6 “if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);” (2 Peter 2:6–8)
This historical and biblical text of which Peter makes reference is Genesis 19:1-29. The specific reference which speaks of the destruction of the cities, including Sodom and Gomorrah, is Genesis 19:23-29.
23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. 29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.”
2 Peter 2:6 says that the Lord turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes. Ashes (τεφρόω; tephroo) means to destroy something by fire leaving only a remnant of embers. The test also says that God condemned the cities. To condemn (κατακρίνω; katakrino) means to pronoun a sentence of guilty resulting in punishment. God did this in order to make these ungodly cities in the past an example (ὑπόδειγμα; hypodeigma) or a model of what is going to happen to the ungodly in the future. God does not mess around.
At the same time the Lord graciously saved righteous Lot. The righteousness (δίκαιος; disaios) Lot possessed was the imputed righteousness from God by grace alone, through faith alone in the future ministry of the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ. It might surprise us that Scripture evaluates Abraham’s nephew “Lot” as a righteous man.
Dr. C. Sproul comments that, regarding Lot, it is, “A surprising description in view of the portrait of Lot in Genesis 19. Lot’s righteousness may have been inherited from Abraham’s intercession for the righteous of Sodom and Lot’s subsequent deliverance. Peter may also be speaking of Lot in a comparative sense. Despite Lot’s sin, Sodom’s transgressions were so heinous that Lot, comparatively speaking, was a righteous man.”
Peter continues to say that Lot was “greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked.” As Scripture interprets Scripture, we see that the sins of the inhabitants of the cities of the valley were sexual in nature. Peter also writes that Lot “was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard.” Dr. Don Carson writes concerning Lot that, “He was tormented (neb ‘tortured’): originally meant to be tested for genuineness. Godly people living in an ungodly world must be prepared to prove the reality of their faith.”
Take the opportunity to pray for your country this day. Pray that any ungodliness by anyone would be repented of and that faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior would prevail.
Soli deo Gloria!