Did you know that Genesis contains two stories about Sodom and Gomorrah?
Yep. One is rather plain and simple and the other is dramatic and sensational. Of course, if you look up “Sodom and Gomorrah” on the Internet, you are led to the dramatic and sensational and not the plain and simple.
The two stories differ rather drastically, which would lead an atheist to point out the discrepancies, dancing with delight. When people who sell sensationalism to cable networks plan their story boards, there will always be more people trying to prove the archaeology of Sodom and Gomorrah – based on some ancient nuclear disaster that turned a woman to salt – than look for some ancient city that has no artifacts that distinguish it from any other place from its same time period.
The point I want to make is both are true. The plain and simple (which is found in Genesis 13, in particular verses 10-13) tells of Lot going to live in the cities of the plain of Jordan, in particular Sodom, where the “people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.” That version has an aside that states, “This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.”
The dramatic and sensational version begins after Abram has a debate with God over His plan to carry out that destruction, such that chapter 19 includes angels going to visit Lot, them being accosted by the wicked people, causing Lot to go offer the people his virgin daughters if they will leave the visitors alone, the angels telling Lot to get his family and any good people out of Sodom and Gomorrah before the destruction comes, Lot’s wife looking back and changing into salt, and then ending with Lot’s daughters getting him drunk and tricking him to have sex with them … from fear of being the last people on earth.
Everything about that which is found in chapter 19 should be written down as a prophetic dream. Abram saved Lot from having been taken as a slave, by the kings who fought in the Valley of Siddim, as told in chapter 14 (or 5 chapters earlier than when one next finds stupid Lot back in harm’s way):
“Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboyim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and drew up their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goyim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five.” (14:8-9)
The soldiers of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were lost in tar pits. They lost this battle. The winning kings then took their possessions, which included Lot, “because he lived in Sodom.”
When Abram received news of this, he gathered up 318 men, under three friends, and defeated those four kings, recovering Lot and all the other people and goods they had taken. This victory led Melchizedek, the king of Salem (Jerusalem later), to bless Abram. Therefore, the people of Sodom, including their king (who lived), not only had to fear God because they were wicked, they couldn’t even beat the other people who lived near them. Having been show THAT weak, God would not have to worry Abraham (his new name then – since Genesis 17:5) about His needing to supernaturally destroy wicked people. While that destruction did come in one way or another – where God gave the power of victory to the enemies of Sodom and Gomorrah – the story foretold in Genesis 19 is not ever going to be proved as having already happened, because it projects OUR demise.
It helps to see the focus is on the servant Lot, Abram’s nephew, who followed Abram out of Haran and was with Abram out of Egypt, but separated because each had large flocks that could not be supported on the same land. Lot went east, across the Jordan. If you see Lot and Abram as the heads of churches that serve the LORD, then the separation is less about space and more about time. Lot represents a version of a future Church, one that was not blessed by Melchizedek. That Church is most representative of the failure of Christianity today.
When Genesis 19 states, “The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city,” (19:1) there was an expectation that had led Lot to be at the entrance into an evil place. The number two is significant because in Genesis 18 three men are found standing by Abraham, who informs him that Sarah will become pregnant. Those three men are never identified as angels, but this is the interpretation that indicates such holy presence; and later it is God who speaks to Abraham and Sarah. This makes the “three men” be symbolic of the Trinity.
In The Revelation of John, he sees the seven angels, who represent the seven churches, where seven cities have churches. The presence of “two angels” before Lot is then representative of the angels of the church of Sodom and the church of Gomorrah, over which Lot is the Bishop. As the one responsible for the souls of the five cities on the plain of Jordan, Lot would have been summoned to meet those angels, especially after Abraham’s dream debate with God about His plan to destroy them. Lot, as one of the good people of Sodom and Gomorrah, would be likewise notified of an important meeting and prepare to greet angels of the LORD.
The fact that Lot “got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground” (19:2), exactly as Abraham greeted the “three men” who visited his place, shows that Lot was indeed a priest like Abraham, devoted to the same God. Lot likewise offered to wash their feet and be his guests, as did Abraham to his visitors. Lot also identified himself as their “servant.” However, the angels initially refused to go to Lot’s house, saying they would instead “spend the night in the square.”
This rejection of Lot is important to grasp, because the angels who visited Abraham sat under a tree and waited for him to prepare them a feast, made from a special animal being slaughtered (sacrificed). They waited to be served because they had good news to give to Abraham, about the gift from God of a child to be born with Sarah. The angels who Lot greeted, after he had waited for their appearance, preferred to spend the night at the square because they knew evil comes out at night and they wanted to witness how bad it was (even though an angel would know this without a visitation). Lot’s insisting that the angels go to his home shows how Lot knew how bad it was too and was trying to keep the angels from seeing that.
