September 23, 2019
A Look Into the Life of Lot
I am caught between the title ‘The Lot Syndrome’ and ‘Parenting 101’. They are two totally different topics, but both can be found within the story of Lot.
There is quite a lot that we can learn from Abraham’s nephew Lot.
Lot can be found in the book of Genesis. He was the nephew of Abram (Abraham)
Lot’s father was Abram’s brother, Haran, who died prior to Genesis 12. So, Lot took a place in Abraham’s life as a fatherless boy.
We see in Genesis 12 that God tells Abram to leave his family and to go to the land that God would give over to him. Abram leaves and takes his wife Sarai (Sarah) and Lot with him. Some would argue that Lot was not supposed to travel with Abram and that may have been so, but Abram takes him along, otherwise.
How often does God warn us about people or circumstances that we ignore? Sometimes, his directive doesn’t make sense in the moment, but it always does in hindsight. Just as with Abram and Lot: Abram probably felt like he had a duty to his deceased brother to father his son, Lot. That would be a noble cause, right? But, we see that Lot isn’t a blessing to his Uncle in return.
Abram, Sarai and Lot leave the land where they had been staying in pursuit of God’s promises. We see in chapter 13 that the two men were very successful in the land that God took them. They had so many flocks and herds that the land where they lived could not sustain them both. But, despite their blessings, they were not at peace. Their herdsmen were arguing among one another. To keep peace, Abram makes Lot an offer.
Abram says to Lot in Genesis 13:9 “Is not the whole land before you? Please, separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”
We see in verses 10-13 that Lot looked up and chose the well watered plains near the city as his land from Abram.
I think that this was Lot’s first mistake.
If your father had died and your uncle had taken you in, treated you like his own son, made you a very rich, successful man, would you choose the very best land from him if he offered you a choice? Or would you honor him by insisting that he take the choicest of land? I would hope that you would choose honor, of course. But, while Lot was a righteous man, he did not show his Uncle honor in this moment.
Lot chose to take the plains and live in the cities of the plain. It said that he pitched his tent as far as Sodom. And, as we know Sodom and Gomarrah were ‘exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord’.
As soon as Lot was separated from Abram, God comes into the scene to fulfill his promise to Abram and he gives him all of the land as far as his eye could see and promised to multiple his descendants just as the sand of the sea.
In the very next verse, Lot gets taken as a captive. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah joined in a battle against other kings and lost. The kings fled to the mountains while Lot was still hanging out in or around Sodom. There, he was taken captive. And, good ol’ uncle Abram had to come to ‘bail him out’. Abram actually goes to battle on his behalf, wins and brings back Lot, the people of Sodom and all of their goods.
King Melchizadech gives Abram honor for saving them by blessing Abram and giving him a tithe of all that was retrieved; but, we see that the King of Sodom does not. He is flippant with Abram and tells Abram to give him his people, but to keep the goods salvaged. No blessing. No acknowledgment of Gods power. So, Abram refuses to take anything for the King of Sodom.
Skip ahead to Genesis 18:22 and you see Abram (now, Abraham) having to intercede for Lot once again. The angels of the Lord have been visiting with Abraham and are now heading down to Sodom and Gomorrah to judge the cities and their people. We all know this story.
Abraham pleads his case and asks that the cities be shown grace if there are any righteous people found among them. Finally, the Lord agrees that if he can find ten righteous people within the cities that he will not destroy them. Abraham knows that his nephew is dwelling there and that if he doesn’t intercede, Lot and his family will surely be killed.
The angels of the Lord go to the gate of the city and come into contact with Lot who urges them to take rest in his home. I believe that Lot recognized the angels of the Lord and hoped to save them from the wickedness of the city.
The men of the city bang on the door and order Lot to hand the men over to them so that they ‘may know them’. Instead, Lot offered the men his virgin daughters.
I have heard it taught that this was the appropriate thing for him to do as it was more honorable and “good” for Lot to offer the men to have “natural” relations with his daughters than to “know” one of the same sex.
I do not agree with this teaching.
If his daughters had been taken by the men, they would have lost their entire futures. They would never have been taken as brides, but instead been marked for the rest of their lives.
I am of the opinion that we see Lot’s pride in effect once again. While, obviously, being a righteous man, I still think that Lot deals with a little too much self-interest than he should.
Lot should have honored his daughters and the men of the Lord—both. The honorable thing for a father to do would have been to give himself to protect his household, in my opinion; but, he didn’t do that.
Luckily, for them all, the angels of the Lord stepped in and defended them all.
The angels of the Lord plead with Lot to get his family out of the city as quickly as possible because they were poised to destroy it all.
Lot went to his daughters and son-in-laws to warn them, but they did not listen and did not take Lot seriously. Genesis 19:14 says: “So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.
Did his sons-in-law honor Lot? A man who has no honor cannot expect to get honor in return, can he?
The following morning, The angels of Lord tell Lot that it is time to get out—right away. What does Lot do?
The angels of the Lord had to take him, his wife and two single daughters by the hand and force them out of the city.
What’s that all about? Would Abraham linger? What made him linger? Was it his possessions? Was it his married daughters? Maybe there were some grandchildren?
We see so much about Lot in this moment.
I can imagine that if my house was on fire, and knowing that all of my photo albums were inside, I would probably try to get inside of the house to retrieve them. I love those memories and that ‘love” can sometimes impede our judgement. It isn’t, necessarily, wrong, but it can be life threatening—especially if it is in direct rebellion to God’s word.
