Read Genesis 18:17-21
–Considering that the Lord appears to be shown â€˜making up his mindâ€™ (v17-18) and verifying if something is true (v21), Iâ€™m not sure that a strictly literal reading of this passage is the best choice. How, then, do you interpret what is happening here (and, what might we learn about the Lord from it)? Or: if you read v17-18 and/or v21 differently, what do you think is happening in those verses?
Read Genesis 18:23-26
–And then summarize: Abraham basically â€˜bargainsâ€™ with the Lordâ€”in increments of five or tenâ€”until v32, where the Lord says that he will not destroy the city if ten righteous people can be found.
–This is a very unusual story. What do you make of it? How does it compare with other stories about prayersâ€”particularly, say, Joseph Smithâ€™s repeated requests to let Martin Harris see the 116 pages? How do we know if/when it would be OK to â€˜bargainâ€™ like this? Have you had any similar experiences and, if so, what did you learn from them?
–V23: Does the Lord destroy the righteous along with the wicked? What scripture stories are evidence for your answer?
Read Genesis 19:12-16
–Here the angels are trying to round up Lotâ€™s family to leave before the destruction.
–Note that apparently Lotâ€™s sons-in-laws are worthy to be spared from the destruction, but they choose not to leave. What happened here and what might you learn from it?
–Why on earth is Lot lingering in v16?!?
Read Genesis 19:24-26
–(Note that in v17 they were specifically told not to look back.)
–Remember that Lotâ€™s wife has left at least two daughters, two SILs, and possibly (but we donâ€™t know) some grandchildren in Sodom, not to mention friends and possessions. Her look back is easy to sympathize with, perhaps. Why does it get the punishment that it does and what might be some modern parallels to her act?
–When Jesus recounts this story in Luke 17:32, he doesnâ€™t say â€˜remember Lotâ€™ or â€˜remember the people of Sodom who were destroyedâ€™, he says, â€˜remember Lotâ€™s wife.â€™ What exactly do you think he wanted us to remember?
Read Genesis 19:29
–We so rarely get a lovely summary statement like this in the OT!
–Why do you think it says that the Lord remembered Abrahamâ€”not Lot?
The Post-Mortem on the Rescue of Lot
–Read Ezekiel 16:49-50. Note how the sins of Sodom are described. I think that we tend to overemphasize the idea of homosexual sin in Sodom because most of us are not tempted to commit those sins. But I would imagine most of us are tempted to commit the sins that are mentioned in this passage. What are some ways that we can avoid the fate of Sodom?
–This whole saga begins in Genesis 13, where Abraham and Lot separate because their herdmen cannot get along (see esp. v7). Read v8-12.
–I donâ€™t think the references to the garden (presumably the Garden of Eden?) and Egypt in v10 are accidentalâ€”what might they suggest about Lotâ€™s choice?
–Note that, in addition to the reference to the garden, we get Lot journeying east in v11â€”just as Adam and Eve did when they left the garden and just as Cain did when he was cursed and just as the people of Babel did. Can you make a useful comparison here? If so, what do you learn from it?
–First, he â€˜lived in the cities of the plain,â€™ then he â€˜pitched his tent toward Sodomâ€™ (13:12), then he is in the city itself. (But note that the text never describes him actually moving into the cityâ€”it is almost as if it crept up on him.) (Cf. King Benjaminâ€™s people, who pitched their tents toward the temple. Mosiah 2:6.) This is a good moment for reflectionâ€”in what direction does our home open up?
There seems to be a tension in the scriptures between (1) showing Lot as making really poor choices (to take the land closer to Sodom, to open his tent toward Sodom and finally to live in Sodom, to linger) and (2) being a righteous person (who was saved from Sodom and who is later described at â€˜justâ€™ in 2 Peter 2:7). What are some ways of resolving this tension? My thought: this isnâ€™t the first time that Abraham [in effect] rescues Lot (see Genesis 14). It may be that Abraham is a Christ figure in this story and Lot is shown to be the redeemable but imperfect sinner in need of intervention.