Lot was Abraham’s nephew, who settled in the city of Sodom. He was a good man but the city where he lived was very bad. Because of this, God destroyed Sodom but spared Lot’s life.
Abraham was the brother of Lot’s father, who died in his homeland of Ur of the Chaldeans. When Abraham set out on a journey, looking for the land God had promised him, Lot went with him. The two settled in the land of Canaan, which would later become the country of Israel.
Lot moves to Sodom
Both Lot and Abraham were very wealthy and had large flocks. The animals needed a lot of space to graze and this led to disagreements between the employees of the two men. Therefore, Abraham suggested that they should not live together anymore, to avoid conflicts ( Genesis 13: 8-9 ).
Abraham let Lot choose where he wanted to go, so that he could go in another direction. Lot saw that the Jordan River valley was very fertile and beautiful and decided to settle there ( Genesis 13: 10-12 ). He set up his tents near one of the towns in the area, called Sodom , while Abraham stayed in Canaan.
Here is the story of Abraham.
The attack on Sodom
After Lot settled in the Jordan River region, the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah and some other cities rebelled against King Chedorlaomer, to whom they were subject. They went to war but Chedorlaomer won and plundered Sodom and Gomorrah. As Lot lived in Sodom, he was taken among the prisoners, along with everything he had ( Genesis 14: 10-12 ).
When Abraham heard of this, he gathered 318 warriors from his home and mounted night attacks against the enemy army. Thus, he managed to defeat the enemies and saved Lot and all the other prisoners ( Genesis 14: 14-16 ). When Abraham returned from his victory, he was blessed by Melchizedek and Lot returned to Sodom.
Find out here: who was Melchizedek?
Lot flees from Sodom
Some time later, God decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, because of the people’s wickedness. He told His plan to Abraham, who asked not to destroy the just with the unjust. So God said that if he found ten righteous men there, he would not destroy the people. As he did not find ten, God sent two angels to save Lot’s family, who were the only righteous in the city. Although he lived there, Sodom’s wickedness troubled Lot ( 2 Peter 2: 7-8 ).
When the two angels arrived in Sodom, it was already night. Lot saw the two men and invited them to spend the night at his home. But before going to sleep, all the men in the city gathered at the door of Lot’s house and demanded that he hand over the visitors to have relations with them ( Genesis 19: 4-5 ). They were so perverted that they wanted to rape outsiders!
The law of hospitality was very important at that time and a host should not let anything bad happen to his guests. So Lot offered his own daughters in place of the visitors, in his desperation. But the men did not accept and decided to attack Lot and forcibly enter the house. Then, the two angels wounded the blind men ( Genesis 19: 9-11 ).
The angels explained to Lot that God was going to destroy the city, because of the people’s wickedness, and told him to get his family out of there. Lot’s two daughters were betrothed to city men but they did not take the warning seriously. Therefore, the angels took only Lot, his wife and his daughters out of the city ( Genesis 19: 16-17 ).
Lot fled to a small town called Zoar, to escape the destruction. The angels warned not to look back, but Lot’s wife disobeyed, looked back and became a pillar of salt. God sent fire and brimstone over Sodom and Gomorrah and only Lot and his daughters were saved ( Genesis 19: 24-25 ).
See also: why were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed?
Lot was afraid to stay in Zoar, so he moved to a cave in the mountains. At that time, a woman who did not have the protection of her father, husband or child was very vulnerable and had no future. Alone in the cave, with their father growing old and unable to marry, Lot’s daughters began to despair.
One day, the two made a drastic decision. They got their father drunk and the oldest had intercourse with him ( Genesis 19: 31-33 ). Lot was so intoxicated that he didn’t even realize what had happened! The next night, they drunk their father again and the youngest slept with him. Thus, the two committed incest and became pregnant by their own father.
The eldest son was called Moab and the younger son was named Ben-Ami. These two men became the patriarchs of two great peoples: the Moabites and the Ammonites. Much later, the two peoples became enemies of the Israelites, the descendants of Abraham.
Lot was a God-fearing man but lived among a completely depraved people. His family did not follow in his footsteps. He lost his wife because she disobeyed God, and was raped by the daughters who grew up in Sodom. Its tragic history ended with the birth of two violent and pagan peoples. Lot chose to serve God but his family chose another path.