SEPTEMBER 12-13

2 Peter 2:4-8 - Warnings About Wickedness and Rebellion

Verse 4: "For if God spared not
[had no mercy on] the angels that sinned [referring to the angels who, along with Satan, had rebelled against God], but cast [threw] them down to hell [from heaven], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved [restrained from freedom, or held captive] unto judgment [until the Great White Throne Judgment, which will take place in heaven someday];"

Verse 5: "And
[God] spared not the old world [meaning everything that was alive on the earth (i.e., people, animals, birds, etc.) when the ark was built], but saved Noah the eighth person [there were seven others (family members) besides himself on the ark], [who was] a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;"

Verse 6: "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes
[by raining fire and brimstone down on them from heaven,] [God] condemned them with an overthrow [meaning he condemned and destroyed those cities and all of the people in them], making them an ensample [example] unto those [people] that after[wards] should live [in an] ungodly [manner];"

Verses 7-8: "And
[God] delivered just [the righteous, morally upright] Lot, [who was] vexed [afflicted, oppressed, burdened] with the filthy conversation [lifestyle] of the wicked: (For that righteous man [Lot] dwelling [living] among them [the people of Sodom and Gomorrah], in seeing and hearing [the horrible things that they did and said], vexed [tormented] his righteous soul from day to day [constantly] with their unlawful deeds;)"

Regarding verse 6, one Bible commentator wrote: "It has well been said that if God spares today's cities from judgment, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah." Apparently, it was Ruth Graham who originally made that statement because, in a letter entitled "My Heart Aches for America," Billy Graham wrote:

"Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation's moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, 'If God doesn't punish America, He'll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.'

"She was probably thinking of a passage in Ezekiel where God tells why He brought those cities to ruin. 'Now this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen' (Ezekiel 16:49-50, NIV).

"I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle."

(Source for Billy Graham quote: https://billygraham.org/story/billy-graham-my-heart-aches-for-america/)

SEPTEMBER 11

Romans 12:19-20 - The Apostle Paul Teaches About Vengeance (Retaliation, Revenge)
Writing to the saints (born-again Christians) in Rome about revenge, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 19: "Dearly beloved [an expression of tenderness], avenge not yourselves [don't seek revenge, meaning don't harm or punish people who have hurt you and/or have hurt or destroyed someone or something you care about], but rather [instead] give [the proper] place unto [God's] wrath [anger] [in other words, leave the matter in God's hands; allow him (and sometimes the judges in a court of law) to punish the offender(s) rather than doing it yourself]: [you shouldn't avenge yourselves] for [because] it is written [in Deuteronomy 32:35--see Note 1 below], Vengeance is mine; I will repay [or pay him (or her) back], saith [says] the Lord [God]."

Verse 20: "Therefore if thine
[your] enemy hunger, feed him [or her]; if he [or she] thirst [is thirsty], give him [or her] [something to] drink: for in so doing thou shalt [you shall] heap coals of fire [burning coals] on his [or her] head [in other words, you will make the person feel pain in his (or her) conscience, such as shame, remorse, etc. (see Note 2 below), or (as suggested in Matthew Henry's commentary--see Note 3 below) you will '[m]elt him into repentance and friendship, …' (similar to 'melting a person's heart')]. Be not [don't be] overcome of [by] evil, but overcome evil with good."
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Note 1: Deuteronomy 32:35: "To me [God] belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste."

Note 2:
In his commentary on verse 20, Albert Barnes says: "… In regard to this passage we may remark,

"(1) That the way to promote 'peace' is to do good even to enemies.

"(2) the way to bring a man to repentance is to do him good. On this principle God is acting continually. He does good to all, even to the rebellious; and he designs that his goodness should lead people to repentance; Romans 2:4. People will resist wrath, anger, and power; but 'goodness' they cannot resist; it finds its way to the heart; and the conscience does its work, and the sinner is overwhelmed at the remembrance of his crimes.

"(3) if people would act on the principles of the gospel, the world would soon be at peace. No man would suffer himself many times to be overwhelmed in this way with coals of fire. It is not human nature, bad as it is; and if Christians would meet all unkindness with kindness, all malice with benevolence, and all wrong with right, peace would soon pervade the community, and even opposition to the gospel might soon die away."

