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Friday Digest: BSF’s Study of Genesis Lesson 12

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN GENESIS 18:16-19:38:

  • God is infinitely just.
  • God cannot tolerate sin.
  • God’s judgement is certain and fair.
  • God always does what is right, even when we don’t understand.
  • We are righteous by God’s grace alone.
  • Eternity is but a heartbeat away; are you living so?

Take Away: Sin infects everything and everyone. Be wary of who you surround yourself with and the influence of your culture.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 5: Genesis 19:30-38

Summary of Genesis 19:30-38:

Lot and his two daughers were afraid to live in Zoar so they lived in a cave in the mountains. The older daughter gets worried that they are all alone with no men to marry, so she convinces her sister to get her father drunk and both of them lie with him. They both become pregnant, having sons. One is named Moab and becomes the father of the Moabites and the other is named Ben-Ammi, who becomes the father of the Ammonites — both of whom will constantly war and bicker with Israel, as well as tempt them to sin.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 5: Genesis 19:30-38

13) The older daughter gets worried that they are all alone with no men to marry, so she convinces her sister to get her father drunk and both of them lie with him.

14) All kinds. The problem is man’s mind is twisted by sin and so we can pretty much justify any action — even murder — in our own minds.

15) Moabites and Ammonites. Both nations would continue to tempt Israel into sin. Numbers 25:1 tells us Israel was tempted into sexual immorality with Moabite women. Ruth was a Moabite who would become the mother of Obed who had Jesse who had David whom Jesus came from. Now that is powerful. God continues to judge the sins of Moabites in Jeremiah 48:46-47. God judges Ammon in Ezekiel 25:3-6, making it a resting place for sheep.

16) Lot was afraid so he fled to the mountains. Did he pray to God at all during this time, asking God where to go? It seems all of Lot’s decisions in life were made out of fear, like choosing Sodom in the first place because it looked good and he was afraid the other places were not fruitful. God rescued him; God had not abandoned him; surely God would answer had he prayed. So my answer: don’t let fear guide you. Pray and pray some more. Fear usually is not God’s path for us.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 5: Genesis 19:30-38

Why did Lot not go and live with Abraham is beyond me here. Would have avoided all of this. Ask God before fleeing from life to the mountains and letting your daughters live in ignorance of the world.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 5: Genesis 19:30-38

Lot had access to wine from somewhere. Bible scholars think that the daughters may have thought the whole world was destroyed and there were no men left. However, they did live in Zoar so that is not the case. Probably the daugthers’ minds were so twisted by sin since they saw incest and sodomy all around them that they thought this was okay.

Lot did not seek God at all we are told. Lot’s life was tragic, indeed. He let himself become drunk, lie with his daughters who had children who would become thorns in Israel’s side for generations. Luckily, God used this for good as we see with Ruth, one of Jesus’s relatives.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 3: Genesis 19:1-14; Ezekiel 16:49-50; 2 Peter 2:5-11

Summary of Genesis 19:1-14:

The two men who left God walk to Sodom and find Lot at his post at the city’s entrance. Lot recognized their significance immediately and pleaded with them to come to his house for the night. They agreed. Later that night, all of the men of Sodom surround Lot’s house and demand he send out the two men so that they can have sex with them. Lot pleaded with them not to tak the two men, and even offered up his two virgin daughters instead.

The crowd would not listen, and as they moved towards the house, the angels struck them with blindness so they couldn’t find the door. They got Lot back inside safely. They told Lot that they were sent to destroy the city due to the outcry against it, so if he had anyone he wanted to save, to get them. Lot ran to save his future sons-in-law, but they thought he was joking.

Ezekiel 16:49-50:

Sodom is described as arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned. They didn’t help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things.

2 Peter 2:5-11:

God rescues the righteous while judging the unrighteous and made an example of Sodom and Gomorrah of what will happen to the ungodly. We learn Lot was distressed by what he saw around him (but apparently not enough to leave).

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 3: Genesis 19:1-14; Ezekiel 16:49-50; 2 Peter 2:5-11

7) Lot sat at the city gate, which is where leaders sat to make important decisions. This suggests that Lot has become one of them. Also, that Lot would allow his own daughters to be raped. That’s a new low right there.

8a) It was deep if you’re willing to let your own daughters be raped. Plus, it was a gang rape. It seemed all the men were corrupt and committing crimes.

b) God prevents this from happening. He can only tolerate so much evil, and He had had enough.

