Righteous Lot

by Gene Taylor

"And delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked..." (2 Peter 2:7)

Lot was the son of Haran and the nephew of Abraham, (Gen. 11:27). Following Haran's death, he went with Terah, his grandfather, and Abraham to Ha-ran (Gen. 11:31). After Terah's death, he and Abraham went to Canaan (Gen. 12:5).

Following a sojourning in Egypt because of a famine in Canaan, Lot and Abraham were faced with a problem. The land was not able to support the great flocks and herds of both men so that they could continue to live at the same place (Gen. 13:6-7). Strife had even developed between their herdsmen.

To solve the problem, Abraham allowed Lot to choose where he would dwell (Gen. 13:8-13). Lot chose the plain of Jordan because it was well-watered with lush, green pasture. He pitched his tent toward Sodom whose people were "exceedingly wicked and sinful" (v. 13).

In time, the city of Sodom was overrun by Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and his allies. Lot and his goods were taken captive to Dan (Gen. 14:1-16). Abraham raised an army from his own household and rescued Lot and the others who had been taken captive (vv. 14-16).

Eventually God decided to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their great sin (Gen. 18:20-33). Lot and his family were warned by angels of the destruction that was to come (Gen. 19:1-16). Lot invited the angels to stay at his home where he showed hospitality to them. The men of the city surrounded Lot's house and demanded he send the men (angels) out to them so that they might "know them carnally." Lot offered his daughters to the men of the city who then turned upon Lot but he was rescued by the angels who blinded those men.

Learning of the cities' impending destruction, Lot told his married daughters and their husbands but they regarded him as one who "seemed to be joking." The angels then physically led Lot, his wife and his two unmarried daughters out of the city.

The angels told Lot to flee to the mountains but he wanted to go to the city of Zoar (Gen. 19:17-22). He feared for his life if he went to the mountains so the angels allowed him to go to Zoar.

God rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah and all the plain destroying the cities and their inhabitants (Gen. 19:23-29). Lot's wife, contrary to God's command, looked back toward Sodom and became a pillar of salt.

Fearing for his life, Lot and his two daughters fled to the mountains and lived in a cave where his daughters, possibly because of the wicked influence of Sodom, plotted to have children by their father (Gen. 19:30-38). They made Lot drunk with wine and went in to him, he being unaware of their presence. Each bore a child by him. The oldest daughter gave birth to Moab, the father of the Moabites. The younger bore Benammi, the father of the Ammonites.

Some Lessons From Lot

An example of the importance of making proper decisions. His decision to live in the cities of the plain brought him and his family much grief. As a direct consequence of this choice: his daughters partook of the city of Sodom and were destroyed (Gen. 19:14); he lost his wealth, leaving it behind when the cities were destroyed; he lost his wife (Gen. 19:26); his two surviving daughters were so influenced by the evil of Sodom that they got their own father drunk and sinned with him (Gen. 19:32-38).

An illustration of the principle of 1 Corinthians 15:33: "Evil company corrupts good habits." Though Lot was strong enough to overcome the evil influence of Sodom, his family was not. His wife and some of his daughters perished because of Sodom's evil influence.

An example of selfishness. In Genesis 13, he picked what he thought was best for himself. In reality, it was the worst thing he could have done. Selflessness is always better than selfishness in the long run.

An example of the dangers of materialism. His decision in Genesis 13 was made with a materialistic eye and heart. He saw no further than the lush green pastures of the Jordan plain. His mind was on the here and now. He should have had greater foresight and taken spiritual factors into consideration.

His wife's death illustrates a number of facts that all must consider (Luke 17:32). She perished: even though she was the wife of a righteous man (2 Pet. 2:7-8); even though she had been warned by God; even though she made an effort to save herself; even though she committed only one sin.

Conclusion

In spite of all his shortcomings and sins, Lot is considered righteous by God (2 Pet. 2:7-8). He was righteous even though he was surrounded by wickedness. He was vexed or "oppressed" on a daily basis by the wickedness of those around him. Quite likely the early influence of Abraham had deeply impressed him. Like Lot, we live in a wicked society. Yet, we cannot excuse our sin because of it. Lot shows us we can be righteous even in the midst of the vilest of sin and sinners.