Lot and Sodom

The two angels that came to Sodom had apparently accompanied the Lord to speak to Abraham on the plains of Mamre (Gen. 18). While the Lord remained and revealed to Abraham what He intended to do with the cities of the plain, the two accompanying angels made their way there to do the work the Lord had given them to do. When Lot made the acquaintance of these two angels, not knowing they were such at the time, he invited them into his home to protect them from the violence of that city.

Lot had chosen this place to be his place of residence. He had left the company of Abraham, his uncle, to keep the strife down between his herdsmen and Abraham’s. Lot was not a bad man. Peter called him a just man who was vexed with the filthy lifestyle of the wicked (II Pet. 2:7). But, like all men, he had his weaknesses. Ane he would reap the consequences of his choices. And those consequences would reverberate across time.

Perhaps there was some sort of bond between Abraham and Lot. Lot was his brother’s son. He was fatherless and Abraham was childless. When Lot was in trouble, Abraham came immediately and fearlessly to his rescue. Abraham interceded on behalf of the people of Sodom, pleading with God to save that city, the city of Lot, if a handful of righteous people could be found.

Sodom and Gomorrah were very wicked places. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was very grievous (Gen. 18:20). The infamy of those cities have become a byword for a certain type of previous sin that God designates as abominable (Lev. 18:22). It was an unnatural and unseemly act that was against the very nature of man and found justification by rejecting the very idea of God (Rom. 1:26-28). It was in this environment that Lot was daily vexed.

By God’s grace, Lot escaped the imminent destruction only to lose his wife when she went back and was turned into a pillar of salt (Gen. 19:26). God rained down fire and brimstone on the wicked place and the smoke of it went up as the smoke of a furnace. It is a figure of the fires of hell that are reserved for the wicked.

Lot’s final disgrace was when he suffered indignities of his two daughters who caused him to get drunk that they might have offspring through him. This was the beginning of the Moabites and the Ammonites who would plague Israel down through the ages.

“What we see is a man who means well (courtesy, Gen. 19:1; hospitality, Gen. 19:2, Gen. 19:3, Gen. 19:6-8; natural shame, Gen. 19:7; loyalty, Gen. 19:14; and gratitude, Gen. 19:19), but who is hopelessly bound up with the moral life of the city through his family connections – alliances that have pulled him down rather than elevated others (Gen. 19:9, Gen. 19:14, Gen. 19:26, Gen. 19:31-35). The language of 2Pet. 2:7, 2 Pet. 2:8 reminds us that Lot was, even at this time of his life, a “righteous” man. Viewed as a part of his environment (the writer has been speaking of Sodom, Gen. 19:6), Lot was certainly entitled to be called a “righteous” man, and the term fits the implications of Gen. 18:23-32. Moreover, Gen 19 itself shows Lot “vexed … with their lawless deeds” and “sore distressed by the lascivious life of the wicked” (compare Gen. 19:3, Gen. 19:7, Gen. 19:8, Gen. 19:14)” (ISBE).

Eric L. Padgett