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15 | And when the morning men laid hold upon his hand, and arose, then the angels hastened upon the hand of his wife. and Lot, saying, ' Arise, take thy upon the hand of his two daughwife, and thy two daughters ters; the LORD being merciful which are here, lest thou be con- unto him ; band they brought sumed in the iniquity of the city. him forth, and set him without

16 And while he lingered, the the city.

y Yunab. 16. 24, 26. Rev. 18. 4.

a Luke 18. 13. Rom. 9. 15, 16. b Ps. 34. 22.

with such childish bugbears! Mere idle severe test to know that he must forwhims conjured up in the brain of a sake all and go forth homeless and weak doting old man! Thus was the destitute, he knew not whither, and awful message of heaven received, or our own habitual practical distrust of rather rejected, and thus alas! too often Providence enables us but too easily to is the gospel message spurned and enter into his feelings, and perhaps to made light of, as if its ministers were find an apology for them on this score; playing upon the fears and credulities but this was not the only ground of his of their fellow men. Yielding them- reluctance. His heart was agonized at selves up to a fatal security, they heed the thought of leaving so many relanot the monitions of the word or the tives behind him to perish in the perspirit till in too many instances the de- dition of the city; and we may suplusion is dispelled by the fearful reality pose it was mainly in consequence of of a lost soul and a present hell. this strong conflict that he so deferred

15. And when the morning arose. his flight that his deliverers were at That is, at break of day, for the sun last obliged to have recourse to a kind did not rise till Lot entered Zoar, v. 23. of violence to hasten bis departure.

-4 The angels hastened Lot. This Such, in thousands of instances, is the circumstance shows that the com- struggle in the minds of men when mendable faith and piety of Lot were called to leave all and flee from the still mingled with some degree of hu- wrath to come. They do not wholly man infirmity. He was disposed to disbelieve or reject the warnings adlinger, and had to be hastened by the dressed to them; they are convinced angels. It is easy indeed to conceive that there is peril in their path, and that one in his situation, though pre- that ere long something must be done pared on the whole to obey the divine to avoid it; an awful sound is ever and summons, should still have felt a strong anon in their ears, urging them to exrepugnance to an instantaneous flight. pedite their flight from the devoted city; His was a struggle like that of the en- but still they linger, and still would lindangered mariner who feels that his ger to their final undoing, did not the only chance for escaping shipwreck same compulsory mercy of heaven and saving his life, is to cast all his which rescued Lot, save them also from goods overboard, and yet hesitates and the consequences of their destructive lingers and can scarcely bring himself apathy.—-91 Thy two daughters which to part with what he holds so dear. are here. Heb. Sain which are In Lot's case, however, we may have found. Gr. as exers which thou hast. the charity to believe, it was not solely Chal. "Which are found faithful with the thought of losing all his worldly thee.' The expression seems covertly substance that made him faller. It to imply that some of Lot's daughters was indeed putting his fortitude to a were not thus found, and consequenily

17 [ And it came to pass, thy life: d look not behind thee, when they had brought them forth neither stay thou in all the plain: abroad, that be said, Escape for escape to the mountain, lest thou

be consumed. ci Kings, 19. 3.

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d ver. 26. Matt. 24. 16, 17, 18. Luke 9. 62 Phil. 3. 13, 24.

that they perished in the general de us out, whilst we linger, we should be struction. Lest thou be consumed condemned with the world. If God in the iniquity of the city. That is, the meet with a very good field, ne pulls up punishment of the iniquity; akin to the weeds, and lets the corn grow; if which is the common idiom of bearing indifferent, he lets the corn and weeds iniquity' for 'suffering punishment,’ | grow together; if very ill, he gathers Lev. 20. 17-20, Numb. 14. 34.

the few ears of corn, and burns the 16. And while he lingered the men weeds.' Bp. Hall. laid hold upon his hand, &c. Heb.

17. He said, Escape for thy life. Then he delayed or distracted Heb. 'qed jy for thy soul. Chal. himself. The original is peculiar and Pity thine own soul, and save thyself,' emphatic in its import, leading us to &c.' It would seem that a new speakfear that it was not altogether a com

er, even the Angel-Jehovah, who bad passionate sympathy that detained his by this time left Abraham and joined steps. The word properly implies that the two angels at Sodom, utters these he suffered himself to be hindered and words. The fact indeed of his coming embarrassed with distracting cares, up and joining his angelic companperhaps relative to his property. The ions is not mentioned, but the tenor of same term occurs with a negative in the ensuing narrative makes it clear, Ps. 119. 60, showing a striking con

we think, that the personage called Jetrast between the promptitude of Da- hovah was present at the overthrow of vid and the tardiness of Lot; 'I made Sodom, and that it was no other than haste, and delayed not. (Heb. 3 he who sustains the character of chief -nunnan suffered not myself to be speaker in the discourses recorded. delayed,) to keep thy commandments.' See v. 21, 22. Lot, having been so far