(Source for above quote by Albert Barnes:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-12.html, "Verse 20")

Note 3:
Source for Matthew Henry quote: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/romans/12.html, "Verses 6-21,"  "(v. 20)"

SEPTEMBER 4-10

Genesis 19:1-26 - Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
The city of Sodom was filled with wickedness and immorality and was scheduled to be destroyed by God. This story took place after God promised that he wouldn't destroy Sodom if Abraham could find at least ten righteous (morally right) people there.

Verses 1-3: "And there came two angels to Sodom at even [in the evening, after visiting Abraham]; and Lot [Abraham's nephew] sat in the gate of [at the entrance to the city of] Sodom: and Lot seeing them [the angels] rose [stood] up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground [to show respect]; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house [Lot's house], and tarry [stay] all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay [no]; but we will abide [remain, stay] in the street all night. And he [Lot] pressed upon them greatly [insisted]; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat."

Verses 4-5: "But before they
[the angels] lay down [on their beds to sleep], the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round [surrounded the house], both old [men] and young [men and boys], all the people from every quarter [every corner of the city]: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men [referring to the angels] which came in to thee [who came to your house] this night? bring them out unto us, [so] that we may know [have sex with] them."

Verses 6-8: "And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray
[beg] you, brethren [neighbors], do not [do] so wickedly [do not do such an evil thing]. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man [intimately, meaning they were virgins]; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes [he either thought that this was the lesser of two evils or that the men wouldn't be interested in them]: only unto these men [the angels] do nothing; for therefore [for this reason] came they under the shadow of my roof [i.e., for safety or protection, so he thought]."

Verses 9-11: "And they
[the men of Sodom] said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow [referring to Lot] came in to sojourn [stay here temporarily], and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee [you--Lot], than with them [the angels]. And they pressed sore [pushed hard] upon the man, even Lot [in other words, they beat him up], and came near to break the door. But the men [the angels] put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote [struck] the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great [all of the men--young and old]: so that they wearied themselves [they grew tired or exhausted trying] to find the door."

Verses 12-14: "And the men
[the angels] said unto Lot, Hast thou [have you] here any [relatives] besides [yourself]'? [your] son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place [the city of Sodom], because the cry of them [the people living there] is waxen great before the face of the LORD [which means their evil deeds had greatly offended God]; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it [Sodom]. And Lot went out, and spake [spoke] unto his sons in law, which married [or soon would marry] his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city [Sodom]. But he seemed as one that mocked [made jokes] unto his sons in law [who thought that he was kidding and, consequently, didn't heed his warning]."

Verses 15-17: "And when the morning arose
[i.e., at daybreak, dawn, when the sun came up], then the angels hastened Lot [or urged him to hurry], saying, Arise [get up], take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou [or you will] be consumed in the [punishment for the] iniquity [immorality] of the city. And while he [Lot] lingered [was reluctant to leave], the men [the angels] laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him [Lot]: and they brought him forth [out of Sodom], and set him without [outside of] the city. And it came to pass, when they [the angels] had brought them [Lot and his family] forth abroad [out of the city], that he [one of the angels] said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee [don't look behind you--an important command that Lot's wife will either forget or ignore], neither stay thou [and don't you stay] in all the plain [of Jordan]; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed [or you'll be burned up]."

Verses 18-23: "And Lot said unto them
[the angels; in particular, the angel of the Lord], Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace [favor] in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed [showed] unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, this city [Bela] is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither [there], (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. And he [the angel of the Lord] said unto him [Lot], See, I have accepted thee [granted approval] concerning this thing [Lot's request/prayer] also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. Haste thee [hurry], escape thither [there]; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into [Bela, which was renamed] Zoar."

Verses 24-26: "Then the LORD
[God] rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone [sulfur] and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he [God] overthrew [destroyed] those [two] cities, and all [of] the plain [of Jordan], and all the inhabitants of the cities [that were located there (i.e., Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, but not Zoar, where Lot had gone)], and that which grew upon the ground [e.g., trees, herbs, plants]. But his [Lot's] wife [who was following her husband] looked back from behind him [Lot] [in disobedience to God's command], and she became a pillar of salt."

The place where this happened is now called the Dead Sea, or Salt Sea.

