It is judgement time for Sodom. It is also judgement time for Lot. Will Lot throw in his lot with Sodom or will he stand against them?
The angels that left Abraham have arrived at Sodom. Lot recognizes them as special and begs them to come into his home for the night. He knows what kind of treatment they would receive if left to go into the city center.
Lot was no longer living in a tent near the city. He had a home with a door and walls just inside the gate. He also sat at the gate watching the goings and comings of the people. He knew what was going on in that city. He knew their hearts by their conduct. And their conduct was shameful to him. I’m wondering why he didn’t leave. What was it about that city that enticed Lot to remain, in spite of all he saw?
When Lot met the angels he had one thing in mind; get them out of sight and hurry them on their way in the morning. It was late in the evening so he knew it wasn’t safe for them to keep on traveling but it wasn’t safe for them in the city either. He did the only thing he could think of. He offered them his hospitality and protection for the night. He didn’t offer them an open invitation to stay with him as long as they wanted. He offered them his best while they were with him but wanted them on their way as soon as it was safe.
Apparently Lot didn’t recognize the angel’s mission. They were not simply passing by and in need of lodging for the night. They were there to see the condition of the people’s hearts. Even under the safety of Lot’s roof and protection they got a GOOD look at the hearts of the city. They were wicked and lustful. This wasn’t a reflection on a minority of the residents or even a majority; it was “ALL the people to the last man” (verse 4b, emphasis added). Rich, poor, young and old all came to Lot’s door to try and get to the “strangers” lodging there. I can imagine the door, windows and walls rattling with their cries.
“Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them” ( verse 5). This “know” is the biblical sense of the word, meaning engaging in sexual relations with the intended person. This was also EVERY MAN in the city wanting to “know” these two strangers. Can we say “gang rape” here? Rape was not their only sin here. God did NOT ordain sexual relationships between same sex couples. I’m sorry if this offends some but I have to speak the truth. This was the primary sin that the angels were coming to investigate. No more research needed. They had condemned themselves with their lips and their presence. Also since ALL of them were present, Abraham’s quotient of ten was not met.
Lot tries to calm and appease the crowd. Instead of standing up to them and telling them to go home he offers them his daughters instead. He had more concern for the “strangers” than his own family. His daughters could have been torn to pieces by that mob. They would also have been spoiled and unsuitable for marriage.
Fortunately for Lot’s daughters, the men of the city were not interested in them. I’m thinking that was God working on their behalf. Unfortunately for Lot though, the men of the city were ready to have him too. “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them” (verse 9b). How dare Lot judge them! He was only a visitor. He wasn’t a native of Sodom. What right did he have to judge them? Maybe Lot didn’t have a right but God sure did!
God’s angels did judge them but their first act was to rescue Lot from their hands. They pulled him back in the house and blinded those trying to get to him and the door. So near and yet so far! They couldn’t see the door right in front of them. It makes me smile just thinking about it.
The angels gave Lot another gift at this time. They allowed him to go out of the house to save any family he had within the city. He went to gather the two men who had pledged to marry his daughters. They were officially his sons-in-law according to the customs of the time but they were not yet married to his daughters.
If you stop and think about it, these two men were with the mob at the door earlier. We were told that ALL the men of the city were there. That would include these two. That would have made the marriage to Lot’s daughters one of convenience or at least a bisexual relationship. NOT who I would pick for my daughter! They didn’t believe Lot when he told them about the coming destruction so his daughters were spared from marrying them after all.
When morning came, so did judgement time. Even though Lot KNEW this city was going down and that they were sinful, he had to be forced to leave. Lot and his whole family had to be dragged out of the city. If it was not for Abraham and his relationship with God, Lot would have been left to fend for himself. He would have stayed and received the wrath of God right along with the men of the city.
Lot didn’t want to go where the angel told him to. He wanted another city to live in. He was used to city life and didn’t want to go back to “roughing it.” He was allowed to go to the city of Zoar. This city was blessed by his presence as they were the only city in that valley that was spared the destruction to come. The rest of the valley would suffer the same fate as Sodom.
Have you ever found yourself in Lot’s shoes? Knowing you were surrounded by sin, even if you weren’t engaged in it, and not wanting to leave? “These people aren’t ALL bad. Besides, how else am I going to be a witness to them if I don’t stay among them?” Yes, they need a witness. But when God says “come out from among them” He means it!
Lot wasn’t just visiting these people. He had actually consented for his daughters to marry them. He was becoming one with them. His decision to be part of their community had consequences later on. His daughter’s morals were corrupted by exposure and his wife died of longing to go back. Lot would have been MUCH better off if he had stayed OUT of the city.
The same holds true for us. We can witness to the lost but when we join in their behaviors, we become just as lost as Lot. He was saved from disaster but his life was never the same again as it was before moving into that sinful city. It is NOT worth it! Reaching out is worth it but compromising and moving in isn’t.
Father God, thank You for rescuing me from my sin. I don’t ever want to go back there again. I know You have pulled me out of more than one sinful place in my life. I bear the scars of those places on my life permanently. Those scars prove Your love too. I don’t know who I would be without them.
Thank You for not letting me drown in my sojourning times. The times when I “camped close” to the edges but didn’t fully go in. Those were dangerous times and I should never have been there to begin with. I bear scars from them too but You protected me then too. THANK YOU!
Help me recognize dangerous “camps” and avoid them. I don’t need any more scars, even though You use them to teach me of You. I’m MORE than happy to learn the lessons outside the danger zones. Open my eyes to see trouble from afar instead of only recognizing it when the flames are leaping about me. Thank You for continuing to love me no matter where I wander!