This is a Bible study on Genesis 18:1-Genesis 19:29.

6 pages.

Genesis 18:1-19:29 - Don’t Neglect God in Your Decision-Making

Read Genesis 18:1-19:29.

Note: The LORD’s statement in Genesis 18:19, “The reason I have known Abraham,” is in reference to the covenant He has made with Abraham, and may be translated, “The reason I have entered into covenant with Abraham.”


Roy Chappell spent his boyhood near Nashville, Tennessee, during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Roy’s mother had always taken him to church, but it was during his high school years that God touched Roy’s heart through an evangelist’s message. Roy’s commitment to Christ and growth as a young Christian so impressed the pastor and leaders of his church that they offered Roy a full scholarship to college and seminary. Roy was excited about the prospect of serving the LORD as a minister of the gospel.

But the war in Korea was escalating, and Roy knew that he might be drafted into the army at any time. So, he decided to join the navy and put his education on hold while fulfilling his military obligation. During his time in the navy Roy began to drink, and the problem began to grow.

During his navy days Roy also got married. Following his discharge, he and his wife settled in California, where he worked his way into a good job. (Roy had forgotten about his education and his desire to serve Christ as a minister of the gospel.) Working for a major oil company, Roy was wined and dined; in the process he was becoming an alcoholic. Within a few years he lost his job and his family.

Roy knew that God was still in his life, but he had no time for the LORD. It was the devil that was directing him on a path to complete ruin, and Roy almost arrived at the final destination. When he finally hit bottom, Roy was living in an abandoned truck in a Wilmington, California, junkyard. When he finally realized his need for help, he went to the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light treatment center in Los Angeles.

At Harbor Light Roy was confronted by people who loved him and were honest with him about his condition and his destiny, if he did not make the necessary changes. Major Robert Reddington of the Harbor Light Center looked him in the eye and told him, “Christ is the only solution to your drinking problem.” Roy wrestled with the issue back in his room; finally, at 3 a.m. he prayed a simple prayer: Jesus, can you forgive me? After his prayer, Roy felt a warm glow come over his heart and Jesus seemed to say to him: “I do not want you to die a sinner on Skid Row. I want you to work for Me.” From that moment on, Roy Chappell went to work for God.1

There is a parallel between the life of Roy Chappell and that of Lot. They were both children of God. For a time in their lives they both wound up far from God. They each got themselves into spiritual peril and suffered loss because they neglected God in their decision-making.

Because the consequences of such decisions can be tragic, let us resist the temptation to neglect God in our decision-making.

Don’t Neglect God in Your Decision-Making; because Your Fellowship with Him will Suffer🔗

The LORD and His angels appear to Abraham and meet with him as he sits by the oaks of Mamre (18:1). In contrast to this meeting, it is only the two angels who come to Lot as he sits at the gate of Sodom (19:1).

The LORD shares His plans with Abraham; He makes known His intention of judging Sodom (18:16­ 21). He does so in order that Abraham might know that the catastrophe that is about to come upon Sodom is a divine and righteous judgment, not a capricious act without just cause. Furthermore, the LORD does so in order that Abraham and his descendants may learn to reverence the righteousness of God so that they may depart from evil and enjoy the fulfillment of His promised blessing. The LORD’s ministry to Abraham on this occasion is an example of the divine work described in Proverbs 2:6-8,

6...the LORD gives wisdom. Out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. 7He stores up sound wisdom for the upright so that it might be a shield for those who walk in integrity, 8so that he may guard the paths of justice and protect the way of his saints.

Note: “Saints” is the biblical term for those who have been redeemed by the shed blood of Christ and set apart to be God’s own holy possession.

In this passage of Proverbs, “sound wisdom” is “stored up,” or “reserved,” for the upright, it is not indiscriminately made known to everyone. This “sound wisdom”—this understanding of the law of God and its application to the circumstances of life—serves as a shield for the godly, enabling and causing them to walk in the way of the LORD, so that they may receive His blessing and not be liable to His judgment.

Abraham learns these things at a safe distance, while Lot must learn these things through hard and painful experience. The angels merely inform Lot of the impending judgment about to fall upon Sodom and urge him to escape (19:12-13). In His covenant mercy and faithfulness, the LORD’s angels forcibly drag Lot out of the city (vs. 15-16). Whereas Abraham was spared from the calamities of Sodom, Lot was rescued only at the last moment after having endured much grief, as the Apostle Peter notes,

7...God rescued righteous Lot who was distressed by the conduct of lawless men living in licentiousness—8for by what he saw and heard as he lived among them day by day, that righteous man felt his righteous soul tormented by their lawless deeds.

