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plain, that God remembered Abraham, his intercession anot the promise made to him, and Lot's relation to him, and he sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt. This intimates that Lot, though a good man upon the "whole, yet had deserved to perish with this wicked people, because he fixed his residence among them from worldly views;' and alsv that he was saved for Abraham's sake* SO And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him ; for he feared to dwell in Zoar,. lest the people of that place should fall itpon him, as the cause of the destruction of Sodom: and he dwelt in a cave, he and hi> two daughters.
3V And the first born said unto the youpger, Our father [is] old, and [there is] not a man in the earth, to come in unto u» after the manner of all the earth ; we live here in a cave without the society of any but ourselves, and it is all one to vs as if
32 there was not a man upmi the face of the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, * and we will lie with him,
33 that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the first born went in ; and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Drunkenness drowns the un
34 derstanding, senses, conscience, and all. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the first born said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, [and] lie with.
35 hirrv that we may preserve seed ©four father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him ; and he perceived not when she
36 lay down) nor when she arose. Thus were both the daugh
37 ters of Lot with child by their father.f And the first born bare a son, and called his name Moab, that is a child from tny father; the same [is] the father of the Moabites unto this
38 day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi, tliat is, the son of my people, and not of a stranger: the same [is] the father of the children of Ammon usto this day. We read no more of Lot, and hope he repented; but it was a shameful crime r with the smoke of Sodom before his eyee~
* Which perhaps they had brought from Zoar.
f Some writers have endeavoured to excuse the scandal of this story, by saying. They were influenced by a desire of being the remote parents of the Messiah; andurgcdThat they lived chastely in Sodom ; that thev joined in the contrivance, which guilty person* in stich a case would not do; and that they perpetuated the fact in the names of the children: but it is to be feared they had no such expectations; and whatever their pretence was, their conduct was shametiiUy wicked.
1. T ET us think of the terrible judgment that shall overI j take all the wicked, illustrated by the destruction of Sodom. This was designed to be a standing mark of the displeasure of God against sin, especially the lust of uncleanness; and it is made an example of the ruin of many nations that rebel against God. Those people suffered the vengeance of eternal fire ; and their destruction is an emblem ofthat -which shall come upon all the ungodly. Accordingly, hell is represented as a lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. They have frequent warnings from the righteous men that live among them, but they are disregarded. Ministers call to sinners to turn and live; say «nto them, as Lot did to hi» sons, Uft, and get ye oui of this filace ¡ but they seem as those that mock; they think them in jest, or de-* »pise their remonstrances. God's bowels yearn over them, as well as men's; and he says, How shall I give thee ufi? but they refuse his offer; the/ think themselves secure, till sudden de* struction cometh upon them. They are engaged in their worldly concerns or pleasures ;• and the sun of prosperity shines brightly upon them; but the breath of the Lord kindleth a stream of brimstone before they are aware. Our Lord illustrates the destruction of sinners by this story, in Luke xvii. 28. Let wicked men promise themselves ever so much peace and happiness, and go on ever so daringly, and impudently in sin, it is certaines it isexpressed/'io/m xi. 6. Ufion the vñcked God shall rain snares^fire and brimstone, andan horrible temfiest. What a fearful thing is it tofall into the handa of the living God! who hath such stores of vengeance; who can kindle a fire in his anger, that shall burn to the lowest hell Í Be warned therefore, О sinners, and escape for your lives to the rock of refuge ; or be assured, as our Lord himself argued, that after all these warning», it mil be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for you.
2. Remember Lot's wife ; as Christ exhorts us, Luke xvii. 32. She was punished for lingering, when she should have fled ; for loving the things of the world, and turning back from the path which God had appointed. Though the wife of a good man, and remarkably favoured by her deliverance from Sodom, yet she was destroyed, and made a monument of wrath to future generations. Let us fly carnestly/ar rrfugc, and lau hold on the Aofie that is set before us; guarding against the prevailing love of the world, and sacrificing every thing to the welfare of the soul: not Л-аетing back, lest it be to fierdition ; but setting our faces Zion-ward, and pressing on to the kingdom of heaven. Linger not in the plains of destruction, or in the practice of sin. God hath declared, If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. Let us then forget what is behind, and /tress on la those things that are before, toward the mark for the f>ri$e of our high calling; considering, What it a man ftrofittd if he gain the whole world, and lose hi» man soul?
3. It is a happy thing to be nearly allied to those who are eminent for religion. Lot's sons in law and daughters would have been saved for his sake, if they had taken the warning; but they would not. God saved Lot for Abraham's sake, in answer to the prayers of this his pious relative, i». 29. The relations of good men often fare better for their prayers and intercessions; it is frequently so with regard to temporal concerns, and would be often so in spiritual things, if it were not their own fault. It will therefore be our wisdom to form alliances with those only who
fear God and work righteousness, and from whose prayers, counsels, and examples we may expect the greatest advantage.