Among other things, this story shows that:

1. God eventually gets fed up with sin and punishes it.

2. The Lord protects Christians and answers their prayers.

3. Like Lot's sons-in-law and wife, people who ignore warnings suffer the consequences.

4. "… The very presence of good men in a place helps to keep off judgments …" (Source: Matthew Henry commentary, https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/genesis/19.html, "Verses 15-23")
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Commenting on verse 16, in part, Bishop Ryle wrote:

"I. WHAT LOT WAS HIMSELF.

"1. Lot was a true believer--a converted person--a real child of God--a justified soul--a righteous man. Is any one of my readers a traveller in the narrow way which leads unto life? So also was Lot.

"2. Before we pass on, let us remember that a true Christian may have many a blemish, many a defect, many an infirmity, and yet be a true Christian nevertheless. We do not despise gold because it is mixed with much dross. We must not undervalue grace because it is accompanied by much corruption.

"II. WHAT THE TEXT TELLS US ABOUT LOT'S BEHAVIOUR. 'He lingered.' Now, there are many Christian men and Christian women in this day very like Lot. There are many real children of God who appear to know far more than they live up to, and see far more than they practise, and yet continue in this state for many years. Wonderful that they go as far as they do, and yet go no further I They hold the Head, even Christ, and love the truth. They like sound preaching, and assent to every article of Gospel doctrine, when they hear it. But still there is an indescribable something which is not satisfactory about them. They believe in heaven, and yet seem faintly to long for it; and in hell, and yet seem little to fear it. They love the Lord Jesus; but the work they do for Him is small. They hate the devil; but they often appear to tempt him to come to them. They know the time is short; but they live as if it were long. They know they have a battle to fight; yet a man might think they were at peace. They know they have a race to run; yet they often look like people sitting still. They know the Judge is at the door, and there is wrath to come; and yet they appear half asleep. Astonishing they should be what they are, and yet be nothing more! And what shall we say of these people? They often puzzle godly friends and relations. They often cause great anxiety. They often give rise to great doubts and searchings of heart. But they may be classed under one sweeping description--they are all brethren and sisters of Lot. They linger."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/genesis/19-16.html, "The Biblical Illustrator," "Lot: a beacon")
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Concerning the statement in verse 26 that Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, a GotQuestions.org article says:

"Lot ran, his daughters close behind. 'But his wife , from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt' … She lagged behind. She turned and watched the flaming sulfur fall from the sky, consuming everything she valued. Then it consumed her. The Hebrew for 'looked back' means more than to glance over one's shoulder. It means 'to regard, to consider, to pay attention to.' The Scriptures don't say whether her death was a punishment for valuing her old life so much that she hesitated in obeying, or if it was a simple consequence of her reluctance to leave her life quickly. Either she identified too much with the city--and joined it--or she neglected to fully obey God's warning, and she died."

(Source for quote: "Why was Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt?" --
https://www.gotquestions.org/pillar-of-salt.html, paragraph 2)

SEPTEMBER 3

Proverbs 3:13-16 - Wisdom

Verses 13-14: "Happy
[blessed] is the man [or woman or child] that findeth wisdom [by reading and studying the Bible and by asking God for it through prayer], and [happy is] the man [or woman or child] that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it [wisdom] is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof [of wisdom] [is better] than [the gain of] fine gold."

Verses 15-16: "She
[God's wisdom, personified, or acting like a person] is more precious [valuable] than rubies: and all the things thou canst [you can] desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days [long life] is in her [wisdom's]  right hand; and in her left hand [are] riches and honour."

Salem Bible Church has good commentaries on these verses. Verses 13-15 are in one commentary, and verse 16 is combined with the commentary on verses 17-20. If you want to read one or both of the commentaries, here are the links:

-- Verses 13-15: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-3-index/proverbs-3_13-15/

-- Verses 16-20: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-3-index/proverbs-3_16-20/

SEPTEMBER 2

1 Corinthians 15:58
[In a letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul wrote]: "Therefore, my beloved brethren [brothers (and sisters) in Christ; i.e., fellow Christians], be ye stedfast [firm, and fixed in your faith (belief) concerning the truth of the gospel and the resurrection of the dead], unmoveable [in your expectation of having eternal life], always abounding in the work of the Lord [doing many things for God and/or the church and to promote the gospel], forasmuch as [since] ye [you] know that your labour is not in vain [fruitless, without success or results] in the Lord [when it's done under God's direction and by his influence]."