9) We are all impacted by the sins around us as crimes continue to happen every day. It can be overwhelming to think about so knowing that God has got this is comforting, indeed.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 3: Genesis 19:1-14; Ezekiel 16:49-50; 2 Peter 2:5-11

This is a sad chapter for me. If humanity has sunk so low, the only hope is God. Deep inside, we are all capable of this type of sin.

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End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 12, Day 3: Genesis 19:1-14; Ezekiel 16:49-50; 2 Peter 2:5-11

Note we are told for sure that these are angels who have come to Sodom and Gomorrah to destroy it. Lot probaby didn’t know they were angels, but he did know they were important, and probably much different than your average visitor passing through Sodom’s gates.

Lot has been going down the path of sin since Abraham offered him the choice of land in Genesis 13 (Genesis 13:10). Now he is a leader. You could say he has compromised his soul.

What you miss out of the Ezekiel passage Ezekiel 16, is that God is comparing Judah and Jerusalem to the evil of Sodom and Gomorrah. The sins listed are shared sins.

Gang rape is serious, and it was accepted. This is bad, indeed.

Homosexuality is indeed a sin according to many passages in the Bible: (Romans 1:26-28).  (Leviticus 18:2220:13)

One interesting thing is that homosexuals say they were born with that tendency. However, the Bible says we are all born and prone to sin, so homosexuality is just one way sin manifests itself.

Lot calls them wicked (hypocrite) when he’s about to sell his daughters’ souls. In ancient times, guests held a higher place than women. Note despite Lot’s standing in the community, no one respected him.

The angels step in to stop any more grievous sins from taking place and ask Lot if there is anyone else to save. This question is one we should be asking on a daily basis. Remember only God is omniscient. The angels here truly do not know.

The fiances of his daughters were considered family even though they weren’t married. They laughed at him, probably with a heart full of sin as well.

Lot is saved; but is he? And for what? Don’t waste your life like Lot. 1 Corinthians 3:15: Turn your life to good for others.

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Friday Digest: BSF’s Study of Genesis Lesson 11

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN GENESIS CHAPTER 17-18:15:

  • God never gives up on us; we give up on Him.
  • God wants circumcision of the heart, a separation of Him from others.
  • God meets us right where we need Him.

Take Away: Nothing is impossible for God.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

Summary of Genesis 18:1-15:

The Lord appeared to Abraham among three visitors one day while Abraham was resting in the heat of the day.  When Abraham saw these men, he hurried to greet them and bowed low, knowing one was God for he says, “my lord” while addressing them. Abraham entreats them to stay, and he washes their feet and brings food and drink for their comfort. They agree to stay.

Abraham bustles about, hurrying the preparations of bread, meat, and milk (it is God). The men ask Abraham where is Sarah. God Himself tells Abraham (again) that Sarah will have a child this time next year.

Sarah who was eavesdropping laughs, believing she is worn out. God, of course, hears Sarah and asks Abraham directly, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Then God says He will return this time next year and Sarah will have a son.

Then Sarah denies she laughed out of fear.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

14a) They may not have invited the men to stay, nor feed them a meal. He selected the best calf to slaughter and brought curds and milk and baked bread. They both did the work themselves instead of servants, and we sense urgency in Abraham’s doings, indicating he knew his guests were special.

b) Personal Question. My answer: Attitude and joy, mainly. I either begrudge every moment and have a miserable time, or I have a good time and feel joy.

15) The first thing they ask is where is Sarah, so their visit was to confirm to Sarah that she would have a son. God says that when He returns, Sarah will have a son.

16) Because God heard Sarah laugh and knew she had.

17) Sarah had to believe God. We must believe God. God blesses (Luke 1:45) and rewards those who have faith (Hebrews 11:6; 11) Without faith you can’t please God.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

I love how God includes Sarah and makes sure she understands and has faith in this culture where women did not matter. This shows God loves all equally.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

It is possible that Sarah never conceived earlier because she never had faith in God’s promise.

Bible scholars believe this was only 3 months since the last time God appeared because Sarah is not pregnant yet.

Here we literally see the Triune God, appearing as 3 men. So cool!

map of mamre bible

We’ve seen Mamre a lot so far in the Bible

Abraham knew it was God. At what point, we are unsure. Did God appear the same? No one knows. He could have changed his appearance at will.

Note God called Sarah by her new name. (Genesis 17:15-16).

God says His promise over and over again because dumb humans need to hear it over and over again, albeit this appearance was for Sarah, not Abraham.  Genesis 17:17-22

Romans 10:17:  “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ”

Both knew they’d have a son only be God’s miraculous hand, which may have been why they had to wait so long because God wanted to make it clear it was a miracle.