4. We see the odious and ensnaring sin of drunkenness. A certain writer against the scriptures, has ventured to assert, that there is nothing in the Mosaic law to discourage this vice. But, beside several other passages that might be mentioned, this story itself answers that objection. We see how big it is with all manner of mischief. It is bad in itself} dishonourable to our rational natures ; an ungrateful abuse of the kindness of God, in giving such things for our refreshment and entertainment; and an inlet to all manner of vice. It makes the tongue pervert right things; and a person, who is in the main good, when overtaken, with this fault, may be guilty of such actions as will brinç pcrpelnal shame on himself; a great reproach on his profession; and nriy make him go mourning all his days. Justly does the pious Herbert say,
* He th it in drunltcn, may his mother till
Thus Lot, who had kept himself pure amidst all the debauchery of Sodom, when he was drunk commits incest with his own daughters. Л man may be guilty of such faults in similar circumstances, of which, if he were told before, he would say. Is thy servant a doff, that he should do such things as these? Persons cannot be too much on their guard against so frequent and so abominable a practice. Be not drunk with mine wherein there is ejcccnn. But if men will, with such instances as these before their eyes, go en to add drunkenness to thirst, make a god of their belly, and dethrone their reason, let them remember what the apostle declares, that such persons shall no' inherit the kingdom of God. Let us conclude with the exhortation of our Lord in Luke xxi. 34. Taie heed to youmelvfs, iest at any lime your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and *a that day come -ujim you unawares.
The progress of.Abraham's history hath been a little interrupted by the account of the destruction of Sodom; but here u>e return to it again, and find him a second time denying his wife ; Abimelech takes her; is reproved of God for it; and, after expostulating with Abraham, restores her to him.'
1 AND Abraham, after residingat Mamre fourteen years, ,xjl journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between the two deserts Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar, a city of the Philistines, south of Canaan.*
'i And Abraham unaccountably fell into the same sin which he had before been guilty of in Egypt, and said of Sarah his wife, She [is] my sister: and Abimelech.t king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah: she was still beautiful, though ninety years old; and the
3 king took her, perhaps by force, to make her his wife. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou [art but] a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken, if thou restore her not; for she [is] a man's
4 wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and, bang thus made sensible of the wrong he had done, and fearful lest his people should suffer for it, he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a
5 righteous nation, who are innocent as to this point? Said he not unto me, She [is] my sister? and she, even she herself said, He [is] my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this; / had no adulterous design in the least in it; I meant nothing but what was hontst.
6 And God said unto .him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou. didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me : therefore suffered I thee not
7 to touch her. Now therefore restore the man [his] wife \ for he [is] a prophet, an interpreter of my will, and one who is very dear to me,4herefore the injury done to him I consider a* done to myself; and if thou wilt restore her, he shall pray fof thee, and I will liear him, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that' [are] thine. Thus God reproved kings for hit
8 sake. Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their cars t and the men were sore afraid.
9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us ? how great a danger hast thou exposed us to! and in what have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin, or pun.
• Probibly the stench of the lake wu disagreeable, and Lot's incest had brought k. reproach upon him and his religion.
t A nam: common wall the kings of Palestine, at Pharaoh was to the kinjiof Egyn. It signifies, my fytbtr il tin* CaJjiitt, $Jii. fc
tshment t thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be
10 done, that were neither honourable nor justifiable. And Abim. elech said unto Abraham, What levity or impurity sawest thou in us, that thou hast done this thing, that hath moved thee to
11 deal thus with us? And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God, a principle of real religion, [is] not in this place: they will be guilty of any violence, and perhaps they
12 will slay me for my wife's sake. And yet indeed [she is] my sister; she [is] the grand daughter of my father Terah, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. *
13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This [is}^hy kindness which thou shalt show unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He [is] my brother.f
14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and men servants, and women servants, and gave [them] unto .Abraham, and
15 restored him Sarah his wife. And Abimelech, being glad to have such a prophet, and such a friend of God near him, said, Behold, my land [is] before thee: dwell where it pleaseth
16 thee. And unto Sarah he said, by way of reproof, Behold, I have given him whom thou didst call thy brothel" a thousand [pieces] of silver : \ behold, Jhe [is] to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that [are] with thee, and with all [other ;] a defence oj thy chastity, to secure thee from the eyes and addresses of ail others.; and therefore own him hereafter: thus she was reproved. || (
elech, and his wife, and his maid servants, of the indisposition .18 under which they laboured; and they bare [children.] For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife; God by some righteous judgment /tad smitten them with barrenness.
WE should he cautious of relapsing into those sins that we have been convinced of and humbled for. Abraham did so; and his guilt was aggravated by God's having formerly appeared for him in Pharaoh's court. It was strange that he should dissemble again, when he had seen the vision of God since that time, and had the promise of a child by Sarah too; yet he relapsed again. Lord, what is man J How painful is it to
* When Haran. her own father, died, she lived with Terah, her grandfather, who was also Abraham's father , and thus living as brother and sister in the same family, hi time she became his wife.
"t Abraham alleges it was his common practice, and therefore he did not design to affront Abimelech ; but it was done with a design to deceive, and therefore unjustifiable and
d twenty five pounds. M