Lot and Sodom
When two angels visited Sodom in preparation for its destruction they met Lot.
The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.”
They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.”
But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. (Genesis 19:1-3)
The fact that Lot was sitting in the gate tells us something of his status in the city. The gate was where important business was carried out and the important men in the city were frequently found there.
The first mention of a city gate is found in Genesis 19:1. It was at the gate of Sodom that Abraham’s nephew, Lot, greeted the angelic visitors to his city. Lot was there with other leading men of the city, either discussing the day’s issues or engaging in important civic business.
The fact that Lot was sitting there shows that the people of Sodom honored him and regarded him as one of their leading citizens.
The people of Sodom had previously been described as being wicked.
Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD. (Genesis 13:13)
Why would such wicked people choose someone like Lot to be one of their leaders? Some have suggested that Lot won their approval by compromising his standards of right and wrong and accepting their values. This idea is contradicted by what Peter said about Lot.
As that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard. (2 Peter 2:8)
Surely a man who was torments over their deeds wouldn’t live as they did.
I believe their real motivation for honoring Lot is found in Genesis 14. Sodom was defeated in battle and many of its resident, including Lot, were taken captive.
So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way.They also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way. (Genesis 14:11,12)
When Abraham heard of this he gathered his forces and rescued Lot, freeing the other captives from Sodom in the process.
Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people. (Genesis 14:16)
The people of Sodom realized they had been rescued only because Lot lived in their city, so they promoted him to a position of leadership to ensure that he would stay and so that they could count on Abraham’s help when they needed it. When Lot tried to protect the angels from the men of Sodom they revealed their true feelings toward him.
And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. (Genesis 19:9)
With these words they sealed their fate and assured the destruction of Sodom.