- The Lord being merciful unto saved almost in spite of himself, is him. Heb. 7739 777879 obrana in now solemnly charged to escape for his the gentle mercy of the Lord upon him. life to the mountains without so much How striking was the divine interpo- as looking behind him. This was consition in his favour! How evident is tinuing to be mercifully severe, and it that had he been left to himself he such are our Lord's commands which would have perished in the general require us to deny self, take up the overthrow!

cross, and follow him. The extreme E'en Lot himself could lingering stand, earnestness of the angels throughout, When vengeance was in view;

and the urgent and imperative tone in 'Twas mercy plucked him by the hand, which Lot was now addressed, was inOr he had perished too.

deed calculated to inspire him with an So the general warnings and provisions awful dread of what was coming, and of the gospel are unavailing to move in the weaker females to extinguish the sinner's heart without a special in- perhaps the powers of reason and refluence of Divine mercy superadded to flection. But shall we say that these the outward call. "We are all nat. divine monitors were therefore imporurally in Sodom : if God did not hale | tinently officious or needlessly severe?

Suppose that having received a com- you, nor tarry in all the plain.' mission to warn Lot, they had yielded Look not behind thee, &c. Neither to a mistaken tenderness, and forborne thou nor any of the company. That 'to alarm bis fears. Suppose that they all were included in the prohibition is had gently admonished him of his evident from what befel Lot's wife, danger, and suggested the expediency though we do not read that it was exof providing against it. Suppose that pressly addressed to her. They were when they saw him lingering, and forbidden to look behind them or to knew that one hour's delay would in- tarry in all the plain, not only as a test volve him and his family in the com- of obedience—which might have been mon ruin, they had contented them- prescribed them without any other reaselves with hinting in a distant manner son than the will of God—but also to that more expedition would be desira- express in this manner the utmost posble; would such conduct have become sible detestation of the abhorred and them? Would they have acted the devoted city, and a firm resolve to shun part of friends? Yea, would they not all participation in its fate. In order have been awfully responsible to God to this they are not to tarry (Heb for their unfaithfulness, and considered stand) in all the plain ; they were not as chargeable with the death of the to station tiseniselves at any particular family? Assuredly, the more faithful spot with a view to indulge their curiosand earnest they were in the discharge ity in looking back upon the conflagof their duty, the more real benevo- ration; for as the impending destriclence they exercised; nor could they tion was not to be confined to the city, have displayed their love in any better but was to extend all over the region way than by seizing hold of them to of the plain, they could not consequicken their pace, and urging them by quently delay but at the imminent the most powerful considerations to peril of their lives. The extent of the secure their own safety. In like man- purposed ruin is doubtless now marked ner should the earnest appeals and ex- by the boundaries of the Dead Sea. hortations of Christ's ministers to the Within these limits it was death for impenitent be regarded. They are them to tarry. With what altered really prompted by the most benev- emotions does Lot now survey that olent motives. Knowing the terrors of ensnaring plain, which had been his . the Lord they endeavour to persuade great temptation! For many a day he men. In uttering the denunciations of had roved at ease with his flocks and heaven they may be accused as need- herds over that goodly ground. But lessly harsh or severe, but it is a most now he is to pass over it with the utunjust imputation, for what they speak most speed—not a moment is to be will soon be found true, and in thus lost. Fly he must for his life to the discharging their duty they perform an mountains beyond, for a deluge of fire office worthy of an angel. They be- is about to break forth and flow over lieve God's threatenings and therefore that accursed soil ! Ah, how easily they speak; and shonld they speak can the hand of God turn our choicest smooth things to their hearers and worldly comforts into wormwood and prophesy deceits, they would prove gall! How easily can he rob our entheir bitterest enemies. In this urgent joyments of their zest, and convert our

matter concealment is treachery and earthly Edens into a dreary waste ! i fidelity is love. They must be an echo 'Little children, keep yourselves from

to the angel's voice and cry aloud, 'Es- idols.' — I Escape to the mountain. cape for your lives, look not behind Collect. sing. for mountains, i. e. the

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18 And Lot said unto them, escape lu the mountain, lest Oh, not so my Lord !

some evil take me, and I die: 19 Behold now, thy servant 20 Behold now, this city is hath found grace in thy sight, and near to flee unto, and it is a little thou hast magnified thy mercy, one: Oh, let me escape thither! which thou hast shewed unto me (is it not a little one?) and my in saving my life: and I cannot soul shall live.

e Acts 10. 14.

mountainous region of Moab, several avails, and at the same time by the re miles to the east of Sodom.

