Genesis 19:1-38 . LOT'S ENTERTAINMENT.
18, 19. Lot said . . . Oh, not so, my Lord . . . I cannot escape to the mountain--What a strange want of faith and fortitude, as if He who had interfered for his rescue would not have protected Lot in the mountain solitude.
21. See, I have accepted thee concerning this . . . also--His request was granted him, the prayer of faith availed, and to convince him, from his own experience, that it would have been best and safest at once to follow implicitly the divine directions.
22. Haste . . . for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither--The ruin of Sodom was suspended till he was secure. What care God does take of His people ( Revelation 7:3 )! What a proof of the love which God bore to a good though weak man!
24. Then the Lord rained . . . brimstone and fire from . . . heaven--God, in accomplishing His purposes, acts immediately or mediately through the agency of means; and there are strong grounds for believing that it was in the latter way He effected the overthrow of the cities of the plain--that it was, in fact, by a volcanic eruption. The raining down of fire and brimstone from heaven is perfectly accordant with this idea since those very substances, being raised into the air by the force of the volcano, would fall in a fiery shower on the surrounding region. This view seems countenanced by Job [ Job 1:16 , 18:15 ]. Whether it was miraculously produced, or the natural operation employed by God, it is not of much consequence to determine: it was a divine judgment, foretold and designed for the punishment of those who were sinners exceedingly.
26. Lot was accompanied by his wife and two daughters. But whether it was from irresistible curiosity or perturbation of feeling, or that she was about to return to save something, his wife lingered, and while thus disobeying the parting counsel, "to look not back, nor stay in all the plain" [ Genesis 19:17 ], the torrent of liquid lava enveloped her so that she became the victim of her supine indolence or sinful rashness.
27. Abraham gat up early in the morning, &c.--Abraham was at this time in Mamre, near Hebron, and a traveller last year verified the truth of this passage. "From the height which overlooks Hebron, where the patriarch stood, the observer at the present day has an extensive view spread out before him towards the Dead Sea. A cloud of smoke rising from the plain would be visible to a person at Hebron now, and could have been, therefore, to Abraham as he looked toward Sodom on the morning of its destruction by God" [HACKETT]. It must have been an awful sight, and is frequently alluded to in Scripture ( Deuteronomy 29:23 , Isaiah 13:19 , Jude 1:7 ). "The plain which is now covered by the Salt or Dead Sea shows in the great difference of level between the bottoms of the northern and southern ends of the lake--the latter being thirteen feet and the former thirteen hundred--that the southern end was of recent formation, and submerged at the time of the fall of the cities" [LYNCH].
29. when God destroyed the cities, &c.--This is most welcome and instructive after so painful a narrative. It shows if God is a "consuming fire" to the wicked [ Deuteronomy 4:24 , Hebrews 12:29 ], He is the friend of the righteous. He "remembered" the intercessions of Abraham, and what confidence should not this give us that He will remember the intercessions of a greater than Abraham in our behalf.