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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 1-50 (Abel - Children)

F.E. Marsh :: 4. Abraham and Sodom

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GENESIS 18:22-33

  1. Abraham’s Question relating to Sodom. “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” God never destroys the righteous with the wicked, as the following illustrations will evidence.
    1. Noah and the Antediluvians. When Noah and his family were safely housed in the ark, then the flood-gates were opened, and the waters swept away all outside the vessel of safety (Gen. 7:13, &c.).
    2. The firstborn of Israel and Egypt. After the protecting blood of the lamb was sprinkled upon the door-posts of the Israelites, then the Lord smote the first-born of Egypt (Exodus 12:28-29).
    3. Israel and Korah. It was after Israel had withdrawn from the tents of Korah and his followers, that the earth clave asunder and engulfed them (Numbers 16:26, &c.).
    4. The believer and unbeliever. Before the Lord comes in judgment to banish the unbeliever from His presence, He will have gathered His redeemed to Himself; hence they are seen coming with Him (Rev. 19:14), and sitting in judgment as well (Rev. 20:4; 1 Cor. 6:2-3).
    Matthew Henry says upon Abraham’s question, “First. The righteous are mingled with the wicked in this world. Amongst the best there are, commonly, some bad; and among the worst, some good. Even in Sodom, one Lot. Second. Though the righteous be among the wicked, yet the righteous God will not, certainly He will not, destroy the righteous with the wicked. Though in the world, they may be involved in the same calamities, yet, in the great day, a distinction will be made.”
  2. Abraham’s Plea regarding Sodom. Abraham’s plea was, that wicked Sodom should be spared for the sake of the righteous ones in it. There are two things suggested by the plea.
    1. That righteous men are preventative of judgment. “Ye are the salt of the earth,” said Christ to His disciples. The saints are the salt of the earth, that keep the rest from rotting and putrefying. Many an ungodly man has been prevented from doing evil in the presence of one who was walking with God. I well remember a man hiding himself, one Sunday morning, in the bulrushes that were growing by the river Avon, because he had been working in his garden on the Lord’s Day; but his conscience smote him at the sight of a follower of Christ.
    2. The law of substitution suggested. Ten righteous men would have been the salvation of Sodom, but Sodom would have been spared for others’ sake, and not for its own sake. Even so with the believer; he is saved and forgiven for the sake of Christ (Eph. 4:32; 1 John 2:12), who has borne all judgment for him. God sought in vain for a man to stand in the gap with reference to staying judgment upon Judah, and there was none (Ezek. 22:30; Jer. 5:1); but in Christ, there is One who stands in the breach, and takes the place of those who believe in Him.
  3. Abraham’s Communion with the Lord about Sodom (Gen 18:17, 33). God says more to Abraham about the destruction of Sodom than to anyone else, and herein God let him into His secrets. It was not to Lot, who is typical of a half-hearted Christian, that the purpose of God was made known, but to the faithful separated friend. To be initiated into Divine secrets and the wonders of God’s Word, we must be in whole-hearted fellowship with the Lord, even as the beloved John, being “in the Spirit,” was able to see and apprehend the wondrous symbols of the book of Revelation. It was not to the Sodomites that God’s purpose was revealed. They had long since dulled their moral sense by sin, and therefore were unable to hear the voice of God. The one thing that impresses me by this incident is, that God says more to His children about the punishment of the wicked, than to the wicked themselves. God told Noah about the Flood. The Lord informed Moses about the coming destruction of the first-born of Egypt. It was to Daniel that it was revealed that Christ should overthrow the world powers, as seen in the stone crushing the image to pieces (Daniel 2). It was to the disciples that Christ depicted the punishment of the wicked, who should “go away into eternal punishment” (Matt. 25:46). To the church at Thessalonica, was revealed the fact, that “eternal destruction is to be the portion of those who obey not the Gospel” (2 Thess. 1:9); and it was to the Apostle John that the scene of the last judgment was depicted (Rev. 20:11-15). There seems to be two reasons why the Lord tells His children so much about punishment, and these are, that they may realise the awful doom from which they have been rescued; and, second, that they may tell out with burning heart and lip, the wrath that is coming upon the ungodly.
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5. A Bright Promise Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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