Abraham, living in fellowship with the LORD, has an effective prayer life (18:22-32). Abraham’s plea is that the LORD will spare the righteous, that He will not indiscriminately allow the righteous to suffer the same fate as the wicked (18:25). His prayer is effectual on behalf of Lot, because Lot demonstrated himself to be the only righteous man left in Sodom. This is seen by the fact that, when his neighbors seek to commit lewd and perverse acts with Lot's two angelic guests, Lot urges them to refrain, "Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!" (19:7)

Being a true child of God, Lot’s sense of righteousness was never fully extinguished. On the contrary, it appears that the LORD used Lot’s adverse experiences to produce a repentance and revival of righteousness in his life, note Psalm 119:67, “Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now I observe your word.” At the same time, in no small measure, Lot’s last-minute deliverance was due to Abraham’s intercession, his effective prayer life (19:29). Note the testimony of the Apostle James: “The petition of a righteous man is able to accomplish much” (Jas. 5:16b).

Don’t neglect God in your decision-making, or your fellowship with Him will suffer. The Psalmist declares, “The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him; and he will fulfill his covenant with them” (Psl. 25:14). In contrast to Lot, Abraham enjoyed intimate fellowship with the LORD, insight into the ways of the LORD, and an effective prayer life.

Don’t Neglect God in Your Decision-Making; because You will Make Yourself Liable to Suffer Great Loss🔗

When the LORD and His angels appear before Abraham, he entertains them with a great feast: cakes made of fine flour, a tender calf, curds and milk (18:6-8). When the two angels arrive at Lot’s house in Sodom, he also entertains them with a “feast:” a “feast” that consists of nothing more than unleavened bread (19:3). Sodom had for twelve years paid large sums of tribute money to the warlord, Chedorlaomer (cp. Gen. 14:4). When the city rebelled against him, it had finally been plundered by his armies (cp. Gen. 14:11). Contrast this present state of Sodom with the state that first attracted Lot to it:

10Lot looked up and observed that all the Plain of the Jordan was well watered everywhere, it was like the garden of the LORD, or like the land of Egypt as you go towards Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) Gen. 13:10

The LORD promises Abraham that at long last Sarah, his wife, shall bear him the promised covenant son (18:9-10). This shall be a supernatural blessing derived from the LORD’s omnipotent power (Gen. 18:14) and His covenant faithfulness. Lot, on the other hand, suffers tragic losses in his family. His sons-in-law scoff at his warning, and they, together with Lot’s married daughters, perish in the judgment that descends upon Sodom (19:14). Lot’s wife turned back and she perished in the judgment that befell the city (19:26). Later, Lot’s unmarried daughters, destitute and frantic, commit incest and produce two of Israel’s greatest enemies: Moab and Ammon (Gen. 19:30-38).

Abraham witnesses from afar the judgment that fell upon Sodom, standing safely on the heights of the Promised Land (19:27-28)—note Psalm 91:8-10 and Psalm 37:34, 37-39,

8Only with your eyes shall you see and observe the reward the wicked receive. 9You, O LORD, are my refuge! You have made the Most High your dwelling place; 10therefore, no calamity shall befall you, neither shall any plague come near to your tent. Psl. 91:8-10

34Wait for the LORD, and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it... 37Take note of the blameless man, and observe the upright, for there is a blessed end for the man of peace. 38As for transgressors, all of them shall be destroyed together; the future of the wicked shall be cut off. 39But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.Psl. 37:34, 37-39

Lot, on the other hand, is snatched from the impending judgment at the last moment, being dragged out by the angels of the LORD and commanded to flee for his life.

Don’t neglect God in your decision-making, or else you will make yourself liable to suffer great loss.


The lives of Abraham and Lot reach their climax in Genesis 19. These two lives, distinct from one another, can be traced back to Genesis 13 and the respective choices that were made at that time. Abraham made a godly decision: in obedience to the LORD, he remained in the land of Canaan—the Promised Land. Lot neglected to consider the LORD in his decision: thinking only of earthly security and worldly gain, he departed from the Promised Land and thereby violated his covenantal responsibility. Genesis 13:11 informs us, "Lot chose for himself all the Plain of the Jordan. “His decision was self-centered, rather than God-centered: Lot only consulted with himself to determine what he deemed to be best for himself.

May the LORD grant us to learn and heed this great lesson of Scripture: If we neglect God in our decision-making, we will eventually be confronted with the adverse consequences of those decisions. For the welfare of our own spiritual life as well as that of our family, let us not neglect God in our decision-making.

