We’ve just left Abraham, who was beating around the bush with the Lord and two angels about saving his nephew Lot, who still lived in Sodom. Lo and behold, as the two angels (where the Lord went, I don’t know) approached the entrance to the city, there was Lot. Now, remember, being at the entrance to any city was an honor and probably one appointed by the government, so Lot had earned high honors in Sodom. He was somebody. It was probably due to the fact that Abraham saved their tails a couple chapters back, but whatever the reason, Lot is a key dude. He greets the angels kindly, too. He shows them that there very well could be at least one righteous person left in Sodom, just as Abraham hoped.
We kind of like Lot up to this point. From past actions, we can see him as kind of a bumpkis but a bumpkis with a semi-good heart – until he offers his daughters up to a mob full of rapists! Whyyyyy did Lot do this??? (Another question added to my ask Jesus list.) Because I like to think of Lot as a good guy, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he offered his daughters to the crowd because 1) he would never, not in a million years, disgrace an angel of God, and 2) he knew he was in the midst of angels and that they would protect him and his family. He had faith. Still, that’s a hard one to explain, especially to new believers and sex workers. This is one I need to pray to understand.
Maybe Lot had to do something really stupid for us to realize just how much mercy God shows on those for which other people intercede. Later on in the section, as the angels warn Lot to leave the city before God destroys it, he hesitates to go. He doubts, but God doesn’t turn him to a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife. He again shows mercy. The section ends with a reference that goes right back to Abraham: “God listened to Abraham’s request.” And if you remember correctly, Abraham never even made the request directly! He just hem-hawed around about it, “If only 50, 45, 40, 30, 20, 10 righteous people are found, will you please not destroy the whole city?!?” Took him forever to spit all that out – when the whole time God knew he was asking to please just save his nephew Lot. God knew Abraham’s heart, and he listened to his prayer. However, Lot did suffer the loss of his wife, friends and home. There was some serious grieving there. Lot probably didn’t feel very lucky, but little did he know that his own life was spared because of the prayer of his uncle.
As I get older, I can see how I was shielded by unknown prayers. I never heard them, but I know my grandmother prayed many prayers over me, as did my church family. When I was pregnant with my son and when he was little, I would pray certain prayers over him – prayers that he would not hear, but prayers that I remember praying over him, and prayers that I am now starting to see come to fruition through God’s beautiful mercy and grace. Don’t ever hesitate to pray for someone. You could be saving a life, like Lot’s, even though Lot wasn’t feeling so lucky to be alive. That makes me want to call him Unlucky Lot, especially because Unlucky Lot’s luck just keeps getting worse.
He’s alive, yes, but living in a cave … with his two daughters … who are of marrying age, (completely hormonal) and have just lost their fiancées. They’ve also been raised in the land of Sodom, so they probably have seen a lot of weird stuff and think that it’s just everyday normal to get your dad drunk and sleep with him. We don’t really know the backstory here, and I myself have a million and one questions. Like, what happened when Lot found out his daughters were pregnant? What did those babies look like? The gap in time between how they were conceived and then became the ancestors of two nations is an opportunity to break open the springs of creativity!
Writing prompt: The gap
Option 1: Write a prayer over someone. Intercede for them. Stand in the gap. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Write it in story form, as a poem or even a song.
Option 2: Fill in the gap between the years Lot’s sons were conceived and founded the Moabites and Ammonites.