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15. The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

When He departed from Abraham, God revealed to him that He was going to destroy the neighboring cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because they were the most wicked cities on the earth. The cousin of Abraham, the righteous Lot, was living in Sodom.

Abraham began to plead with the Lord that He be merciful to these cities if there were fifty righteous men in them.

The Lord said, "If I find fifty righteous men in Sodom, then I shall spare the whole city for their sake."

Abraham again asked, "Perhaps of the fifty righteous men five shall be lacking?"

The Lord said, "If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it."

Then Abraham continued to speak with the Lord and beseech Him, continually lowering the number of righteous men, until he came to the number ten. He said, "Do not be angry, Master, but I will say once more: Perhaps ten (righteous men) shall be found there."

God said, "I shall not destroy it for tenís sake."

In these wretched cities the inhabitants were so evil and corrupt that there were not even ten righteous men to be found. These evil men even wanted to abuse the two angels that came to save the righteous Lot. They were prepared to break down the door, but the angels struck them with blindness and led Lot and his family, with his wife and two daughters, out of the city. They commanded them to run and not to look back, so as not to perish.

Then the Lord poured upon Sodom and Gomorrah a rain, of sulphur and fire and destroyed these cities and all the people in them. The place was entirely laid waste, so that in the valley where they stood a salt lake was formed, which is now known by the name Dead Sea, in which no creature can live.

The wife of Lot, when she ran from the city, looked back at Sodom, and immediately was turned into a pillar of salt.

By looking back at Sodom, the wife of Lot showed that she regretted leaving the sinful city that was left behind. She looked back, hesitated, and immediately was turned into a pillar of salt. This is a strict lesson for us. When the Lord saves us from a sin, we must flee from it, not looking back at it, not hesitate nor regret giving it up.

Note: See Genesis, chaps. 18:16-33; 19:20.

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