4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
What a horrifying passage. In verse 4 it makes clear that those who came to Lot’s door were “both old and young, all the people from every quarter.” Sodom was not beset by a few bad actors or a single troubled generation, they were corrupt from one end to the other. Their immediate thought upon seeing new visitors in their town was to rape them.
And Lot’s proposed solution, to let them have his virgin daughters instead, was also horrifying. Lot lived in a place that was frightening, and in his fear he tried to make compromises with evil. I don’t understand why Lot chose to live in this place instead of another city or even the wilderness. Compare his choice of residence to Abraham’s. Abraham pitched his tent out in the plains where he would be free to live as morally and righteously as his heart dictated, unconstrained by the pressures of an evil society.
And ultimately Lot’s attempts to make deals with the devil didn’t even work. You don’t quell evil with evil. As we will see in the next verses it only incurred the wrath of the horde, who then sought to do even greater harm to him.