With this verse, Paul encourages the Corinthians--and all born-again Christians--to remain faithful and hopeful, and he reminds them (and us) that they (and we) will be rewarded in heaven for the things that they (and we) do for God on earth.
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In the last paragraph of his commentary on the above verse, Brad Price wrote:

"Someone has said there are three kinds of people in the church: (1) Tow boat Christians (these never go unless someone drags them along). (2) Sail boat Christians (these are only found in 'fair weather'). (3) Steam boat Christians (these are ready to go all the time). This observation, plus the fact that abounding is expressed with the present tense, reminds us that the Christian life is a life of commitment and activity. God does not want His people to work for a while then grow 'faint' or 'weary' (Galatians 6:9). Neither does He want people to 'spiritually retire' in their later years and rest on their previous accomplishments. God knows about the pitfalls that face His people so Christians are warned to 'stand fast in the faith,' 'act like men,' and 'be strong' (1 Corinthians 16:13). Even though our physical bodies weaken with age, our inward man can be 'renewed day by day' (2 Corinthians 4:16) and we can 'set our minds on what is above' (Colossians 3:2). If Christians do seem to become somewhat lax in their service to God, they should be exhorted to again turn to God and serve Him with eagerness (compare 2 Timothy 1:6-7 and Colossians 4:17)."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-corinthians/15-58.html, last commentary on the page--following the commentary from "The Bible Study New Testament")

SEPTEMBER 1

Ephesians 5:19
[In a letter to the Christians in Ephesus, the apostle Paul wrote]: "Speaking to yourselves in psalms [referring to the psalms of King David, which used to be sung in churches in Bible times] and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"

Singing is a great way to praise and worship God. In fact, if we pay attention to the words of the hymns (for example, the kind used in Baptist churches--see Hymnary link below) while singing, it will not only give us joy but also help to strengthen our faith.

Click here for a list of "Most Popular Hymns" plus "the 250 hymns published the most frequently in modern hymnals indexed by Hymnary.org":
https://hymnary.org/browse/popular.


Previous Verses
September 2019
SEPTEMBER 12-13

2 Peter 2:4-8 - Warnings About Wickedness and Rebellion

Verse 4: "For if God spared not
[had no mercy on] the angels that sinned [referring to the angels who, along with Satan, had rebelled against God], but cast [threw] them down to hell [from heaven], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved [restrained from freedom, or held captive] unto judgment [until the Great White Throne Judgment, which will take place in heaven someday];"

Verse 5: "And
[God] spared not the old world [meaning everything that was alive on the earth (i.e., people, animals, birds, etc.) when the ark was built], but saved Noah the eighth person [there were seven others (family members) besides himself on the ark], [who was] a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;"

Verse 6: "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes
[by raining fire and brimstone down on them from heaven,] [God] condemned them with an overthrow [meaning he condemned and destroyed those cities and all of the people in them], making them an ensample [example] unto those [people] that after[wards] should live [in an] ungodly [manner];"

Verses 7-8: "And
[God] delivered just [the righteous, morally upright] Lot, [who was] vexed [afflicted, oppressed, burdened] with the filthy conversation [lifestyle] of the wicked: (For that righteous man [Lot] dwelling [living] among them [the people of Sodom and Gomorrah], in seeing and hearing [the horrible things that they did and said], vexed [tormented] his righteous soul from day to day [constantly] with their unlawful deeds;)"

Regarding verse 6, one Bible commentator wrote: "It has well been said that if God spares today's cities from judgment, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah." Apparently, it was Ruth Graham who originally made that statement because, in a letter entitled "My Heart Aches for America," Billy Graham wrote:

"Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation's moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, 'If God doesn't punish America, He'll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.'

"She was probably thinking of a passage in Ezekiel where God tells why He brought those cities to ruin. 'Now this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen' (Ezekiel 16:49-50, NIV).

"I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle."

