And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men.” Genesis 19:5-8
It’s easy for me to be so shocked by what happens at this point in the story of Lot and his family that I will read from a distance, point an accusing finger, and refrain from asking what I can learn from it about myself. At first glance, I’ll experience outrage. “Lot, sacrificing his daughters to a mob? How horrible.” And it was. But this sinful response of Lot to the gang who desired to rape Lot’s two visitors didn’t begin and end on this night.
When I think about the worst sin I have committed, it was never done spur of the moment. There had been a trail of thoughts and deeds that preceded it. One doesn’t just turn on God unexpectedly and sin greatly. Even if it appears that way to others, be assured that in my heart, there were multitudes of choices and beliefs that paved the way for mutiny.
Lot had never shown unwavering fidelity toward God. (Neither did Abraham but he was quick to repent when he strayed.) Lot made a series of decisions, some appearing small, that were never corrected. Sin is insidious over a long period of time. It not only kills and destroys but it deceives. If I have a history of a sinful habit, I should know that, with time, comes longstanding deception in some part of my life. I will be the last to see it if I’m not in the Word or in the company of someone who teaches the Word.
“Lot, what is the effect of moving to Sodom with your family and living in a triple X society?” He would affirm what scripture teaches. The effect is numbness. A seared conscience.” To offer his daughters as bait to a gang didn’t seem anywhere near as outrageous to Lot as it does to those of us who read about it. But here’s the thing. The worst thing I have done didn’t appear to me, at the time, to be outrageous either. I had paved the road to that pivotal moment with bricks of subtle rebellion.
Don’t let me read this like a novel and point my finger at Lot. Help me see the log in my own eye. Amen