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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 151-200 (Found - Inclusiveness)

F.E. Marsh :: 168. God's Judgment on Sodom

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GENESIS 18:22-33

THE Holy Jehovah, the ministry of angels, the pleading of Abraham, the wrong position of Lot, the lingering wife of Lot, and filthy Sodom, are brought out in the following:—

  1. The Lord answers the prayers of His people on behalf of others. One of the bright points in Abraham’s life is his pleading on behalf of Sodom. His prayer is a model one. (1) It was the prayer of a man who was right with the Lord. Abraham “stood before the Lord” (Gen 18:22). To stand before the Lord is to act as in His presence (Lev. 24:4), and to be conscious of being right with Himself (1 Kings 17:1). (2) It was the prayer of a man who was in intimate communion with the Lord. “Abraham drew near” (Gen 18:23). We must draw near to God in the full assurance of faith if we would have His ear (Heb. 10:22). (3) It was a bold prayer. Abraham begins to question the Lord (see verses 23-25). We may come “boldly” to the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16), but we may not come rudely. (4) It was a humble prayer (Gen 18:27). Cross out the words in italics-am, but. While he confesses that he is “dust and ashes,” he is more than this, for he is an indestructible spirit, therefore to say he is “but dust and ashes” is not true, though to say he is “dust and ashes” is to express his utter abasement of himself. (5) The prayer was persevering. Abraham does not stop at one answer, but asks again and again. God’s blessings, while they satisfy, create an appetite, and cause us to ask for more. (6) The prayer was answered. God gave Abraham all he asked. Abiding in Christ, we have a similar opportunity, for He says, “Whatsoever we ask,” &c. (John 14:13; 15:7). (7) The prayer was limited. Young says, “Ought not six gracious answers to have strengthened the faith of the suppliant rather than exhausted it. Who can tell whether, if he had asked that the cities should be spared even for Lot’s sake, the request would not have been answered?” Trapp also remarks upon this-”Abraham bucked with the Lord so long, till he had brought Him down from fifty to ten; and mark that he left begging ere God left bating. Let us find praying hearts, and He will find a pitying heart.”
  2. God takes note of what is going on in the world. Sin has a voice which cries to God for vengeance, as when the blood of Abel spilt by Cain called for punishment (Gen. 4:10), and as in the case of Sodom (Gen. 18:20). The sin of Sodom was excessive (Gen. 13:13); grievous, great (Gen. 18:20); bitter (Deut. 32:32); open (Isaiah 3:9; Gen. 19:5); hateful (Jer. 23:14); it was spoken of ever afterwards as being most abominable to the Lord, and called for severest measures upon those who were guilty of like iniquity (Deut. 23:17; 1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; Jude 7). There are some who seem to act as if God took no note of what they were doing, but He surely does. Not a single thing escapes His notice, for He not only notes the actions of men, but weighs them as well (1 Sam. 2:3). Two children were playing in a room together. A plate of sweet cakes was brought in and laid upon the table. “Oh, I want one of those cakes!” cried the little boy, jumping up as soon as his mother left the room, and going on tip-toe towards the table. “No, no,” said his sister, pulling him back, “You must not touch.” “Mother won’t know it; she did not count them,” he cried, shaking her off, and stretching forth his hand. “If she didn’t, God counted,” answered the sister. Yes, God counts, as Job says, “Doth not He see my ways, and count all my steps?” (Job 31:4).
  3. God punishes sinners for their sins. The Dead Sea to-day is a silent and solemn witness to this fact, and the overthrow of Sodom is proverbial of God’s righteous action against sin (Deut. 29:23; Is. 13:19; Jer. 49:18; 50:40; Amos 4:11; Luke 17:29; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7). The French proverb on punishment is suggestive-”Punishment is the recoil of crime; and the strength of the backward stroke is in proportion to the original blow.” “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). If the farmer sows tares he does not expect wheat, neither can a sinner expect anything but punishment if he continues and dies in a course of sin.

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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