•  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
We pass on to Lot, a sad but most instructive story. When the servants of Abraham and Lot quarreled, Abraham suggests they separate, rather than have the Amorite who was then in the land view the sad sight of fellow-servants of the true God quarreling with each other. In a lovely spirit of meekness, Abraham, the elder, invites his nephew Lot to choose where he would go. It was a sad exhibition of selfishness that permitted Lot to accept such an invitation; yet so it was, and he chose the well-watered plains of Sodom for his new home. Oh, how often have we taken our families into needless contact with defilement, in the hope of bringing greater profit to them, or to our purse.
How infinitely better for Lot to have remained poor, than to grow rich by the green grass of Sodom. We know the sad story of first looking towards the plains of Sodom, “well-watered plains”, then pitching his tent towards Sodom, then dwelling in the city itself, and finally having a place “in the gate”.
We know, too, that Lot vexed his righteous soul from day to day while he dwelt in this filthy place. Perhaps it was the wife and family that persuaded him to move into Sodom, and then stay there in spite of the soul-vexing questions that daily arose. Perhaps it was the advantage the children were likely to obtain in such a well-favored spot. Be that as it may, apparently his daughters married men of Sodom and settled down there as their home. And let us ever bear in mind that this all arose from the rude and selfish choice that Lot himself had made, instead of waiting for his uncle to choose, as courtesy demanded he should have done.
But, to me, the saddest part of all this sad story is in Gen. 19:1414And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. (Genesis 19:14): “Lot went out, and spake unto his sons-in-law, which had married his daughters, and said, ‘Up, get you out of this place, for the Lord will destroy this city. ’” But he seemed as one that mocked (the New Translation reads, “jested”). “He seemed as one that jested unto his sons-in-law.”
“He seemed as one that jested.” That speaks volumes to me. As you are aware this very same sin comes as a peculiar temptation to me, and so I can understand, better perhaps than you, through the bitterness of personal experience, that even with a vexed soul, Lot had been in the habit of jesting. He may have been a very witty man, always ready with a joke. Whether this be so or not, sure I am it was not the first time that Lot had jested with his sons-in-law, or they never could have mistaken Lot’s desperate earnestness on that awful night, for a jest.
Think of it, my dear ones, Lot’s jesting cost him the lives of his daughters and their families. They all perished in the destruction of the city —perished through what was believed to be “an innocent jest.” Well can we understand the word in Eccl. 10:11Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor. (Ecclesiastes 10:1), “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor; so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor.” How different to the savor of His good ointments in Sol. 1:33Because of the savor of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee. (Song of Solomon 1:3); or to the delightful fragrance of the ointment that filled all the house where the Lord and His disciples were sitting. How pitifully sad if all this had been ruined by a few “dead flies.”
Would that this were the end of the sad, sad story of Lot’s family, but it is not. The wife’s backward look told where her heart was dwelling, and she became a pillar of salt: solemn warning to us all. His own daughters, delivered from Sodom, made Lot drunk on two successive nights (apparently no very uncommon occurrence with him), and then to his eternal shame and theirs, they become the mothers of the Moabites and the Ammonites: two of Israel’s most bitter enemies.
Such is the final fruit of the course of a “just man”, begun with a covetous look towards the well-watered plains of this world.
Oh, our God, keep us we pray Thee!