the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Haran's son, Abraham's nephew (Genesis 11:27-31). Born in Ur of the Chaldees, before Terah's emigration. Accompanied Abram to Charan, then to Canaan (Genesis 12:4-5), then, in the famine, to Egypt. On their return a quarrel arose between Abram's and Lot's herdsmen. In the spirit of a child of God Abram goes to Lot himself, instead of listening to subordinates' reports, and begs as they are brethren there should be no strife between them (contrast Acts 15:39), and offers Lot precedency, though as his senior Abram might have claimed it; "if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right," etc. Lot chose by sight, not faith, the richly watered circle of the Jordan, fertile, but the region of wicked Sodom (Joshua 7:24; Joshua 8:15). At first Lot only "pitched his tent toward Sodom," but he was venturing too near temptation not to be caught (Psalms 1:1; 1 Corinthians 15:33).
He soon was dwelling in a "house" in Sodom, and paid the penalty in being carried off with his much-loved "goods" by Chedorlaomer; he was rescued only by the disinterested bravery and magnanimity of Abram, who, forgetting Lot's unamiable conduct, thought only of how to rescue him at all hazards in his distress. This warning ought to have been enough to drive Lot from Sodom, but no, he still lives there. Next, Lot appears exercising that goodly hospitality by which he" entertained angels unawares," and for which the Epistle to Hebrew (Hebrews 13:2) commends him. Evidently, the luxury of worldly Sodom had not wholly corrupted the simplicity of his character. The Spirit of God, who knows hearts, designates him (2 Peter 2:7-9) "just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation (the licentious behaviour) of the wicked" (the lawless, who set at defiance the laws of nature and God).
The Sodomites' words, "this one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge" refer evidently to Lot's remonstrances with them which Peter presupposes. The gracious Lord reminds us of his faithfulness, not of his subsequent incest. If there had been "ten" such "fellows" in Sodom Jehovah would have spared it (Genesis 18:32). Again God records, "that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed (tormented) his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds." Lot had gone into temptation, and must have perished but, for God's grace; to all appearances his position was hopeless, but "the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations," He is at no loss for means. The angels' visit was meant to test Lot as well as the Sodomites. The angels' declining his invitation at first, "we will abide in the street (the broad open space) all night," answers to Jesus' mode of eliciting the faith of the two Emmaus disciples (Luke 24:28).
His sin is faithfully recorded, his offering to sacrifice his daughters' honour to save his guests. He was retributively punished by those daughters sacrificing their father's honour and their own. They seem to have been only betrothed, not yet married, to Lot's so-called "sons in law." When he warned them to flee from the coming destruction "he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law" (compare Luke 24:11). His imperfection of faith appears in that "he lingered" even on the morning of Sodom's doom. But the angels "laid hold upon his hand ... the Lord being merciful to him (Romans 9:15-16) ... and set him without the city." They further warned him, "escape for thy life, look not behind thee (compare the Christian's motto, Philippians 3:13; Luke 9:62), neither stay thou in all the plain," the (ciccar ) circuit of Jordan which he had so coveted. Defective faith made him plead for leave to stay at Zoar, which, as "a little one," he urges could have but few sinning in it so as to incur a share in Sodom's doom.
God grants even this, and adds "I cannot do anything until thou be come there"; God's love controls His omnipotence (Matthew 27:42). Lot's wife "looked back" with regrets on Sodom's sinful pleasures, then stayed behind, and "became a pillar of salt"; possibly overtaken by the fire and brimstone and incrusted with salt. The Americans found E. of Usdum a pillar of salt 40 ft. high, which may be the traditional one identified with Sodom's wife (Josephus, Ant. 1:11). Vacillation in faith led him to doubt even Zoar's safety, notwithstanding God's promise. From "lingering" about Sodom, Lot passes to the opposite extreme, desponding of safety even in its extreme skirt. His unbelief issued in the sin in the cave, and the offspring were "the children of Lot," Moab and Ammon (Deuteronomy 2:9; Deuteronomy 2:19; Psalms 73:8). See our Lord's spiritual lesson from Sodom and Lot's wife (Luke 17:28-32).
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Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Lot (1)'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​fbd/​l/lot-1.html. 1949.