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Summary: This sermon covers Genesis 19 - the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and challenges us to take God seriously.

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Introduction:

A. Once there was a man who grew watermelons to supplement his meager income.

1. He was doing pretty well, until some local kids began sneaking into his watermelon patch at night to eat his watermelons.

2. After some careful thought, he came up with a clever idea that he thought would scare the kids away for sure.

3. The man made a sign and posted it in the field.

4. The next day, the kids showed up and saw the sign which read, “Warning! One of the watermelons in this field has been injected with cyanide.”

5. The kids decided to make a sign of their own and they posted it next to the man’s sign.

6. When the man surveyed his field the next day, he was pleased to notice that no watermelons had been eaten.

7. He had thought his sign had worked until next to his sign, he saw the sign the kids made which read, “Now there are two!”

B. How seriously do we take warning signs?

1. When you see a warning sign at curve that says 35 MPH, do you slow down to 35 or do you go whatever speed you want?

2. When you see a sign that says, “Danger! Keep Out,” do you go in?

3. When you read a label that says, “Exposure to this could cause cancer,” do you continue to handle and engage with that substance?

4. We will heed the warning signs, if and when we take them seriously.

C. The same is true with God - He has issued many warnings and commands, but do we take the Lord and His commands seriously?

1. In today’s segment from the story of Abraham, we will witness why it is so important to take God seriously and to heed God’s commands and warnings.

2. I love to study and teach God’s Word, but there are certain topics and sections of Scripture that are very challenging and controversial to address.

3. Genesis 19 is certainly one of them – this chapter tells the story of God’s complete destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and some surrounding cities because of the depravity found there.

a. This narrative explains why God reduced an otherwise idyllic valley to a salty pit of rocks and dust, and a sea that to this day cannot sustain life.

4. In this series on the life of Abraham, I would prefer to omit this dark chapter, after all, Abraham is not the central character in this part of the story.

a. But I am compelled to address this chapter, because our all-wise and all-knowing God included it and preserved it in Scripture.

5. While Abraham isn’t the central person in the narrative, the events took place just 20 miles east of his camp and helped define his character.

a. As we wrestle with what happened with Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah, we learn more about Abraham and the God he worshiped and journeyed with.

D. When we last saw Abraham, he was interceding on behalf of the city of Sodom where his nephew Lot lived.

1. The two angels who accompanied the Lord on His visit to Abraham have gone down into the valley to carry out His judgment on the cities there.

2. Today, we pick up the story as the two angels come into Sodom in the evening hours.

3. They enter in the guise of ordinary men – they do not have any features that distinguish them as supernatural beings.

I. The Story

A. Genesis 19 begins: 1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.” “No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.” 3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. (19:1-3)

1. Verse 1 tells us that Lot was sitting at the gateway of the city.

a. This phrase does not mean that Lot was passing the time of day at the city gate, just being a people watcher.

b. Rather, this Middle Eastern expression is a technical phrase that means that Lot was the chief magistrate of the city of Sodom.

c. His job was not only to give an official welcome to visitors of the city, like a Walmart greeter, but his job was also to investigate the nature of strangers who might arrive.

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