(Source for Billy Graham quote: https://billygraham.org/story/billy-graham-my-heart-aches-for-america/)

SEPTEMBER 11

Romans 12:19-20 - The Apostle Paul Teaches About Vengeance (Retaliation, Revenge)
Writing to the saints (born-again Christians) in Rome about revenge, the apostle Paul said:

Verse 19: "Dearly beloved [an expression of tenderness], avenge not yourselves [don't seek revenge, meaning don't harm or punish people who have hurt you and/or have hurt or destroyed someone or something you care about], but rather [instead] give [the proper] place unto [God's] wrath [anger] [in other words, leave the matter in God's hands; allow him (and sometimes the judges in a court of law) to punish the offender(s) rather than doing it yourself]: [you shouldn't avenge yourselves] for [because] it is written [in Deuteronomy 32:35--see Note 1 below], Vengeance is mine; I will repay [or pay him (or her) back], saith [says] the Lord [God]."

Verse 20: "Therefore if thine
[your] enemy hunger, feed him [or her]; if he [or she] thirst [is thirsty], give him [or her] [something to] drink: for in so doing thou shalt [you shall] heap coals of fire [burning coals] on his [or her] head [in other words, you will make the person feel pain in his (or her) conscience, such as shame, remorse, etc. (see Note 2 below), or (as suggested in Matthew Henry's commentary--see Note 3 below) you will '[m]elt him into repentance and friendship, …' (similar to 'melting a person's heart')]. Be not [don't be] overcome of [by] evil, but overcome evil with good."
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Note 1: Deuteronomy 32:35: "To me [God] belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste."

Note 2:
In his commentary on verse 20, Albert Barnes says: "… In regard to this passage we may remark,

"(1) That the way to promote 'peace' is to do good even to enemies.

"(2) the way to bring a man to repentance is to do him good. On this principle God is acting continually. He does good to all, even to the rebellious; and he designs that his goodness should lead people to repentance; Romans 2:4. People will resist wrath, anger, and power; but 'goodness' they cannot resist; it finds its way to the heart; and the conscience does its work, and the sinner is overwhelmed at the remembrance of his crimes.

"(3) if people would act on the principles of the gospel, the world would soon be at peace. No man would suffer himself many times to be overwhelmed in this way with coals of fire. It is not human nature, bad as it is; and if Christians would meet all unkindness with kindness, all malice with benevolence, and all wrong with right, peace would soon pervade the community, and even opposition to the gospel might soon die away."

(Source for above quote by Albert Barnes:
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-12.html, "Verse 20")

Note 3:
Source for Matthew Henry quote: www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/romans/12.html, "Verses 6-21,"  "(v. 20)"

SEPTEMBER 4-10

Genesis 19:1-26 - Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
The city of Sodom was filled with wickedness and immorality and was scheduled to be destroyed by God. This story took place after God promised that he wouldn't destroy Sodom if Abraham could find at least ten righteous (morally right) people there.

Verses 1-3: "And there came two angels to Sodom at even [in the evening, after visiting Abraham]; and Lot [Abraham's nephew] sat in the gate of [at the entrance to the city of] Sodom: and Lot seeing them [the angels] rose [stood] up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground [to show respect]; And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house [Lot's house], and tarry [stay] all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay [no]; but we will abide [remain, stay] in the street all night. And he [Lot] pressed upon them greatly [insisted]; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat."

Verses 4-5: "But before they
[the angels] lay down [on their beds to sleep], the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round [surrounded the house], both old [men] and young [men and boys], all the people from every quarter [every corner of the city]: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men [referring to the angels] which came in to thee [who came to your house] this night? bring them out unto us, [so] that we may know [have sex with] them."

Verses 6-8: "And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray
[beg] you, brethren [neighbors], do not [do] so wickedly [do not do such an evil thing]. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man [intimately, meaning they were virgins]; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes [he either thought that this was the lesser of two evils or that the men wouldn't be interested in them]: only unto these men [the angels] do nothing; for therefore [for this reason] came they under the shadow of my roof [i.e., for safety or protection, so he thought]."

Verses 9-11: "And they
[the men of Sodom] said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow [referring to Lot] came in to sojourn [stay here temporarily], and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee [you--Lot], than with them [the angels]. And they pressed sore [pushed hard] upon the man, even Lot [in other words, they beat him up], and came near to break the door. But the men [the angels] put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote [struck] the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great [all of the men--young and old]: so that they wearied themselves [they grew tired or exhausted trying] to find the door."

