God Rescues Lot

Key Verse: “When God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.”
—Genesis 19:29, New International Version

Selected Scripture:
Genesis 19:15-29

WHEN ABRAM followed God’s instructions to leave Haran and travel to the land of Canaan, his nephew Lot also went with him. They each had their own flocks and herds, however in Canaan “the land could not support them while they stayed together” and “quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot.” To avoid difficulties, Abram decided they should part company, and although being the senior member of the family, he gave Lot first choice as to which land to settle in. Lot chose “the whole plain of the Jordan” which was “well watered,” even though it meant living near the city of Sodom, where the people were “wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.”—Gen. 12:1-5; 13:1-13, NIV

Later, God informed Abraham, his name having been changed from Abram, that Sodom and its inhabitants would be destroyed because of their wickedness. (Gen. 18:17-32) Shortly thereafter, as Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom, God sent two angels to him. They said to him, “We are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great.” “With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”—Gen. 19:1,12-15, NIV

Lot hesitated to leave, so the angels “grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.” One of the angels said, “Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” However, Lot replied, “I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die.” Lot asked to go to the nearby small town of Zoar, and his wish was granted. After he arrived in Zoar, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, including all their inhabitants. “But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”—vss. 16-26, NIV

In this lesson Abraham pictures those who maintain their faithfulness to God throughout the difficulties and trials of life. (Gal. 3:9) Sodom and Gomorrah represent the selfishness, evil, and corruption in this “present evil world,” which God will soon bring to an end. (II Pet. 3:7) Although all the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, in the Messianic kingdom they will all be resurrected on earth and given an opportunity to learn righteousness, and if obedient, granted everlasting life.—Luke 10:12

Peter describes Lot as a “righteous man.” (II Pet. 2:7,8) However, Lot also compromised and made some serious mistakes in order to be materially prosperous. The Lord’s followers should be careful not to compromise and accept the popular attitudes and immoral standards which fallen mankind has adopted. Taking such a position on the side of righteousness may result in not being well thought of by many around us and might cost us earthly “prosperity.”

Although Lot hesitated to leave Sodom, God was merciful. Our Heavenly Father is also merciful with us when we make mistakes or fail to do his will acceptably. However, we have to confess our sins to him in prayer, seek his forgiveness, and strive to more closely reverence him by following his righteousness and his commandments in our life.—Ps. 103:9-18