week nineteen

 

Genesis 19

 It was evening when the two angels came to Sodom. Lot was sitting at Sodom’s [city] gate. Seeing them, Lot got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “See here, my lords, please turn aside and come into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may get up early and go on your way.” But they said, “No, we shall spend the night in the open plaza [of the city].” However, Lot strongly urged them, so they turned aside and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them [with wine], and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. But before they lay down [to sleep], the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, surrounded the house, all the men from every quarter; and they called out to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may know them [intimately].” But Lot went out of the doorway to the men, and shut the door after him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not do something so wicked. See here, I have two daughters who have not known a man [intimately]; please let me bring them out to you [instead], and you can do as you please with them; only do nothing to these men, because they have in fact come under the shelter of my roof [for protection].” But they said, “Get out of the way!” And they said, “This man (Lot) came [as an outsider] to live here temporarily, and now he is acting like a judge. Now we will treat you worse than your visitors!” So they rushed forward and pressed violently against Lot and came close to breaking down the door [of his house]. 10 But the men (angels) reached out with their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door [after him]. 11 They struck (punished) the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, from the young men to the old men, so that they exhausted themselves trying to find the doorway.

12 And the [two] men (angels) asked Lot, “Have you any others here [in Sodom]—a son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters? Whomever you have in the city, take them out of here; 13 for we are destroying this place, because the outcry [for judgment] against them has grown so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy and ruin it.” 14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were [betrothed, and legally promised] to marry his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he appeared to be joking.

15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot [to hurry], saying, “Get up! Take your wife and two daughters who are here [and go], or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But Lot hesitated andlingered. The men took hold of his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, because the Lord was merciful to him [for Abraham’s sake]; and they brought him out, and left him outside the city [with his family]. 17 When they had brought them outside, one [of the angels] said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, or stop anywhere in the entire valley; escape to the mountains [of Moab], or you will be consumed and swept away.” 18 But Lot said to them, “Oh no, [not that place] my lords! 19 Please listen, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness (mercy) to me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, because the disaster will overtake me and I will be killed. 20 Now look, this town [in the distance] is near enough for us to flee to, and it is small [with only a few people]. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) so that my life will be saved.” 21 And the angel said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also; I will not destroy this town of which you have spoken. 22 Hurry and take refuge there, for I cannot do anything [to punish Sodom] until you arrive there.” For this reason the town was named Zoar (few, small).

23 The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained down brimstone (flaming sulfur) and fire on Sodom and on Gomorrah from the Lord out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew (demolished, ended) those cities, and the entire valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and whatever grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, from behind him, [foolishly, longingly] looked [back toward Sodom in an act of disobedience], and she became a pillar of salt.

27 Abraham started out early the next morning to the place where he [only the day before] had stood before the Lord; 28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley [of the Dead Sea]; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a kiln (pottery furnace).

29 Now when God ravaged and destroyed the cities of the plain [of Siddim], He remembered Abraham [and for that reason], and He sent [Abraham’s nephew] Lot out of the midst of the destruction, when He destroyed the cities in which Lot had lived.

Lot Is Debased

30 Now Lot went up from Zoar, and lived in the mountain together with his two daughters, for he was afraid to stay [any longer] in Zoar; and he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 The firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is aging, and there is not a man on earth [available] to be intimate with us in the customary way [so that we may have children]. 32 Come, let us make our father drunk with wine, and we will lie with him so that we may preserve our family through our father.” 33 So they gave their father wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she got up [because he was completely intoxicated]. 34 Then the next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay with my father last night; let us make him drunk with wine tonight also, and then you go in and lie with him, so that we may preserve our family through our father.” 35 So they gave their father wine that night also, and the younger got up and lay with him; and again he did not know when she lay down or when she got up. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot conceived by their father. 37 The firstborn gave birth to a son, and named him Moab (from father); he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also gave birth to a son and named him Ben-ammi (son of my people); he is the father of the Ammonites to this day.


2 Corinthians 3

 Are we starting to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some [false teachers], letters of recommendation to you or from you? [No!] You are our letter [of recommendation], written in our hearts, recognized and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such is the confidence and steadfast reliance and absolute trust that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficiently qualified in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency and qualifications come from God. He has qualified us [making us sufficient] as ministers of a new covenant [of salvation through Christ], not of the letter [of a written code] but of the Spirit; for the letter [of the Law] kills [by revealing sin and demanding obedience], but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry of death, engraved in letters on stones [the covenant of the Law which led to death because of sin], came with such glory and splendor that the Israelites were not able to look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, [a brilliance] that was fading,how will the ministry of the Spirit [the new covenant which allows us to be Spirit-filled] fail to be even more glorious and splendid? For if the ministry that brings condemnation [the old covenant, the Law] has glory, how much more does glory overflow in the ministry that brings righteousness [the new covenant which declares believers free of guilt and sets them apart for God’s special purpose]! 10 Indeed, what had glory [the Law], in this case no longer has glory because of the glory that surpasses it [the gospel]. 11 For if that [Law] which fades away came with glory, how much more must that [gospel] which remains and is permanent abide in glory and splendor!

12 Since we have such a [glorious] hope and confident expectation, we speak with great courage, 13 and we are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the Israelites would not gaze at the end of the glory which was fading away. 14 But [in fact] their minds were hardened [for they had lost the ability to understand]; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed [only] in Christ. 15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil [of blindness] lies over their heart; 16 but whenever a person turns [in repentance and faith] to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom]. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.

 



Psalm 19

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And the expanse [of heaven] is declaring the work of His hands.

Day after day pours forth speech,
And night after night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there [spoken] words [from the stars];
Their voice is not heard.

Yet their voice [in quiet evidence] has gone out through all the earth,
Their words to the end of the world.
In them and in the heavens He has made a tent for the sun,

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.

The sun’s rising is from one end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the other end of them;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.


The law of the Lord is perfect (flawless), restoring and refreshing the soul;
The statutes of the Lord are reliable and trustworthy, making wise the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true, they are righteous altogether.
10 
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned [reminded, illuminated, and instructed];
In keeping them there is great reward.
12 
Who can understand his errors or omissions? Acquit me of hidden (unconscious, unintended) faults.
13 
Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous (deliberate, willful) sins;
Let them not rule and have control over me.
Then I will be blameless (complete),
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
14 
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable and pleasing in Your sight,
O Lord, my [firm, immovable] rock and my Redeemer.