Sin’s pervasive nature even traps Lot and his family. How deeply impacted has Lot been by the evil of his neighbors?
What was the sin of this region, most specifically of Sodom? Historically, the proposed attack upon the angelic visitors to Lot points to the issue. The men of Sodom planned to rape the visitors, and thus homosexual actions are listed as the sin of Sodom. There is a different interpretation, that has nearly as ancient roots to it. Ezekiel 16:49-50 talks about pride, excess, laziness in the face of need, haughtiness (self-righteousness), and “did an abomination before me.” These build up to the last one, which refers back to Genesis 19.
Ezekiel points towards a lack of compassion and hospitality, prior to the incident with the angels in Genesis 19. Ezekiel’s use of Sodom’s social sins pointed to Jerusalem’s egress expansion of those same sins. It does not negate Sodom’s sexual sinfulness, if anything Jerusalem was supposed to get really concerned about this comparison to Sodom because of that (Ezekiel 16:53-58, especially 56-57). So what was Sodom’s sin? Well, Sodom was sinful and had many sins. It wasn’t just one.
Lot Is Messed Up
Lot knows the sinfulness of his neighbors. He took up the hospitality measures that the entire town should have done. Lot protects the visitors from the town. Yet, before we pat Lot on the back for this act of kindness, he screws up. The neighborhood wants their way with the visitors and in a ploy to protect his guests, Lot offers his daughters to the mob. The mob won’t hear of it, in fact they reject Lot’s pleas because he is an outsider to their community. The men of Sodom seek to do worse to Lot now than they had planned for the visitors.
The door flies open, the men of town are struck blind, and Lot is saved. But we have seen something of his heart now. Lot has been marked some by Abram’s (now Abraham’s) life. Just as Abraham welcomed the visitors, so Lot did. However, when push comes to shove, Lot tries to appease evil by sacrificing his daughters. In so doing, the sinfulness of Sodom is repeated in Lot’s life. It starts here, it will get worse. As we continue to watch Lot’s downfall, we’re seeing yet another reason why he will not be Abraham’s heir.
Give me some Encouragement!
So, here’s the deal. We live in a pretty sinful and perverted world. The “former sins” of Sodom; pride, excess, laziness in the face of need, haughtiness; those are common currency even within the Church. When Lot sought a life of ease by picking the fertile valley back in Genesis 13 he was supposed to take the blessing of Abram with him, “Blessed to be a blessing.” Instead of being a river of living water, the blessings remained in Lot and he became a pond of stagnate water. Lot began to reflect more of the nature and character of his neighbors than the nature and character of his uncle (Abraham) and the God of Abraham. Had Lot been more like that, we would be reading a very different story.
So how could Lot have been different? He could have certainly defended his guests without sacrificing his daughters. That would have been the largest difference. A second way Lot could have been different is not settling into life in Sodom. I’m not talking about moving into town. Jesus talked about being “light of the world” and “salt of the Earth” in Matthew 5. Lot’s presence in Sodom should have called the town to a different way of life long before this moment. It seems until this moment though, Lot was quiet about what he knew from Abram and God. The difference would have been a community that had a “missionary” active among them, instead of a transplant trying to fit in. Imagine the difference in Sodom if Lot had shared his blessings and taught about humility, sufficiency, compassion, and worship?
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