Discussion Questions🔗

1. What set Lot and his family on a course that would result in hardship, spiritual peril, and even tragedy? See Gen. 13:10-12 Have you ever been tempted to make a similar choice? What warning are we given in 1 Timothy 6:9-10?

10Lot looked up and observed that all the Plain of the Jordan was well watered everywhere, it was like the garden of the LORD, or like the land of Egypt as you go towards Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11So Lot chose for himself all the Plain of the Jordan. Then Lot journeyed east. So they separated themselves from one another. 12Abram settled in the land of Canaan, but Lot settled in the cities of the Plain and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13Now the men of Sodom were wicked and exceedingly great sinners against the LORD. Gen. 13:10-12

9...those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and harmful lusts that drown men in destruction and perdition; 10for the love of money is a root of all [kinds of] evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Tim. 6:9-10

2. What does the LORD reveal to be the purpose for which He redeemed Abraham and entered into covenant with Him? See Gen. 18:19 As Christians, we are saved by grace and for what purpose? See Titus 2:13-14; Eph. 2:8-10.

19The reason I have known Abraham is so that he may instruct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD —to do righteousness and justice; so that the LORD may bestow upon Abraham that which he has promised concerning him. Gen. 18:19

13...our great God and Savior Jesus Christ 14...gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works. Tit. 2:13-14

8It is by grace that you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9it is not of works, therefore, no one can boast. 10We are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance in order for us to walk in them.Eph. 2:8-10

3. Contrast the “crust of bread” Abraham prepares for the LORD and His angels (Gen. 18:5-8), with the “feast” Lot prepares for his visitors (Gen. 19:3). What does this tell us about the life lived in devotion to Christ in contrast to the life lived without regard to such devotion? Note Jn. 10:10b Does this always translate into material prosperity as we find in the case of Abraham? Is the distinction between Abraham’s condition and that of Lot a revelation of the ultimate outcome of the two diverse life paths that were chosen? See Psl. 16:11; Psl. 23:6; Eccl. 2:26.

10b...I came that they may have life, and may have [it] abundantly. Jn. 10:10b

11You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fulness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psl. 16:11

6Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psl. 23:6 the man that pleases him, [God]gives wisdom, and knowledge, and joy; but to the sinner, he gives the labor of gathering and collecting, so that he may give to [him that] pleases God. Eccl. 2:26

4. Who visits Abraham (Gen. 18:1-2) and, again, in contrast, who does not visit Lot (Gen. 19:1)? What does this tell us about a life of devotion to Christ? See Psl. 25:14a Jn. 15:14-15 Do you experience such intimate fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ in your life? If not, why not? Did the LORD abandon Lot? See Gen. 19:12-13a, 15-16

1And the LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2Abraham looked up, and behold, three men stood before him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of his tent to greet them.Gen. 18:1-2

1The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening. Now Lot was sitting at the entrance gate of the city. When Lot saw them, he stood up to greet them; bowing himself with his face to the ground. Gen. 19:1

14aThe friendship of the LORD is with them that fear him... Psl. 25:14a

14You are my friends, if you do the things I command you. 15I no longer call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. Jn. 15:14-15

12Then the men [i.e. the angels] said to Lot, Do you have any family members living here beside yourself? Whomever you have living in the city—your sons-in-law, your sons, and your daughters—take them out of here; 13afor we are about to destroy this place...15As soon as it was morning, the angels hurried Lot out, saying, Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, so that you will not be consumed with the iniquity of the city.16But Lot lingered; so the men took hold of his hand, and the hand of his wife, and the hand of his two daughters— the LORD being merciful to him—and dragged him away, setting him outside the city. Gen. 19:12­-13a, 15-16

5. What does it mean that the men of Sodom wanted to “know” Lot’s visitors? See Gen. 19:5 How does Lot respond to their demand? See Gen. 19:7-8 Do you think Lot would actually have given his two daughters to the Sodomites instead of his two guests? Or by means of this offer of a two for two exchange, was Lot confronting the Sodomites with their moral perversity? From the fate that finally befell Sodom, what do we learn will be the ultimate fate of a society that utterly corrupts itself in the sight of God? Note, also, Ezek. 16:49-50 How do Lot’s sons-in-law react to the warning Lot brings them? See Gen. 19:14 Do you take seriously God’s warnings?

5And they called to Lot and said to him, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them.' 6So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, 7and said, 'Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! 8See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.' Gen. 19:5-8

To Israel the LORD declares:

49Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me; therefore I took them away... Ezek. 16:49-50

14...Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were married to his daughters. He said to them, Get up and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city. But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be a man who was joking. Gen. 19:14

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