Verses 12-14: "And the men
[the angels] said unto Lot, Hast thou [have you] here any [relatives] besides [yourself]'? [your] son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place [the city of Sodom], because the cry of them [the people living there] is waxen great before the face of the LORD [which means their evil deeds had greatly offended God]; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it [Sodom]. And Lot went out, and spake [spoke] unto his sons in law, which married [or soon would marry] his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city [Sodom]. But he seemed as one that mocked [made jokes] unto his sons in law [who thought that he was kidding and, consequently, didn't heed his warning]."

Verses 15-17: "And when the morning arose
[i.e., at daybreak, dawn, when the sun came up], then the angels hastened Lot [or urged him to hurry], saying, Arise [get up], take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou [or you will] be consumed in the [punishment for the] iniquity [immorality] of the city. And while he [Lot] lingered [was reluctant to leave], the men [the angels] laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him [Lot]: and they brought him forth [out of Sodom], and set him without [outside of] the city. And it came to pass, when they [the angels] had brought them [Lot and his family] forth abroad [out of the city], that he [one of the angels] said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee [don't look behind you--an important command that Lot's wife will either forget or ignore], neither stay thou [and don't you stay] in all the plain [of Jordan]; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed [or you'll be burned up]."

Verses 18-23: "And Lot said unto them
[the angels; in particular, the angel of the Lord], Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace [favor] in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed [showed] unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, this city [Bela] is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither [there], (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. And he [the angel of the Lord] said unto him [Lot], See, I have accepted thee [granted approval] concerning this thing [Lot's request/prayer] also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken. Haste thee [hurry], escape thither [there]; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar. The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into [Bela, which was renamed] Zoar."

Verses 24-26: "Then the LORD
[God] rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone [sulfur] and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he [God] overthrew [destroyed] those [two] cities, and all [of] the plain [of Jordan], and all the inhabitants of the cities [that were located there (i.e., Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, but not Zoar, where Lot had gone)], and that which grew upon the ground [e.g., trees, herbs, plants]. But his [Lot's] wife [who was following her husband] looked back from behind him [Lot] [in disobedience to God's command], and she became a pillar of salt."

The place where this happened is now called the Dead Sea, or Salt Sea.

Among other things, this story shows that:

1. God eventually gets fed up with sin and punishes it.

2. The Lord protects Christians and answers their prayers.

3. Like Lot's sons-in-law and wife, people who ignore warnings suffer the consequences.

4. "… The very presence of good men in a place helps to keep off judgments …" (Source: Matthew Henry commentary, https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/genesis/19.html, "Verses 15-23")
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Commenting on verse 16, in part, Bishop Ryle wrote:

"I. WHAT LOT WAS HIMSELF.

"1. Lot was a true believer--a converted person--a real child of God--a justified soul--a righteous man. Is any one of my readers a traveller in the narrow way which leads unto life? So also was Lot.

"2. Before we pass on, let us remember that a true Christian may have many a blemish, many a defect, many an infirmity, and yet be a true Christian nevertheless. We do not despise gold because it is mixed with much dross. We must not undervalue grace because it is accompanied by much corruption.

"II. WHAT THE TEXT TELLS US ABOUT LOT'S BEHAVIOUR. 'He lingered.' Now, there are many Christian men and Christian women in this day very like Lot. There are many real children of God who appear to know far more than they live up to, and see far more than they practise, and yet continue in this state for many years. Wonderful that they go as far as they do, and yet go no further I They hold the Head, even Christ, and love the truth. They like sound preaching, and assent to every article of Gospel doctrine, when they hear it. But still there is an indescribable something which is not satisfactory about them. They believe in heaven, and yet seem faintly to long for it; and in hell, and yet seem little to fear it. They love the Lord Jesus; but the work they do for Him is small. They hate the devil; but they often appear to tempt him to come to them. They know the time is short; but they live as if it were long. They know they have a battle to fight; yet a man might think they were at peace. They know they have a race to run; yet they often look like people sitting still. They know the Judge is at the door, and there is wrath to come; and yet they appear half asleep. Astonishing they should be what they are, and yet be nothing more! And what shall we say of these people? They often puzzle godly friends and relations. They often cause great anxiety. They often give rise to great doubts and searchings of heart. But they may be classed under one sweeping description--they are all brethren and sisters of Lot. They linger."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/genesis/19-16.html, "The Biblical Illustrator," "Lot: a beacon")
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Concerning the statement in verse 26 that Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, a GotQuestions.org article says:

"Lot ran, his daughters close behind. 'But his wife , from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt' … She lagged behind. She turned and watched the flaming sulfur fall from the sky, consuming everything she valued. Then it consumed her. The Hebrew for 'looked back' means more than to glance over one's shoulder. It means 'to regard, to consider, to pay attention to.' The Scriptures don't say whether her death was a punishment for valuing her old life so much that she hesitated in obeying, or if it was a simple consequence of her reluctance to leave her life quickly. Either she identified too much with the city--and joined it--or she neglected to fully obey God's warning, and she died."

