All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The High Cost of Bad Choices

The three strangers Abraham welcomes to his tent in Genesis 18 turn out to be two angels and the Lord, Himself. After the angels leave, the Lord remains with him for a while, telling him that they’ve come to investigate the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah before passing judgment on those wicked cities.

Abraham is gravely concerned, since his nephew, Lot, lives in Sodom.

“Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” he asks, as he begins interceding in the customary style of the ancients. Beginning with 50 righteous men, he descends in numbers to see if the Lord will still destroy the city if there be only ten, and each time the Lord answers that He will not.

Lot’s Concern

Meanwhile, Lot sits at the city gate where elders sit. This is where business transactions are made and legal disputes are judged. As the strangers approach, he bows and greets them, inviting them home for the night. They refuse at first. It’s common for travelers to spend the night on the street in this mild climate, wrapped in their warm outer robe. This will also provide them ample opportunity to investigate the city, but Lot is so concerned for their safety that they finally accept his invitation.

He’s not the only one who’s noticed the strangers, though. Soon a mob gathers at Lot’s door, demanding he send out the strangers so they might violate them. Exiting his home, he closes the door behind him and pleads with them not to act so wickedly. But instead of listening, they lunge at the door while calling him judgmental and threatening to do even worse to him!

Suddenly, the angels reach outside and pull him in—as they strike the mob with blindness! Their investigation is complete, and as the realization of who these strangers really are begins to dawn on Lot, they urge him to flee the city with his relatives before it’s destroyed. He fails to convince his married daughters and sons-in-law to go, and the angels finally take Lot, his wife, and his two unmarried daughters by the hand and rush them outside the city. They’re ordered to flee to the mountains and not look back for any reason, but p Lot begs to stay in the nearby city of Zoar, instead.


As the Lord swiftly destroys Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone (sulphur) from heaven, Lot’s wife disobeys the dire warning and looks back. She instantly becomes a pillar of salt—a visible and lasting omen for those who place their home and possessions above their own salvation!

Fearing God might destroy Zoar next, Lot runs for a cave in the mountains with his two daughters. In their isolation, they fear they will die without offspring, so they scheme to get their father drunk, producing offspring to preserve his lineage through incestuous relationships. Their children, Moab and Ben-Ammi, become the fathers of the Moabite and Ammonite nations who will someday be hostile toward the Israelites heading for Canaan.

By rescuing Lot and his daughters, the Lord fulfills His promise during Abraham’s intercession. However, this story vividly demonstrates the consequences Lot suffers for pitching his tent toward Sodom, and later moving into that wicked city. Despite this, we can marvel at p God’s grace in forcefully taking him and his family by the hand and leading them to safety.

Lot’s decisions cost him dearly. He loses his wife and his possessions, and ends up in a cave with two unmarried daughters who treat him shamefully, assuring he will spend his old age in infamy.

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