Was Lot righteous? Well, the Bible says so (2 Peter 2: 7, 8)
So what do we know of him from Genesis?
He travelled with Abraham, the patriarch, from Haran… accompanied him to Egypt where both became exceedingly rich.
When they left there, we see some inklings of his character. The herdsmen of Lot and herdsmen of Abram were quarrelling. It says in Gen 13: 6 that the land could not support them while they stayed together… so the arguments could have been about grazing rights, or more probably over water. The Bible doesn’t say why the men quarrelled.
Interestingly, it was Abram who was the peacemaker. He was the patriarch of the family, Lot ‘travelled’ with him, but Abram was the one who approached the ‘junior’ member of the group. A lesson for us? If we are willing to see it, yes. Sometimes it is the responsibility of the more mature person to reach out in peace to the more ‘carnal’.
Why did I say ‘carnal’? Because of Lot’s choices. Follow me here please…
Abram suggested they separate and gave Lot the choice.
Lot should have deferred to Abram. Instead he looked around at the lush plains…and compared them to Egypt, where he had just left. One could speculate about what it was about Egypt he missed… but we are not told, and after all, he did leave Egypt.
Lot pitched his tents near Sodom. Did he know the men of Sodom were ‘wicked and sinning greatly against the Lord’? Again, we don’t know. What we do know is that he stayed there. In fact while his uncle was living in tents, Lot moved into Sodom and settled in a house in that city.
Jumping forward in time – when the two angels arrived at Sodom, Lot was sitting in the gate. In those times the ‘gate’ was where business was done, where judgements were passed, and bargains made. However, this was evening time. The time for business was past. Could he have been ‘preaching’ to them? It’s possible… later, when the men of Sodom wanted sex with the angels/visitors, and Lot refused, the people accused him of ‘trying to play the judge’.
Another jump… and we find Lot reluctant to leave. (The angels had to take him by the hand and lead the family out of the city.) But he hadn’t finished there… he bargained with the angels when they told him to go to the mountains. They allowed him his request and he went to the small city of Zoar.
Interestingly, he ended up in the mountains. 🙂
So what conclusions can be drawn?
My conclusion is not original, it was helped by a very interesting Bible study on Abraham. Lot, like many Christians, wanted to be close to the world, maybe even partly in the world’s ways.
The fact remains, he was rescued… and he was termed as righteous.
Nevertheless, he was dangerously close.
I am trying to move away from the Lot part of the continuum and nearer to Abraham’s position. It takes vigilance, prayer and learning from these people in our past.
Next time, I will consider Esther
Till next week,
Tread softly, you may tread on someone’s dreams,