Spiritual Analysis- Genesis 19:31, 33-38

31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:

33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

37 And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day.

38 And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Ben-ammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.

In an ironic turn of events, the two daughters that Lot had tried to offer to the mob of rapists in Sodom ended up raping their father instead. Not due to the same violent lust that had burned in the heart of Sodom, but due to a fear that their family line would end unless they did something drastic.

Which is an example of how faithlessness can be a precursor to sin. When one is set upon achieving some goal, but cannot see any moral way of accomplishing it, and does not have faith that God will provide, then one is at risk of rationalizing immoral methods to achieve their wish instead. These daughters show the same failing as their father, who did not trust in God and stand for principle against the horde Sodom. Both Lot and his daughters felt it was entirely on them and their limited mortal power to solve the situation, and all three of them came up with a morally broken answer.

And initially it may have seemed that the daughters of Lot achieved their aim. They preserved their family line for many generations after all, but the nations that came of them would be corrupt and evil. The Moabites and the Ammonites were two of the heathen nations that the Israelites had to purge out of the land when they were led back from captivity in Egypt.

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 19:27-29

27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord:

28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

When Abraham beseeched the Lord to spare Sodom and Gomorrah, much of his concern may have been based on the fact that Lot lived there. Yes, he pleaded for the lives of any righteous unknowns, but also for the one righteous that he already knew personally.

But in our record never shows Abraham speaking specifically for Lot. Abraham set the terms for preserving the cities at ten righteous, God had agreed to that plan, and the cities were accordingly destroyed. But even though Lot was not explicitly spoken of, God did not forget about him. God did not need Abraham to ask Him to do something good in Lot’s case. God cared for Abraham and He cared for Lot, and He would take care of them, even when He had not been requested to do so.

We think of God as not being aware of our desires because they so often go unmet. The things we explicitly ask for are usually not answered, at least not in the way we envisioned. That was how things were for Abraham, too. Abraham asked for Sodom and Gomorrah to be spared, and that was not what happened, but God still took care of Abraham even so.

When we stop gauging God’s care for us by whether we receive what we want for ourselves, then we can start to appreciate that we are already receiving what He wants for us instead. He may not care for us how we want, but He does care for us how we need, and He does so more than we give Him credit for.

Spiritual Analysis- Genesis 19:26

26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

The moment where Lot’s wife looks back to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and is turned to a pillar of salt is extremely abrupt and confusing. This one, fifteen-word sentence is crammed between two completely different paragraphs, dropping a shocking detail with absolutely no context! Clearly there is more to this story, but all that survives for us today is an extreme abbreviation.

Of course, we do know that the Lord’s instruction to them was “escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain.” Lot’s wife was clearly disobeying the middle instruction there, to not look back, but it seems likely that it was more than just that. The Lord was not just saying “don’t look over your shoulder,” he was saying “don’t hesitate, don’t falter, don’t contemplate returning.” And so when this verse says she “looked back” it may not mean that she was just curious to see the destruction of the city, but that she was affixing herself to return to it.

This interpretation is supported by the words of Jesus in Luke 17:26-33. Here Jesus refers to both the flood in Noah’s time and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and he stresses that when the moment of reckoning comes, one must run to safety without trying to return to their house for their belongings. And in that context he tells his listeners “remember Lot’s wife.”

Spiritual Analysis- Genesis 19:23-25

23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;

25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

Interestingly, the further we get from the beginning of the biblical record, the more rare these grandiose moments become. With Noah we hear about the entire earth being flooded, but with Moses it’s only the Red Sea being parted, and with Jesus it’s only walking over the Sea of Galilee.

Perhaps this is because the human population increased enough that it became simpler for God to topple one empire with another, rather than send fantastic powers out of heaven. Or perhaps it is because the further humanity exists from the Garden of Eden, the less God’s hand is directly shown. Or perhaps the miraculous judgments of God are actually just as prolific as ever, but we do not attribute His hand to them, calling a natural disaster or an epidemic “bad luck” instead of the hand of justice.

Spiritual Analysis- Genesis 19:17-22

17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:

19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.

21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.

22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

Even in the midst of being driven from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot requested a change of plans, asking that he be permitted to dwell in a nearby city rather than the mountains above. God acquiesced, allowing Lot the preferred refuge.

And here we see a great contrast between Lot’s fate and Abraham’s. When these two first parted ways Lot chose for himself the seemingly better land: the well-watered plain of Jordan, leaving Abraham to camp under the stars in Canaan. But now Lot is being driven from his home, about to watch the land he chose burned by fire and brimstone, and fleeing to a refuge that is nothing more than a footnote. Meanwhile Abraham has been given a new name, promised the entirety of Canaan, and will be the father of a righteous nation. Where Abraham has a legacy that lasts to this day, Lot has been all but forgotten.

Whether this was all because of Lot’s own folly, or simply because the Lord had a different destiny for him, I cannot say. The biblical record on him is far too brief to have a complete picture of the man.

Spiritual Analysis- Genesis 19:12-13, 15-16

12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:

13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.

15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

The angels that came to Lot urged him to leave the place as quickly as possible. They let him linger only through the night, then grabbed his hands and dragged him out of there! This reaffirms my thought that God must do very real work to shape the course of our lives. If He was the magical genie that we often view Him as, then why not just snap His fingers and instantaneously teleport Lot and His family to safety? God and His servants must still work to accomplish His purposes.

Which makes the statement in verse 16 “the Lord being merciful unto him” ring all the more true. These angels are exerting themselves to get Lot out of the city when he is foolish enough to linger in harm’s way. They are saving him through effort, and all because God is gracious and is willing to redeem men from their own follies.

As I look back at my own life I can’t help but wonder how much work I have heaped on God’s plate to rescue me from sin and guide me towards purpose. And yet He did all that labor, even when I wasn’t asking Him to.

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.

Spiritual Analysis- Genesis 19:1-3

1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

I never noticed this before, but the first verses of Chapter 19 are just like the first verses in Chapter 18. In Chapter 18 Abraham looked up, saw the Lord and His two companions at a distance, ran to meet them, bowed down, and invited them to his home. Here in Chapter 19 Lot looks up, sees two angels at a distance, runs to meet them, bows down, and invites them to his home.

I think what stands out to me most from these stories is that Abraham and Lot were able to recognize the holy messengers at sight. As soon as they reached them they made obeisance and asked to serve. In the next verses we will hear how the general populace of Sodom and Gomorrah reacted to the visitors, and they clearly did not recognize who these people really were. Evidently not all people can recognize angels for what they really are.

Abraham and Lot knew who their master was. We aren’t told how they could recognize the Lord and His angels, but somehow they did. I find myself wondering how good of a servant I can be if I don’t recognize my Lord, too? I cannot follow His counsel unless I recognize Him when He speaks. Are there ways that am I seeing Him right this moment, yet do not realize that it is Him?