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From Eternity Past

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    Lot Entertains Angels Unawares

    But one man manifested kindly attention toward the strangers and invited them to his home. Lot did not know their true character, but politeness and hospitality were habitual with him—lessons he had learned from Abraham. Had he not cultivated a spirit of courtesy, he might have been left to perish with Sodom. Many a household, in closing its doors against a stranger, has shut out God's messenger who would have brought blessing. The unpretending acts of daily self-denial, performed with a cheerful, willing heart, God smiles upon.EP 99.3

    Seeing the abuse to which strangers were exposed in Sodom, Lot made it one of his duties to guard them by offering entertainment at his own house. He was sitting at the gate as the travelers approached and rose from his place to meet them, and bowing courteously, said, “Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night.” They seemed to decline, saying, “Nay; but we will abide in the street.” Their object in this answer was twofold—to test the sincerity of Lot and to appear ignorant of the character of the men of Sodom, as if they supposed it safe to remain in the street at night. Lot pressed his invitation until they yielded and accompanied him to his house.EP 99.4

    Their hesitation and his persistent urging caused them to be observed, and before they retired for the night, a lawless crowd gathered about the house, an immense company, youth and aged men alike inflamed by the vilest passions. The strangers had been making inquiry in regard to the character of the city, when the hooting and jeers of the mob were heard, demanding that the men be brought out to them.EP 100.1

    Lot went out to try persuasion on them. “I pray you, brethren,” he said, “do not so wickedly,” using the term “brethren” in the sense of neighbors and hoping to conciliate them. But their rage became like the roaring of a tempest. They mocked Lot and threatened to deal worse with him than they had purposed toward his guests. They would have torn him in pieces had he not been rescued by the angels of God. The heavenly messengers “put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.” “They smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great; so that they wearied themselves to find the door.” Had they not been visited with double blindness, being given up to hardness of heart, the stroke of God upon them would have caused them to desist from their evil work. That last night was marked by no greater sins than many others before it; but mercy, so long slighted, had at last ceased its pleading. The fires of God's vengeance were about to be kindled.EP 100.2

    The angels revealed to Lot the object of their mission: “We will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.” The strangers whom Lot had endeavored to protect, now promised to protect him and all his family who would flee with him from the wicked city. The mob had wearied themselves out and departed, and Lot went out to warn his children. “Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city.” But they laughed at what they called his superstitious fears. His daughters were influenced by their husbands. They could see no evidence of danger. They had great possessions and could not believe it possible that beautiful Sodom would be destroyed.EP 100.3

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