“…and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly…”
Peter gives three illustrations of divine judgment, all taken from the book of Genesis. The first illustration was the angels who fell. The second was the flood generation. The third illustration of God’s judgment is the judgment against Sodom and Gomorrah, covering verses six through eight. Peter gives more space to this judgment than the other two.
and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes
The word “turning” means to subvert or overthrow one’s existence. These cities enter a state of total ruin, complete destruction. “Into ashes” means that God reduced Sodom and Gomorrah into complete ruin.
We get the term “sodomites” from the city “Sodom.” Sodomites are people who pervert God’s standard for sex.
Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom and eventually moved into Sodom (Ge 13:12,13). Lot was Abram’s nephew. He knew this city was wicked. Nevertheless, he took his wife and two daughters into this atmosphere. Eventually, he became a politician there.
Ge 19:1, “Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom.”
Sitting in the “gate” during this time meant that a person was a politician. Lot was an official in the town council of the City Hall. Imagine a man of God being an official in a city of homosexuals! He advanced his career in Sodom, but he lost his family there. He made it materially but lost his family. Money was more important than his family. That is the only thing that counts for some men.
While Lot entertained two messengers, homosexuals came demanding that Lot bring the men out to them.
Ge 19:4-5, “Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And 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 carnally.’
The men of the city beat on Lot’s door. He went out and tried to placate them (he had power as an official of the city). They would not be appeased but turned on Lot. The messengers reached out and rescued Lot. God’s messengers smote these men with blindness. Then God rained judgment on the city.
Ge 19:24-25, “Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.”
Mrs. Lot lived in Sodom for a long time. She had become prominent in social circles and women’s clubs. God warned Lot and his wife, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed (Ge 19:17).” Lot’s wife disobeyed God by looking behind herself to the city. She lost her life. She never made it to the city limits. Lot’s daughters lost their morals, and by the end of the chapter, they are both pregnant by their own father. Although Lot was a carnal believer, God preserved him from the catastrophe at Sodom and Gomorrah.
Some of us are more interested in our careers than in our family.
Many of us advance our careers by compromising with society about us. We put a priority on business over our families and lose our families in the process. We make it materially but lose our families. That means money is more important to us than our families. That is the only thing that counts for some of us.