sult to teach his short-sighted servant 18, 19. And Lot said unto them, &c. how much wiser a part he would have It must certainly be set down to the acted had he confided in a child-like account of a weak and wavering faith manner in God, and fled to the mounin Lot that he now made this request tains in the first instance. For it is to his divine deliverer. His duty evi- clear from the sequel, v. 30, that his dently was to have yielded a simple terror would not suffer him to remain obedience to the declared will of heaven. in the place he had chosen, but that he He should have known that what God was soon glad to take refuge in the very dictated was best; that if he had com- mountains which he had foolishly demanded him to go to the mountains, he clined to seek. This instance should would certainly enable him to get there, fix firmly in our minds the conviction and that he could as well protect him that we can never gain any thing by there as any where else. But he is attempting to improve upon God's ap filled with alarm in view of the dis pointments. He will choose for us intance of the mountains, imagining that finitely better than we can for ourselves. he will be unable to reach them in time Let us learn, moreover, another lesson to secure bis safety, and therefore from this incident. If a petition markpleads hard for permission to flee to ed and marred with such faultiness as the neighbouring city of Zoar, and that of Lot on this occasion still met hopes he may be excused in this desire with a favourable hearing, what effiseeing it was 'a little one;' a reason cacy may we conceive to pertain to the force of which probably lay in the those prayers which are prompted by a implication, that as the city was small yet more believing spirit and framed its sins were comparatively small, and more distinctly in accordance with the on this account might be favoured with revealed will of heaven ?- 1 Behold exemption from the coming calamity. now, thy servant hath found grace in The preferring of such a request in thy sight. Nothing can be more comsuch circumstances we should no doubt mon than this form of speech. Has a suppose would have drawn forth some man been pleading with another and marked expression of the divine dis- succeeded in his request, he will say, pleasure, and that with a frown the Lord 'Ah, since I have found favour in your would have repeated the former com- sight, let me mention another thing.' mand. But with characteristic clem-My lord, had I not found favourin your ency he lends a gracious ear to his sight, who would have helped me?' petition. His infirmity is not rebuked; Happy is the man who finds grace in his request was granted; the city was your sight.' Roberts.

- Lest some spared for his sake. In this God de- evil take me. . signed at once to show how much the evil, or this edil ; i. e. the threatened fervent prayer of a righteous man I destruction. He was apprehensive he

lest he פן הרעה ,Heb

21 And he said unto him, See, 22 Haste thee, escape thither; f I have accepted thee concerning for 8 I cannot do any thing till this thing also, that I will not thou be come thither: therefore overthrow this city, for the which the name of the city was called thou hast spoken.

Zoar.

f Job 42. 8, 9. Ps. 145. 19.

g ch. 32. 25, 26.. Ex. 32. 10. Deut. 9. 14. Mark 6. 5. h ch. 13. 10. & 14. 2.

should not be able to reach the destin- come thither. The inability here mened place of safety till the fiery tempest tioned is of course wholly of the moral had burst forth.

and not of the physical kind, si ilar in 20. Is it not a little one? Heb. yen its nature, though arising from an oppoMitzar ; in allusion to which the name site cause, to that affirmed of our Savof the city was afterwards called 'Zoar,' iour, Mark, 6. 5, 'He could there do no whereas before it was known by the mighty work,' by reason of the unbename of 'Bela,' Gen. 14. 2. Targ. lief of the people. He could not beJerus. 'It is little, and its eins are little.' cause he would not. There was a mor

21. I have accepted thee. Heb. 75.827 al unfitness bei ween such a state of 75. I have accepted thy face, or 1 mind and such a display of power, so have lifted up thy face; i. e. I have a that he determined not to put it forth. compassionate respect to thee, and will | But the expression in the present ingratify thee by granting this request. stance is very remarkable. What an The expression probably arose from an evidence does it afford of the favour Eastern custom. Persons there in pre-in which God holds a good man! ferring a petition, instead of falling What a testimony to the efficacy of upon their knees, often prostrate them- his prayers and intercessions. The selves with their face to the ground. Most High is pleased to represent When the petition is accepted, the his hands as bound by his paramount prince or potentate commands them to regard to the welfare of such ; he be raised from their lowly posture, can do nothing towards the punishwhich is expressed by lifting up the ment of the wicked till their safety face.' In common usage therefore, is secured. Had we not a divine warthe phrase, is clearly synonymous rant for the use of such language, it with 'showing favour,' but it is some would doubtless be a high presumption times taken in a bad sense, and pro- in us to employ it, and when we find hibited as implying what is termed the Holy Spirit adopting it, we still respect of persons,' or undue partial- pause in devout admiration mingled tiy, which is denied of God, Deut. 10. with a latent misgiving whether we are 17, and forbidden to men, Deut. 16. 19. indeed to understand the words in their Gr. εθαυμασα σου Tov poownov I have most obvious sense. But our doubts admired thy face or thy person ; paral- are precluded by adverting to numerlel 10 which the Apostle, Jude, 16, says, ous parallel instances in God's dealings 'having men's persons in admiration;' with his people. On more than one i. e. with sinister motives, because of occasion when he had determined to advantage. Thus doth a gracious God, execute vengeance on Israel for their according to the words of the Psalmist, perverseness, the intercessions of Moses Ps. 145. 19, fulfil the desire of them are represented as having been in effect, that fear him ; he also will hear their irresistible, so that the threatened cry, and will save them.'

judgment was averted. , What an argu22. I cannot do any thing till thou be ment is this for our pressing earnestly

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