And, then…just as all of this enormous God-sized stuff is going on in Sodom, the angels of the Lord tell Lot and his family to leave, not look back and head to the mountains. And, in the midst of it all, Lot starts to debate with the angels of the Lord. The arrogance!
Instead of going to the mountains, Lot wants to be allowed to find refuge in a nearby city.
We know from Genesis 14:10 that there is safety in the mountains…unless you are someone who is kind of soft, spoiled and a bit lazy. Then, maybe the idea of living close to the city with all of its’ amenities and comfort might be a bit more appealing.
The angels allow him to go to the city, which was named Zoar.
Once there, Lots wife looks behind her and is turned to a pillar of salt. There is a whole lesson here, but we will bypass it for just a little bit.
Finally, Lot reconsiders and thinks that maybe he should leave Zoar and head into the mountains. How many times have we been Lot in this very second? “God, I want to do it my way…wait…that didn’t work out…okay, let’s do it your way.”
Then, we find Lot and his two daughters in a cave in the mountains.
Things go downhill pretty quick here in this cave.
Lots daughters have decided that they were doomed to never have husbands or children. So, the conceived a horrible plan to get their father drunk, to sleep with him and become pregnant with his child. They believed that this was the only way to preserve their fathers lineage.
I have to laugh at this scripture. I cannot imagine how ignorant these two girls were. They just left Zoar. There were men there. They had the lands of Abraham to run to, as well. But, some believe that they believed in their minds that they were the only three humans left on the Earth in this moment. I have a hard time believing that one. But, either way, his daughters were clearly not taught to pray to the Lord. We never see Lot erecting an altar and thanking God for sparing his life—ever. We see the focus of Lot and his family being on self.
Lot’s daughters did, both, conceive children and as a result, the Moabites and the Ammonites were born into the world.
We can learn a lot looking into Lot’s life. I do believe that Lot was a righteous man, but I think that he was a lazy man, a man who preferred comfort over inconvenience and that he was a bit too focused on self. He lived with his uncle Abraham who was a man of faith and action. So, I believe that he worshiped God and that he believed in justice—he was seeking the Lord about the evil in Sodom and Gomorrah, after all.
But, I do not think that he was willing to make the hard calls for himself or his family.
His sons-in-law did not take him serious nor show him honor when he pleaded with them to get out of the city and, as a result, his older daughters died in the fire showered down on the cities. Lot had sowed a spirit of dishonor in his family, for one. And, his daughters showed a clear lack of trust in God when faced with adversity in the mountain caves. Not to mention, that his wife dd not have the strength of spirit to not turn and look back on Sodom and Gomorrah and turned to a pillar of salt.
In a situation where God intended to show Lot grace and preserve his life and the lives of his children, Lot’s life was saved, but his family was destroyed.
And, I think that Lot’s overall flaw was that of compromise.
How often do we find ourselves in the same situation? I will throw myself under the bus to get this kicked off.
I am a huge Game of Thrones fan. Yep.
But, those first three seasons were rough. If you know anything about Game of Thrones or if you’ve watched it yourself, you will agree that those first three seasons were really rough. By the time that Joffrey was named king, I was about to abandon the show. I, probably, should have turned the television off long before that, but the story line was so good and the character development was stellar. So, I kept compromising what my insides were telling me to do.
During Joffrey’s reign I was almost so shocked by events and scenes that I could have turned the show off, but I had someone tell me that I should hold on because it gets ‘cleaner’ soon (I started the show very late. So, I was watching old episodes for awhile). So, I held out and finished the show to the very end; and, I was such a big fan that my phone ring tone was the shows jingle.
I was compromising.
It is so easy to do.
I have friends who allowed their small children to watch the entire show, too. Now, I have not allowed that to happen in my home, but when is it too much? Was I wrong to even watch it in the first place since my conscious was telling me not to?
While my example is pretty tame, if I was to analyze Lot’s life, I would say that, as a man plagued with compromise and comfort, he left his family vulnerable to doubt and weakness.
Where in your life are you choosing comfort over God? As parents, we have a duty to honor God and others and listen to the directives of the Lord as he lays them out to us.
If God gave you a warning and told you to pack up and move, would you so easily be able to move away from your friends, your family, your children’s schools and friends, your favorite coffee shop? Or, would you start to negotiate with God?
What are you teaching your children through your words, actions and attitude? Are you showing your elders and those in authority around you honor? Or, is your will too important to you to put a reign on your thoughts and words towards people?
We see the stark contrast between the blessings and curses of Abraham and Lot. And, yet both men were considered righteous before the Lord.
We have Jesus in The New Testament, but I still have to think on this scripture when comparing these two men:
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful.”
— 1 Corinthians 6: 12
I may have taken this scripture a wee bit out of context, but I think you can get my point. I see Abraham as sold out. Abraham was more mature. Abraham was wiser and he passed that blessing on to those under his roof. God made his covenant with Abraham and Abraham always honored God and gave God glory for his life and the situations/events in his life.
As christian—especially christian parents— we have a responsibility to our children to build them up in the strength of the Lord, to show Faith with abandon and honor for the Lord so that our children grow up to be mature adults who honor the Lord and honor us in our old age.
God knows all and sees all and desires to protect and bless us if we can step out of the way and will allow him to.
Where do you see The Lot Syndrome in your life? Share with us in the comment section below.