The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is as timeless as it is absolutely messed up.
So much goes wrong in this story that it’s hard to put into words just how catastrophic it is.
First, the angels are nearly raped.
Then, Lot offers his daughters “in exchange” for the life of the angels.
Finally, even after being stricken blind, the rapists are still trying to find their way to the angels.
That’s a whole new level of depravity that is hard for my tiny brain to comprehend. Even with the reputation that Sodom and Gomorrah have, just revisiting those few points makes me want to shudder.
Lot’s behavior from the outset is curious. Right at the beginning of the story, Lot is emphatic that the angels not spend the night in the square.
Did he know what would happen?
Similarity to Judges 19
Unfortunately, this is not the only time that something like this happens. In Judges 19, almost the exact same scenario plays out.
The major difference is that this time, it’s not a bunch of Godless heathens in Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s Israel.
The comparisons are striking. A visitor intends to spend the night in the square, only to be taken in by a resident who seems to be aware of the danger in the city.
The visitors are attacked and threatened with rape. To protect this visitor, the man offers up his concubine to the attackers — which they (unfortunately) gladly accept.
I’ll spare you the rest of the gory details, but if you want to read it all yourself, I suggest you check out the rest of the story.
Ironically, the story ends with the famous saying from Judges that “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” And for the rapists, that meant taking whatever — and whoever — they wanted.
Why Was Lot Even In Sodom?
If we’re correct in assuming that Lot knew that the angels would be in danger by spending the night in the square, why was he even in Sodom to begin with?
Moreover, as a father, why did he allow his family to be raised within its walls? Clearly, his daughter’s fiancé’s are worthless, as they think Lot is kidding when he tells them that God is going to destroy the city (Genesis 19:14).
The behavior of the Sodomites is so alarming that you can even make an argument that it surprises the angels.
I know that God is all-knowing, but note the demeanor of the angels at the end of Genesis 18. There, they claim they’re going to Sodom to check out whether the outcries are as reported. “If not, [they] will know” (Genesis 18:21).
It’s most likely that God was simply demonstrating the righteousness that He takes with matters of judgment. He knew all along how bad Sodom and Gomorrah were, but the story in Genesis 19 — where the angels “investigate” the situation — proves that He takes nothing at face value.
After the angels strike the rapists with blindness, they immediately turn to Lot and tell him to leave. They’re going to destroy this town and everything in it.
Lot Knew What Sodom Was All About
Lot knew Sodom better than just about anyone else. As Peter puts it, his “righteous soul was vexed” with the situation around him every day. He should’ve left years ago.
Why did he stay? The best guess we have is greed.
Lot knew that his financial prospects were way better in Sodom and Gomorrah than they were just about anywhere else. Why would he leave when he could advance his position?
Sadly, that decision almost cost him his life. It certainly cost him his wife. And it cost him the integrity of his daughters, whose actions created a perennial enemy to the Israelites (Genesis 19:30-38).
All because of his career.