There is an extremely strange verse in the Bible. It is about Abraham’s nephew, Lot, ‘…and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men….’ 1 How can a man be righteous when he offered his two virgin daughters to the wild lot of Sodom?
# Imagine the scene
The sex crazy mob bang on the door of Lot’s house. They want to have sexual relations with the two men who sleep over in Lot’s house. Lot opens the door and pleads with them to leave the men alone. Why did they not grab Lot, kill him, push him aside or enter his house? Lot just shut the door on them and did not even lock it.
# Behind Lot was someone the people of Sodom were wary about.
In Genesis 14 four kings wage war against Sodom and some other cities and carry off the people and all their possessions. Lot’s uncle, Abram, saves them all from slavery and brings them back. When Abram arrives, “The king of Sodom said to Abram,’Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.'” 2 Abram refused to take anything. The people knew that they owed not only their lives, but also their freedom and their possessions to Abram. They were aware of his prowess as a warrior.
# What were the chances they would dare to make Abram cross?
None, unless they were stupid. So they did not dare to touch his relative Lot, his wife or his daughters. But the two visitors were outside Lot’s family circle. So Lot had that security, amplified by the fact that he was an important man who sat at the city gate, a kind of city councillor.
# Still, why does the Bible call Lot righteous?
- Lot must have recognised that the angels were special people. He knew what would happen to them if they stayed in the square for the night. So he pleaded with them to stay with him. Lot prepared the food for the two men himself, while Abram asked Sara to help him. 3
- Jesus recommended hospitality. “….Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in…? …The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'” 4 That is what Lot did and God recommended him
- Lot was grieved about the sin around him. ‘Lot…who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)….’ 5 Nevertheless Lot was not a good evangelist, since his future sons-in-law only laughed when he urged them to leave, because God was going to destroy the city. 6 It is possible that he did the least he could, namely pray. The Bible often gives very limited detail on some one’s personal life.
It is obvious that hasty conclusions lead to incorrect insights. For the unbeliever, the easiest is to accuse God of everything that happens on the face of the world. To carefully investigate and study is too much bother.
- 2 Peter 2:7
- Genesis 14:21
- Genesis 18:1-8; Genesis 19:3
- Matthew 25:37
- 2 Peter 2:8
- Genesis 19:14