(Source for quote: "Why was Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt?" --
https://www.gotquestions.org/pillar-of-salt.html, paragraph 2)

SEPTEMBER 3

Proverbs 3:13-16 - Wisdom

Verses 13-14: "Happy
[blessed] is the man [or woman or child] that findeth wisdom [by reading and studying the Bible and by asking God for it through prayer], and [happy is] the man [or woman or child] that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it [wisdom] is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof [of wisdom] [is better] than [the gain of] fine gold."

Verses 15-16: "She
[God's wisdom, personified, or acting like a person] is more precious [valuable] than rubies: and all the things thou canst [you can] desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days [long life] is in her [wisdom's]  right hand; and in her left hand [are] riches and honour."

Salem Bible Church has good commentaries on these verses. Verses 13-15 are in one commentary, and verse 16 is combined with the commentary on verses 17-20. If you want to read one or both of the commentaries, here are the links:

-- Verses 13-15: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-3-index/proverbs-3_13-15/
-- Verses 16-20: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-3-index/proverbs-3_16-20/

SEPTEMBER 2

1 Corinthians 15:58
[In a letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul wrote]: "Therefore, my beloved brethren [brothers (and sisters) in Christ; i.e., fellow Christians], be ye stedfast [firm, and fixed in your faith (belief) concerning the truth of the gospel and the resurrection of the dead], unmoveable [in your expectation of having eternal life], always abounding in the work of the Lord [doing many things for God and/or the church and to promote the gospel], forasmuch as [since] ye [you] know that your labour is not in vain [fruitless, without success or results] in the Lord [when it's done under God's direction and by his influence]."

With this verse, Paul encourages the Corinthians--and all born-again Christians--to remain faithful and hopeful, and he reminds them (and us) that they (and we) will be rewarded in heaven for the things that they (and we) do for God on earth.
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In the last paragraph of his commentary on the above verse, Brad Price wrote:

"Someone has said there are three kinds of people in the church: (1) Tow boat Christians (these never go unless someone drags them along). (2) Sail boat Christians (these are only found in 'fair weather'). (3) Steam boat Christians (these are ready to go all the time). This observation, plus the fact that abounding is expressed with the present tense, reminds us that the Christian life is a life of commitment and activity. God does not want His people to work for a while then grow 'faint' or 'weary' (Galatians 6:9). Neither does He want people to 'spiritually retire' in their later years and rest on their previous accomplishments. God knows about the pitfalls that face His people so Christians are warned to 'stand fast in the faith,' 'act like men,' and 'be strong' (1 Corinthians 16:13). Even though our physical bodies weaken with age, our inward man can be 'renewed day by day' (2 Corinthians 4:16) and we can 'set our minds on what is above' (Colossians 3:2). If Christians do seem to become somewhat lax in their service to God, they should be exhorted to again turn to God and serve Him with eagerness (compare 2 Timothy 1:6-7 and Colossians 4:17)."

(Source for above quote: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-corinthians/15-58.html, last commentary on the page--following the commentary from "The Bible Study New Testament")

SEPTEMBER 1

Ephesians 5:19
[In a letter to the Christians in Ephesus, the apostle Paul wrote]: "Speaking to yourselves in psalms [referring to the psalms of King David, which used to be sung in churches in Bible times] and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"

Singing is a great way to praise and worship God. In fact, if we pay attention to the words of the hymns (for example, the kind used in Baptist churches--see Hymnary link below) while singing, it will not only give us joy but also help to strengthen our faith.

Click here for a list of "Most Popular Hymns" plus "the 250 hymns published the most frequently in modern hymnals indexed by Hymnary.org":
https://hymnary.org/browse/popular.


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