Genesis 19: 1 - 29
Vs 1 - 2: Lot in the gate – When we last saw Lot He settled in the ancient cities of the valley with his tent moved as far as Sodom. As a Bible teacher once told me, “He pitched his tent towards Sodom” which meant he didn’t move to the city but his eyes were on the city. It has been some time later and he is living in Sodom and actually holding a position of authority. The judges and elders of the city always sat in the gate and we see not that Lot was in the city gate.
The men go to the gate and Lot greets them enthusiastically. He does not know they are angels yet but he knows they are men of great authority because he bows to them. He insists that they stay at his house for the evening. He first tells the men to come to his house so he can wash their feet and feed them so they can be on their way. He is showing hospitality like Abraham but instead of wanting them to stay he wants them to leave. He knew the city was wicked. They insisted on spending the night in the Town Square but Lot knew the dangers of staying out in the open. He was well aware of the sin that infested the city. As a judge or person of authority Lot probably encountered these wicked men often and knew how dangerous they were. As an official he also did not enforce morality on the city. Chances are Lot allowed or overlooked the sin in the city but he could not let any harm come to his guests. We see here how the city changed Lot, he had become a man of compromise. He pressed them or insisted that they stay in his home mainly for their safety.
Vs 4 – 5: Lot is the only one in the city who shows hospitality. At nightfall the men of the city come to Lot’s house and surround it. We are told both young and old men come… This goes to show that there were indeed no righteous individuals in the city. The vast majority of men were now at his door seeking to harm his guests. Remember God said he would spare the city if there were ten righteous. Apparently Lot is the only righteous man in the city.
There has been much debate as to what the actual sin of Sodom was. Many say it is the act of homosexuality. Others say it’s because the Sodomites were inhospitable to the strangers/angels. I think it is sin in general which could be a combination of the two and it could be much more than just the two. According to Evangelical author D.A. Carson, “No greater flouting of oriental conventions of hospitality can be imagined than to make guests submit to homosexual rape. Ancient societies often condoned homosexuality between consenting adults, but rape, especially of guests, was always regarded as wrong.” This is not to say that homosexuality was condoned by God, it was just more commonly accepted by the people of the city. Eventually there would be laws forbidding homosexual acts but for now I think the text suggests that the men of Sodom were seeking to forcefully have their way with or rape Lot’s guests.
Vs 6 – 11: Being a good host Lot steps in to protect his guests. He implores the men of this city (of whom he actually calls “my brothers”) to not continue with this heinous act. Imagine these are men that Lot probably sees daily. Some may have even been his friends and colleagues. He wrongly thinks he can step in between the riotous mob and his houseguests. Maybe he thought he could reason with them. Then he does something that even I can’t quite comprehend… He offers his virgin daughters to these lust-filled men of the city. Why would any man do such a deplorable thing? If anything we do see Lot is committed to protecting his guests and no where do we see that God condoned Lot’s reasoning. The answer is not given in the text and we can only assume he did what he did for a reason. One person suggested that Lot offering his daughters was a sarcastic reply to their riotous request, he writes, “It would be sarcastically saying to your mortgage company, ‘why don’t you just take the clothes off my children’s backs and food off of their plates?’ Such a comment is not suggesting that they will really do that. If this is the correct way to read verse 8, Lot’s offer of his daughter’s is intended to prick the conscience of the mob.”
Interestingly enough in Lot’s response to “cool down” the situation he now endangers his own life. The men quickly turn against him. These one time friends and colleagues are now threatening to do worse to Lot than what they had planned for his guests. Lot’s, the man in the place of authority, life is now in jeopardy as the mob presses towards him. It is amazing how quickly they turn against Lot.
It is at this point Lot is now saved by the men he was trying to protect. The men reach out and grabbed Lot and the mob was struck with blindness. Amazingly this was not enough to stop them from pursuing. Why didn’t they stop and just go home? In their continuation we see how deeply rooted their sin was. Their lust and sin was driving them to the point of madness. They had no common sense, reasoning or control. They were not only physically blinded but spiritually blinded as well. Sin has the power to do that, if left unchecked.
 New Bible commentary: 21st century edition. 1994 (D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer & G. J. Wenham, Ed.) (4th ed.) (74–75). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.
 The NIV Application Commentary: Genesis, 2001 John H. Walton p. 522. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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