Lot lived outside of the city. Five kings allied themselves against four kings – one of them being the King of Sodom. The four kings lost. The five kings carried off the spoils of war including everything Lot owned and his entire household except the one man that manages to escape and tell Abraham what happened. Abraham raises up 318 men from his household, servants, shepherds, and their family members to help him rescue Lot. Scripture doesn’t tell us how they part company, but it does mention that the King of Sodom went to see Abraham about how to divide the spoils of war.
(After reading Abraham ask that the righteous be spared from Sodom’s destruction.) I want you to look at that for a moment. Lot’s children married Sodomites. And wouldn’t you think that in his own family, he would have had at least ten to come to the Lord? But what did we say? In Sodom Lot built no altar; in Sodom Lot had no witness; in Sodom Lot never made one convert. No one would listen to him; no one seemed to care, even his sons-in-law. They just laughed and mocked at this righteous man, lost his witness in Sodom …(our speaker omitted the anecdote in this section) Well, that was Lot. His daughters married Sodomites. And God said, “If you’ve just got ten converts in twenty years, your sons-in-law and your daughters-in-law in your family, just ten, I’ll spare the city for the sake of ten.” And Lot in twenty years had never won a soul to the Lord Jesus, not in twenty years.
Yet another fine example of telling us what the Bible does not say and interpreting as if it were more important that the whole of the passage. Generally, women were expected to convert to the gods of the head of their household, meaning their father until they are married and then their husband until they remarry or die, whichever comes first (unless for whatever reason you steal your father’s household gods, but that’s not in this particular story). It’s just that the Bible is very unclear as to the number of daughter’s Lot had, but that doesn’t stop this preacher from drawing the conclusion that he feels best fits his particular interpretation regardless of what the Bible actually says. Let’s think about this logically: where else could Lot’s daughters have found future husbands? Abraham’s only heir was Ishmael and he was very much underage. The rest of his household consisted of shepherds, servants, and certainly not freemen. It’s not as if Lot’s daughters were free to wander the countryside or go through the city without being escorted. They had very different marriage proposal and engagement process than we do – and it’s a very bad idea to imagine that they’re the same as ours when they’re not. I haven’t yet found the verse that God says: “If you’ve just got ten converts in twenty years, your sons-in-law and your daughters-in-law in your family, just ten, I’ll spare the city for the sake of ten.” Maybe I’m using the wrong translation or version.
All right, another thing, we’re looking at the dividends of the worldly life … Lot is taken bodily, physically, coercively by those angels and is forced out of the city. And he lingers, that’s explicable, isn’t it? Understandable, isn’t it? Everything he had was in Sodom. His children are there, his grandchildren are there, his home is there, his house is there, his family is there, his property is there, his heart is there, everything he has is in Sodom. And when those angels force him out, “Flee for your life,” he lingers and lingers and lingers … You know what that’s a picture of? That’s a picture of the day of our death, when everything that we have is in this world. I can understand why a worldly man or a worldly woman would look upon death as a horrible visitation. They don’t have anything in heaven, there’s no riches toward God, there’s no mansion beyond those pearly gates. There’s not anything but loss and darkness. Everything they have is in this world. Just like Lot, everything he possessed was in Sodom. And when the angels had to force him out Lot lingered and lingered. Everything he had was in Sodom.
Here’s an example of reading ideas into Scripture that’s not expressly stated. We might never know what Lot’s motivations for his actions or reasoning for his thoughts were. We can imagine what we might do in his shoes, but that gives us a poor frame of reference to go on as we are not him, have not lived his life, and do not understand why he does what he does because we’re modern Americans and he was not. Oddly, any modern preacher would make a big point about the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. I guess that’s gets a whole sermon in it’s own right. But I wanted to point out that we have a tendency to think in terms of “what type of sin” God mentions more than once the full measure of sin … or the amount. So in terms of judgement, it’s not what kind of sin that counts against us, but the totality of sin of sin that has occurred.
We must close. One other thing: in Genesis 19, verses 35-38 is one of the most sordid stories of incest to be found in the Word of God. The reason for the telling of the story is because of the horrible progeny of Lot. The elder daughter, as you know, when the angels took Lot out of Sodom his wife looked back and was destroyed and the two girls were saved with him. And the elder daughter got her father drunk, and lay with him, as the Bible would say, and out of that incestuous relationship with his own daughter Moab was born. Then when the elder daughter saw that she had succeeded in thus seducing her father and becoming pregnant by her own father, why, she persuaded [the] younger daughter to get her father drunk just like that. And the younger daughter lay with her father all night long. And she became pregnant and became the mother of Ammon. And the Bible says that that is where the Moabites and the Ammonites came from. And they were destined to become the worst enemies of God, the Moabites and the Ammonites.
Oddly enough, certain traditions hold Lot’s daughters innocent. They way they teach this section is that by the time Lot and his daughters reached the cave, they had seen nothing but death and destruction. They remembered the story of Noah saving his family and starting over. They assumed that they were the only people living and that it was necessary to begin having children right away to repopulate the planet. That’s not what most people teach, I know, but it’s a valid point of view. Anyway the Bible has quite a bit to say about the Moabites and Ammonites: for one, they were off-limits – Then the Lord said to me, “Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.” and No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation. I know, harsh. But there is at least one Ammonite and one Moabite in Jesus’ family tree – Ruth the wife of Boaz and Naamah the wife of Solomon.