19 The two angels entered Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in Sodom’s gateway. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them. He bowed with his face to the ground 2 and said, “My lords, turn aside to your servant’s house, wash your feet, and spend the night. Then you can get up early and go on your way.”
“No,” they said. “We would rather spend the night in the square.” 3 But he urged them so strongly that they followed him and went into his house. He prepared a feast and baked unleavened bread for them, and they ate.
4 Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, the whole population, surrounded the house. 5 They called out to Lot and said, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!”
6 Lot went out to them at the entrance and shut the door behind him. 7 He said, “Don’t do this evil, my brothers. 8 Look, I’ve got two daughters who haven’t been intimate with a man. I’ll bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you want[a] to them. However, don’t do anything to these men, because they have come under the protection of my roof.”
9 “Get out of the way!” they said, adding, “This one came here as an alien, but he’s acting like a judge! Now we’ll do more harm to you than to them.” They put pressure on Lot and came up to break down the door. 10 But the angels[b] reached out, brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 They struck the men who were at the entrance of the house, both young and old, with blindness[c] so that they were unable to find the entrance.
12 Then the angels said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here: a son-in-law, your sons and daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of this place, 13 for we are about to destroy this place because the outcry against its people is so great before the Lord, that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were going to marry[d] his daughters. “Get up,” he said. “Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15 At daybreak the angels urged Lot on: “Get up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment[e] of the city.” 16 But he hesitated. Because of the Lord’s compassion for him, the men grabbed his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters. They brought him out and left him outside the city.
17 As soon as the angels got them outside, one of them[f] said, “Run for your lives! Don’t look back and don’t stop anywhere on the plain! Run to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”
18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords[g]—please. 19 Your servant has indeed found favor with you, and you have shown me great kindness by saving my life. But I can’t run to the mountains; the disaster will overtake me, and I will die. 20 Look, this town is close enough for me to flee to. It is a small place. Please let me run to it—it’s only a small place, isn’t it?—so that I can survive.”
21 And he said to him, “All right,[h] I’ll grant your request[i] about this matter too and will not demolish the town you mentioned. 22 Hurry up! Run to it, for I cannot do anything until you get there.” Therefore the name of the city is Zoar.[j]
23 The sun had risen over the land when Lot reached Zoar. 24 Then out of the sky the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah burning sulfur from the Lord. 25 He demolished these cities, the entire plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and whatever grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt.
27 Early in the morning Abraham went to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of the plain, and he saw that smoke was going up from the land like the smoke of a furnace. 29 So it was, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham and brought Lot out of the middle of the upheaval when he demolished the cities where Lot had lived.
The Origin of Moab and Ammon
30 Lot departed from Zoar and lived in the mountains along with his two daughters, because he was afraid to live in Zoar. Instead, he and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man in the land to sleep with us as is the custom of all the land. 32 Come, let’s get our father to drink wine so that we can sleep with him and preserve our father’s line.” 33 So they got their father to drink wine that night, and the firstborn came and slept with her father; he did not know when she lay down or when she got up.
34 The next day the firstborn said to the younger, “Look, I slept with my father last night. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight so you can go sleep with him and we can preserve our father’s line.” 35 That night they again got their father to drink wine, and the younger went and slept with him; he did not know when she lay down or when she got up.
36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn gave birth to a son and named him Moab.[k] He is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger also gave birth to a son, and she named him Ben-ammi.[l] He is the father of the Ammonites of today.
Sarah Rescued from Abimelech
20 From there Abraham traveled to the region of the Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he was staying in Gerar, 2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar had Sarah brought to him.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “You are about to die because of the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman.”[m]
4 Now Abimelech had not approached her, so he said, “Lord, would you destroy a nation even though it is innocent? 5 Didn’t he himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I did this with a clear conscience[n] and clean[o] hands.”
6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you did this with a clear conscience.[p] I have also kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I have not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, know that you will certainly die, you and all who are yours.”
8 Early in the morning Abimelech got up, called all his servants together, and personally[q] told them all these things, and the men were terrified.
9 Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said to him, “What have you done to us? How did I sin against you that you have brought such enormous guilt on me and on my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.” 10 Abimelech also asked Abraham, “What made you do this?”
11 Abraham replied, “I thought, ‘There is absolutely no fear of God in this place. They will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 So when God had me wander from my father’s house, I said to her: Show your loyalty to me wherever we go and say about me: ‘He’s my brother.’”
14 Then Abimelech took flocks and herds and male and female slaves, gave them to Abraham, and returned his wife Sarah to him. 15 Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you. Settle wherever you want.”[r] 16 And he said to Sarah, “Look, I am giving your brother one thousand pieces of silver. It is a verification of your honor[s] to all who are with you. You are fully vindicated.”
17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female slaves so that they could bear children, 18 for the Lord had completely closed all the wombs in Abimelech’s household on account of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
The Birth of Isaac
21 The Lord came to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time God had told him. 3 Abraham named his son who was born to him—the one Sarah bore to him—Isaac. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears will laugh with me.”[t] 7 She also said, “Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne a son for him[u] in his old age.”
Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
8 The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned. 9 But Sarah saw the son mocking—the one Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham. 10 So she said to Abraham, “Drive out this slave with her son, for the son of this slave will not be a coheir with my son Isaac!”
11 This was very distressing to[v] Abraham because of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed[w] about the boy and about your slave. Whatever Sarah says to you, listen to her, because your offspring will be traced through Isaac, 13 and I will also make a nation of the slave’s son because he is your offspring.”
14 Early in the morning Abraham got up, took bread and a waterskin, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her and the boy away. She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beer-sheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she left the boy under one of the bushes 16 and went and sat at a distance, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I can’t bear to watch the boy die!” While she sat at a distance, she[x] wept loudly.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the[y] angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the boy crying from the place where he is. 18 Get up, help the boy up, and grasp his hand, for I will make him a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well. So she went and filled the waterskin and gave the boy a drink. 20 God was with the boy, and he grew; he settled in the wilderness and became an archer. 21 He settled in the Wilderness of Paran, and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Abraham’s Covenant with Abimelech
22 At that time Abimelech, accompanied by Phicol the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23 Swear to me by God here and now, that you will not break an agreement with me or with my children and descendants. As I have been loyal to you, so you will be loyal to me and to the country where you are a resident alien.”
24 And Abraham said, “I swear it.” 25 But Abraham complained to Abimelech because of the well that Abimelech’s servants had seized.
26 Abimelech replied, “I don’t know who did this thing. You didn’t report anything to me, so I hadn’t heard about it until today.”
27 Abraham took flocks and herds and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. 28 Abraham separated seven ewe lambs from the flock. 29 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “Why have you separated these seven ewe lambs?”
30 He replied, “You are to accept the seven ewe lambs from me so that this act[z] will serve as my witness that I dug this well.” 31 Therefore that place was called Beer-sheba[aa] because it was there that the two of them swore an oath. 32 After they had made a covenant at Beer-sheba, Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, left and returned to the land of the Philistines.
33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham lived as an alien in the land of the Philistines for many days.
Abraham and Sarah had messed up. They had taken God’s promises and plans for their lives and grown impatient. That resulted in the birth of Ishmael to their slave Hagar. Want to know the beauty of it all? God was faithful to fulfill his promise in their life even when Abraham and Sarah jumped ahead of Him.
I asked yesterday, have you ever grown impatient and gotten ahead of God? The answer was most likely “Yes.” Remember this today…God is still faithful to the plans He has for you even when it seems you have messed them all up. Continue seeking Him and trusting Him that He has it figured out.