Spiritual Analysis- Genesis 19:30

30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.

After pleading with the Lord to let him go to Zoar instead of the mountains, Lot ended up abandoning the city for a cave anyway. Perhaps after seeing Sodom and Gomorrah consumed by fire and brimstone he didn’t want to take his chances with any of the other cities in that area!

And here, alone in this cave, we are going to have the end of Lot’s stories. His daughters will make a fool of him, and then we won’t hear about him any more. The fact that his story is laid alongside of Abraham’s makes it only natural to compare the two, and one immediately realizes that Abraham’s life is the far superior one.

I don’t want to analyze Lot’s character too much, because we have so little to judge him by, but if there is one thing that stands out as a difference between him and Abraham, it is that Lot never appears to be an active doer. He is acted upon by many other people, he is along for the ride, but he is never at the wheel himself. Abraham was the one that led Lot out to the land of Canaan, Abraham was the one that rescued him from the armies of Chedorlaomer, the angels were the ones that hastened him from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Lot seems basically good and respects the Lord, but he is never shown to be a champion for God like Abraham was. At the end of the day I don’t want to just keep the commandments and call that enough. My calling is to be a driving force of my own, championing the right, and living an epic story.

Spiritual Analysis- Genesis 19:9-11

9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.

10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.

11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

The people of Sodom and Gomorrah took offense that an outsider like Lot would come into their lands and judge them for their behavior. In their wrath they pledged to do even worse to him than they had intended to the visitors that were in his house. The depravity of them in this moment is enormous and mob law reigns supreme.

And there is a notion here that is commonly repeated throughout the scriptures: soothsayers and false prophets will use all manner of clever reasoning to make evil appear palatable, but once evil has the support of the masses, argument and reason can be sidelined. All that matters is that Lot is standing in their way and so any perceived offense is held as justification for whatever hurt they intend on him.

Consider the similarity of this behavior to that in Zechariah 7:11, Acts 7:57, and Acts 19:34. These are three separate accounts of a wicked audience forcing their ears shut so as not to hear the arguments of the righteous, and in one of these cases they even rush to silence God’s messenger with violence.

If one cannot be reasoned with, then how can they be helped? It is understandable why the angels have come to this city to destroy it. Thankfully they were also able to employ some divine intervention to rescue Lot and keep the wicked masses kept at bay.

Spiritual Analysis- Genesis 19:4-8

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.

Optimism in a Falling World- Jonah 3:4-5, 10

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

COMMENTARY

So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not

The exact sins of Nineveh are not detailed in the account of Jonah, but evidently they were of such significance that God was prepared to destroy the entire city! When we consider the example of other cities that received such a divine retribution, such as Sodom and Gomorrah, then it seems safe to say that the wickedness in Nineveh must have been extremely pronounced!
Yet for as fallen as the people might have been, it turns out that they were not beyond reclamation. After all, why send a prophet to them, even with a message of doom, unless there yet remained some hope that that doom might be averted?
From this story I learn to look at the sort of people I might consider to be a lost cause, and I realize that they are actually far from it! Truly there are places of deep evil today, and I am sure there are individuals who are ripe for destruction, but these are most definitely the minority. By and large, people are still basically good, still within the reach of hope. There are many who are waylaid, but that are the same sort that Jesus vouched for with the words “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). And instead of trying to push these confused souls towards their destruction, we should be inviting them back to the fold.