10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. 12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.
Lot was the nephew of Abraham. His father had died and I would imagine that Abraham had treated Lot like one of his own from the beginning. Lot had lived and moved with him for some time now. He had also prospered along side his uncle, so much that they had come to a point where they no longer could dwell together because of strife between their servants and the need for grazing areas.
Abraham lets Lot choose where he wants to dwell first, giving him control as to where he would go and deciding where his uncle would go as well. This would have been a perfect time to honor his uncle but that did not seem to be on his mind.
He looked around and he looked for the place of most prosperity. This is all well and good but it lead Lot into eventual temptation and devastation in regards to his whole family.
Lot decides to dwell in the city and he then pitches his tent toward Sodom
His next step is to pitch his tent in Sodom
Eventually Sodom takes control of his life and he becomes entangled within its sinful grasp.
Sodom was one of a group of five towns, the Pentapolis (Wisdom 10:6): Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Bela — also called Zoar (Genesis 19:22). The Pentapolis region is also collectively referred to as “the Cities of the Plain” (Genesis 13:12) since they were all sited on the plain of the Jordan River, in an area that constituted the southern limit of the lands of the Canaanites (Genesis 10:19
Classical Jewish texts do not stress the homosexual aspect of the attitude of the inhabitants of Sodom as much as their cruelty and lack of hospitality to the “stranger.” The people of Sodom were seen as guilty of many other significant sins. Rabbinic writings affirm that the Sodomites also committed economic crimes, blasphemy and bloodshed. One of the worst was to give money or even gold ingots to beggars, after inscribing their names on them, and then subsequently refusing to sell them food. The unfortunate stranger would end up starving and after his death, the people who gave him the money would reclaim it.
A rabbinic tradition, described in the Mishnah, postulates that the sin of Sodom was related to property: Sodomites believed that “what is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours” (Abot), which is interpreted as a lack of compassion. Another rabbinic tradition is that these two wealthy cities treated visitors in a sadistic fashion. One major crime done to strangers was almost identical to that of Procrustes in Greek mythology. This would be the story of the “bed” that guests to Sodom were forced to sleep in: if they were too short they were stretched to fit it, and if they were too tall, they were cut up.
In another incident, Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, went to visit Lot in Sodom and got in a dispute with a Sodomite over a beggar, and was hit in the forehead with a stone, making him bleed. The Sodomite demanded Eliezer pay him for the service of bloodletting, and a Sodomite judge sided with the Sodomite. Eliezer then struck the judge in the forehead with a stone and asked the judge to pay the Sodomite.
The Talmud and the book of Jasher also recount two incidents of a young girl (one involved Lot’s daughter Paltith) who gave some bread to a poor man who had entered the city. When the townspeople discovered their acts of kindness, they burned Paltith and smeared the other girl’s body with honey and hung her from the city wall until she was eaten by bees. (Sanhedrin 109a) It is this gruesome event, and her scream in particular, the Talmud concludes, that are alluded to in the verse that heralds the city’s destruction: “So Hashem said, ‘Because the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah has become great, and because their sin has been very grave, I will descend and see…'” (Genesis 18:20-21).
The view of Josephus
Now, about this time the Sodomites, overwhelmingly proud of their numbers and the extent of their wealth, showed themselves insolent to men and impious to the divinity, insomuch that they no more remembered the benefits that they had received from him, hated foreigners and avoided any contact with others. Indignant at this conduct, God accordingly resolved to chastise them for their arrogance, and not only to uproot their city, but to blast their land so completely that it should yield neither plant nor fruit whatsoever from that time forward.
—Jewish Antiquities 1:194-195
and Josephus recounts that when angels came to Sodom to find good men they were instead greeted by rapists:
And the angels came to the city of the Sodomites…when the Sodomites beheld the young men, who were outstanding in beauty of appearance and who had been received into Lot’s house, they set about to do violence and outrage to their youthful beauty….Therefore, God, indignant at their bold acts, struck them with blindness, so that they were unable to find the entrance into the house, and condemned the Sodomites to destruction of the whole population.
—Jewish Antiquities 1:199-202
He says how beautiful it was before everything was burned up, and how rich the towns were in the area. Josephus described what had happened:
Now this country is then so sadly burnt up, that nobody cares to come to it… It was of old a most happy land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its cities, although it be now all burnt up. It is related how for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning; in consequence of which there are still the remainders of that divine fire; and the shadows of the five cities are still to be seen, as well as the ashes growing in their fruits, which fruits have a colour as if they were fit to be eaten: but if you pluck them with your hands, they will dissolve into smoke and ashes
—The Wars of the Jews, book 4, chapter 8.
There are a few tragic facts to look at in the life of Lot.
- He moves into Sodom and eventually Sodom moves into him.
- His family suffers from his need for prosperity
- His own morals become carnalized
- He looses his wife and all but two daughters in the destruction of the city
- He unknowingly becomes the father of two of the worst and most despicable enemies of Israel
What can be claimed as the cause for all this calamity in Lot’s life?
- Is it the type of example that Abraham shows at first as he tries to find his own way?
Our children and our younger loved ones are always watching. It has been said that sometimes the only Bible that people will read is you in your walk. We are to be ready at all times, we are to be instant in and out of season. We must be ready in all ways and situations to be considered blameless as much as we can help it because you never know who is looking
- Was Lot being a people pleaser?
Was he following the Lord only when he was with Abraham. Not that he was lying but that Abraham had become a crutch for Lot to the point where he did not know where he was with the Lord and he did not know how to act on his own. Sometimes we can rely on someone or a group more than we should and we soon become so reliant on them that we don’t know how to function on our own. We please only man when we act this way
Lot is called just lot. He is therefore referred to as a believer.
He can be a representative of what happens when the law of the flesh comes back to rear its ugly head. He lived in a desperately wicked place. A place full of degenerate sin and occupants. So much so that God could not allow it to continue and He destroys it
Now Peter states that Lot was a righteous man who was vexed by the unlawful deeds of the people of Sodom.
2 Peter 2:6-8
6And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
7And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
8(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
What we need to learn from this is that prosperity, needs, or wants shouldn’t cause us to choose something. Circumstances should not cause us to choose either.
Only complete and total reliance upon God should lead our direction and where we go and live for him. He might not be calling us to go to that neighborhood just because something has opened up for us. Sometimes we need to seek the Lord’s will regardless of circumstances, wants, or situations.
The outcome will decide whether we become just people or just…..people