Call to Worship January 16 2022

Genesis 19:24-25

“Then, when Lot had got safely into Zoar, then this ruin came; for good men are taken away from the evil to come. Then, when the sun had risen bright and clear, promising a fair day, then this storm arose, to show that it was not from natural causes. Concerning this destruction observe, 1. God was the immediate author of it. It was destruction from the Almighty: The Lord rained–from the Lord (v. 24), that is, God from himself, by his own immediate power, and not in the common course of nature. Or, God the Son from God the Father; for the Father has committed all judgment to the Son. Note, He that is the Saviour will be the destroyer of those that reject the salvation.

2. It was a strange punishment, Job xxxi. Never was the like before nor since. Hell was rained from heaven upon them. Fire, and brimstone, and a horrible tempest, were the portion of their cup (Ps. xi. 6); not a flash of lightning, which is destructive enough when God gives it commission, but a shower of lightning. Brimstone was scattered upon their habitation (Job xviii. 15), and then the fire soon fastened upon them. God could have drowned them, as he did the old world; but he would show that he has many arrows in his quiver, fire as well as water.

3. It was a judgment that laid all waste: It overthrew the cities, and destroyed all the inhabitants of them, the plain, and all that grew upon the ground, v. 25. It was an utter ruin, and irreparable. That fruitful valley remains to this day a great lake, or dead sea; it is called the Salt Sea, Num. xxxiv. 12. Travellers say that it is about thirty miles long and ten miles broad; it has no living creature in it; it is not moved by the wind; the smell of it is offensive; things do not easily sink in it. The Greeks call it Asphaltites, from a sort of pitch which it casts up. Jordan falls into it, and is lost there.

4. It was a punishment that answered to their sin. Burning lusts against nature were justly punished with this preternatural burning. Those that went after strange flesh were destroyed by strange fire, Jude 7. They persecuted the angels with their rabble, and made Lot afraid; and now God persecuted them with his tempest, and made them afraid with his storm, Ps. lxxxiii. 15.

5. It was designed for a standing revelation of the wrath of God against sin and sinners in all ages. It is, accordingly, often referred to in the scripture, and made a pattern of the ruin of Israel (Deut. xxix. 23), of Babylon (Isa. xiii. 19), of Edom (Jer. xlix. 17, 18), of Moab and Ammon, Zep. ii. 9. Nay, it was typical of the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 7), and the ruin of all that live ungodly (2 Pet. ii. 6), especially that despise the gospel, Matt. x. 15. It is in allusion to this destruction that the place of the damned is often represented by a lake that burns, as Sodom did, with fire and brimstone. Let us learn from it, (1.) The evil of sin, and the hurtful nature of it. Iniquity tends to ruin. (2.) The terrors of the Lord. See what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God!”

(Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. 1, (Revell Pub., New York.), pg. 124-125.)