Keep in mind that human beings, no matter how holy they try to be are flawed. Sarah laughed when she heard the visitors tell Abraham (she was eavesdropping) she would become pregnant at her “beyond childbearing” age. When God asked why she laughed, because she knew nothing is beyond the power of God, we read how “Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” That lie would shorten her lifespan; but the point is humans forget how “all-knowing” God is, with his angels having access to that knowledge. Additionally, even though Lot waited on the arrival of angels, once they went to his home he hurriedly threw together a meal, which included unleavened bread. Instead of the lavishness heaped upon strangers by Abraham, Lot was a poor host for God’s messengers.
After night fell, while the angels were in Lot’s home, “Before [Lot’s family] had gone to bed” (angels don’t need sleep), we learn that “all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house.” Now, we learn that the place Abram settled, after Lot chose to go to the Jordan plain and Sodom, led him to consecrate his home. Genesis 13:18 states, “So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.” This means that Lot would have done the same, as a priest for YEHWEH, so his home would represent his “church.”
The men coming and surrounding the house at night would be akin to surrounding a building of worship (one with an altar) as if it offered sacrifices to the prince of darkness, not the light of the One God. For the men to then call out, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them,” that is clearly a statement of the darkness that surrounds homosexuality [thus the naming of “sodomy” after Sodom]. For Lot to then go outside, closing the door behind him (to keep the angels and his family safe – perhaps), calling them “friends,” shows just how much Lot had been influenced by the wickedness of Sodom, rather than him influencing it away from sin.
When Lot then offered (unsuccessfully) to “heal” the crowd’s perversions by allowing them to experience sex with not only two females, but two virgin girls, the sexual lusts for the new arrivals, who appeared to be males [angels are in no need of genitalia] was too much. They threatened Lot with not recognizing the sanctity of his house-church or family, by breaking in and taking whoever they wanted for their pleasure. When someone yelled, “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them,” that was a total disregard for religion of any kind. The people could only see religion as what judged their wickedness. That led them to the insane belief that the use of force and bullying would cause all those who posed as holy men to tremble and bow down to their needs.
Now, that is where America stands today. To a large degree, every so-called Christian nation has been bullied into the removal of the light of law (as honed from religious morals) and replaced with the darkness of philosophy, under the guise that the minority have rights that protect them from be judged by the majority, especially all religious moral standards. While it may be possible that such a decadent group of men ruled a place actually named Sodom, in ancient times, it is more probable that this story is written for all future collapses of religion, to ensure that all times are prepared to suffer the consequences of what Genesis says happened next.
To read how the angels told Lot, “Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place,” and then “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” This is like the angels who accompanied Christ in the destruction of The Revelation.
“I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb.” (The Revelation 15:1-3)
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (The Revelation 21:8)
It should be realized that “fire & brimstone” are more often the products of volcanic eruptions, than the effects of meteors or comets crashing into the earth from the heavens. As such, a “lake of burning sulfur” is like a lava flow, which could be that depicted in the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other 3 cities on the plain. Ancient volcanoes are in that region. Still, when the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is seen as a prophetic story, pertaining to our future, the places named Sodom and Gomorrah bear less significance. All “cities,” where the evils stated in John’s Revelation, become as marked as they are by Western, Chinese, and Soviet ICBMs. The safety Lot sought in Zoar (whose name means Insignificance or Small) represents the rural places that are far away from huge population centers. It also makes all presently active (and dormant) volcanoes be places on earth places that could possibility be triggered by an insane use of nuclear weapons. Therefore, Armageddon (as it is known by Westerners) could include the feared eruption of the grand-daddy volcano of them all: the super-volcano of Yellowstone National Park.
This means it will not be God directly causing the destruction of us, just as the cause for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was not simply because God hates sinners. The end will come because the majority of people in the world do not know God, via the Holy Spirit. Those people who are, like Lot, will be forewarned to move to a safe place. God will know what plans are about to unfold by crazy tyrants, supported by false shepherds; and God will speak to those who bow down before His angels. The rest will be busy trying to serve their own selfish needs, or think any warnings are a joke. However, when the “fiery lake of burning sulfur” is identified as bringing “the second death,” that means the end of the line for reincarnation. The burning earth will be filled with zombies that cannot die, wandering in suffering hoards, screaming out in pain for the rest of eternity. One wonders if the pleasures of the flesh will have such importance then.
You can read for yourself: