Notes: Genesis 18-19

English Language Bible Study Guide for January 29, 2008

Genesis 18

God announces the birth of Isaac and the destruction of Sodom

1-8: The Lord, along with two angels, visits Abraham; and Abraham and Sarah prepare a meal of cakes, butter, milk and beef

9-15: When the Lord tells Abraham that the promised child will be born of Sarah, she laughs within herself; but the Lord knows what she’s thinking.

16-22: The Lord tells Abraham that Sodom and Gomorrah will be destroyed.

23-33: Abraham negotiates for leniency on behalf of the cities; if only 10 righteous people can be found in them, the Lord will spare the entire population.


Meditation Points:

  1. 1-8: Sitting in the shade when the sun is hot
  2. When the Lord visits
  3. Running to meet the Lord
  4. Serving the Lord and His servants
  5. Hospitality and entertaining strangers
  6. 9-15: Are we ever too old for God to use us?
  7. Laughing at God’s predictions and plans for our lives
  8. God knows our innermost thoughts
  9. Is anything too hard for the Lord?
  10. Telling lies to save ourselves from embarrassment
  11. 16-22: God gives us a glimpse of the future
  12. The good father leads his family to obey God
  13. Widespread sin gets God’s attention
  14. 23-33: Knowing that God will not destroy the righteous with the wicked
  15. Presuming to get God to change His mind–negotiating and praying
  16. Interceding for others


Genesis 19

Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed

1-3: With insight like his uncle’s, Lot welcomes the heavenly visitors into his home.

4-11: When Lot’s life is threatened by the wicked, male mob, the angels strike the sinners with blindness and pull Lot into the safety of his house.

12-14: Lot, hearing of the impending doom of the city, tries unsuccessfully to persuade his sons-in-law to join the group that is fleeing the wrath to come.

15-23: Mercifully the angels lead Lot and his wife and their two daughters out of the city, and allow Lot to choose sanctuary in the city of Zoar.

24-26: When the Lord rains fire and brimstone upon the wicked cities, Lot’s wife, contrary to the express command of the angels, looks back to see.

27-30: For Abraham’s sake, Lot is saved. Lot fears for his life in Zoar, and moves to the mountain that was first proposed by the angelic deliverers.

31-38: Lot’s daughters plot between themselves to have an incestuous relationship with their father; and the nations of Moab and Ammon are born.


Meditation Points:

  1. 1-3: Sitting in the gate of the city was an activity of public officials. See verse 9.
  2. 4-11: Who cannot see that our word "sodomy" finds its origin in this Bible passage?
  3. Sin entwines young and old alike
  4. Lot offers to sacrifice the virginity of two daughters to preserve the safety of the angelic visitors
  5. Judicial blindness. Not all blindness is the result of sin (John 9), but some is.
  6. Judgment strikes young and old alike
  7. 12-14: Abraham had negotiated for 10, but 10 righteous people could not be found.
  8. It’s not strange that Lot’s sons-in-law thought he was kidding
  9. 15-23: Lots longest day
  10. Lot lingered in the face of impending doom. Why do we procrastinate when God’s warnings are so clear?
  11. If the angels had not taken Lot and his family by the hand, Lot et al. would have been destroyed, too
  12. Lot fears for his life. How foolish! Would God who saved him from Sodom and Gomorrah lead him to his death?
  13. Judgment on the wicked is withheld until the righteous are saved.
  14. 24-26: Fire and brimstone from the Lord.  This is NOT a case of permissive will; this is God’s active will at work.
  15. The instructions were short and plain (verse 17): "look not behind." But Lot’s wife did look back, and was immediately turned into a pillar of salt.  Remember Lot’s wife (Luke 17:32).
  16. 27-30: Benefiting from God’s favor to others
  17. Foolish fears and phobias–when faith fails
  18. 31-38: Between Noah’s drunkenness and Lot’s and the resulting sins, we ought to learn to avoid drunkenness
  19. Sarah tried adultery to gain a child; Lot’s daughters chose incest. Are there no limits to the sins that women will engage in to have children?
  20. The nations of Moab and Ammon will be seen often in Biblical history as opponents of God’s chosen nation.
  21. God said that Abraham would lead his family aright; Lot’s daughters forsook whatever religious training they had received at home



Notes: Genesis 14-15

English Language Bible Study Guide for January 27, 2008

Genesis 14

1-12: The Canaanite kings are overrun by kings from outside

1-2: Four kings against five

4-5: After 12 years of submission to the others, the Canaanite kings rebelled.

11: The wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were ransacked.

12, 16: Lot and his household were taken captive, too.

13-16: Abram is told about Lot’s captivity, and Abram gathers a small army

13: Abram is called “the Hebrew”, long before there was a nation of Israel

13-14: Abram’s army consists of 318 trained men from his own household

14: The pursuit extends all the way to Dan, long before there was a nation of Israel

16: Abram liberates Lot and his family and his possessions

17-20: The victory celebration becomes a worship service

18: Melchizedek king of Salem, not one of the rebellious cities, brings bread and wine

19: As priest of the most high God, Melchizedek announces that God who owns heaven and earth has blessed Abram

20: And the king-priest gives God all the glory for Abram’s victory

20: Abram proceeds to give a tithe (10%) of everything to Melchizedek (see Hebrews 7:4-9)

21-24: The king of Sodom wishes to reword Abram for his trouble, but Abram refuses

22: Clearly Abram’s God is the God of Melchizedek

23: Abram asserts his intention to keep his vow to God and not take anything for his efforts that day

24: Abram does accept the hospitality of the occasion; and he recommends that his 3 neighbors who assisted no be denied a portion

A few points to consider from this passage:

  • Greed and violence are not new.
  • Lot put himself and his family at risk when he chose to associate with the wicked ones of Sodom–and we will soon see that association costing him his home and his wife.
  • A small army blessed by God conquers the larger force (see Gideon’s band in Judges 7).
  • Wicked men are blessed by God’s mercy to one of His children.
  • The seemingly insignificant Melchizedek event is far from insignificant; witness Psalm 110:4 and Hebrews 5:6-7:21. To the contrary, this person is a picture of Christ.
  • Tithing, mentioned first in the Bible here, later becomes an ordinance for the nation of Israel. Should Christians give nothing to their King-Priest?
  • Abram’s willingness to give of himself for the good of others and without reward, but for the glory of God, is found in the apostle Paul’s desire to preach the gospel without pay. Yet both men would say that the laborer is worthy of his hire.

Genesis 15

1: Abram, who would receive no reward for his delivering the Canaanite cities from their enemies, is told by God that HE would be Abram’s reward. What more could anyone ask?

2-3: Abram, understanding well the covenant that God has made with him, objects that he has no heir and proposes that God accept one of his servants to be Abram’s heir of the blessings.

4-5: God protests and declares adamantly that Abram will have an heir as himself, in fact Abram will have countless heirs.

6: Abram believed.

Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Abram’s decision to forsake reward and to glorify God was the right one.

7-11: When Abram asks for assurance that God will keep His promises, God reminds Abram who He is, and instructs Abram to offer sacrifices, the same types of sacrifices that God would instruct national Israel to offer at a later time.

It’s always good to remember what God has saved us from and what He has saved us to.

12-16: And the Lord tells Abram that his descendants will actually leave the land for a time and that they will be servants of another nation for 400 years; but God will eventually judge that nation and Abram’s descendants will return to the Promised Land with much wealth. As for Abram, he will live a long time.

17: Fire and light pass between the pieces of the sacrifice. Does this signify God’s acceptance of the sacrifice, of Abram; or, maybe, God’s assurance that the covenant will be fulfilled? Some extra-Biblical evidence supports the idea that this signifies God’s confirming the covenant (see also Jeremiah 34:18).

18-21: The land is to extend from Egypt to the Euphrates and to include 10 named people groups.