God’s ears. Lot tries to warn his other family members of the destruction, but they would not believe him (19:14). God’s punishment and destruction was certain to happen, which is where verse 15 picks up.