Doubt Versus Faith

As time passes and things don’t happen in our lives as we believe they should, we doubt as we see here with Sarah and Abraham. During their childbearing years, they believed. Now, it’s hard for them to do so.

Great commentary on the tree and this passage HERE

Some scholars think Abraham and Sarah were not having sex for whatever reason so God needed to reinforce His will personally, which is why He appears here.  In other words, they did not believe God (they were doubting His word) and were doing nothing to fulfill God’s will for their lives.

God heard Sarah’s laugh. We should remember God hears everything. God does not punish them for their unbelief. God is faithful to His promises despite our doubt (2 Timothy 2:13). He never abandons us like we do Him.

Hard is the same Hebrew word for wonderful in Isaiah 9:6 referring to Christ.

God talks to Abraham about Sarah’s doubt since he is the head of the household. He is responsible for her faith, or, in this case, her unbelief.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 4: Genesis 17:15-22

Summary of Genesis 17:15-22:

God tells Abraham that he will have a son by this time next year whom the covenant will be established with and who will be the father of many nations and kings. He renames Sarai, Sarah. Abraham laughed at the prospect of being a father at age 100 and Sarah a mother at age 90. God will bless Ismael and make him the father of 12 rulers and a great nation. Then God left.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 4: Genesis 17:15-22

10) God renames both, He tells them the will be a father/mother of nations and kings, and God blesses them.

11a) He is specific. God says He will give Abraham a son by her (Sarah, so not someone else). By blessing Sarah this time as well as Abraham, it’s clear they are the parents who will have the child together.

b) Abraham does not believe God here (funny, since he immediately gets every circumcised) and suggests Ishmael be the one. Instead, God tells Abraham that Sarah will bear the son and his name will be Isaac. He elaborates, saying he will be the one whom he establishes his covenant with, not Ishmael.

12) Personal Question. My answer. I wait for clarity in some way when it is unclear. I pray for clarity. I don’t act in haste.

13) It’s the first time God has given them a time frame. Before it was “some day” you’ll have a child. Now, it’s definitive. This is probably comforting for them, after they get done laughing at God.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 4: Genesis 17:15-22

I want God to give me a new name. It’s funny how one second, Abraham is totally in with circumcision, but the child thing, Abraham is doubtful. I’d hope if God/Jesus ever appeared to me, I would take them seriously.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 4: Genesis 17:15-22

Sarah is a minor change, and it just gives her a higher status.

Abraham doubted as shown by his laughter. Some Bible scholars think this was a rejoicing laugh; others think not. You can decide. Sarah for sure did not believe God (she even lies about it in Genesis 18:15). I think Abraham doubhted.

God does not forget Ishael, but He makes it clear Isaac is the one. Isaac, meaning laughter, would forever be a reminder of their doubt and their joy.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 17:9-14; 23-27

Summary of Genesis 17:9-14:

God tells Abraham that he and his descendants must keep His covenant. Every male must be circumcised, which is the sign of the covenant. This is to take place at 8 days old, and this applies to all male, whether adopted or not. If any male has not been circumcised, they are to be cut off from God’s people, as this will be a sign that the covenant has been broken.

Genesis 17:23-27:

Every male on that day was circumcised, including Abraham, his son, Ismael, and all in his household.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 17:9-14; 23-27

7) “It will be the sign of the covenant between you and me.”

8 ) That he/they are faithful.

9) Having faith is more important than works.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 17:9-14; 23-27

I love that Abraham obeyed immediately without delay. So, too, are we called to obey immediately as well.

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End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 17:9-14; 23-27

The cutting of the foreskin represents how God is setting His people apart (cutting them off). It is a physical sign that they are His people. Since males were born into it, it was fitting to be associated with reproduction. This is a sign of faith. Circumcision also helped with cleanliness, which was important in a society where no one bathed. Also, it was a sign of cleansing as well.

With Jesus, we are spiritually circumcised.

Why the 8th day? Childbirth is traumatic on a baby. After all, it goes from a water world to a world of air and newness. After 8 days, the baby’s body will recover faster, and some experts think that because the immune system is in place by now, that the baby will be less likely to get an infection. Doctors believe that a baby’s body can also blood-clot better on day 8 of life.

It’s important to note that the people were part of the covenant through faith. When they rejected circumcision, they were rejecting the covenant that God had granted through grace. Circumcision is not something you do that gets you to heaven, although the early Christians tried to make this so. (Galatians 5:1-15). Now, with the new covenant, you are free to circumcise or not.

Abraham’s immediacy speaks to his faith and his obedience to God’s commands. What does your response say when God tells you to move?