(Genesis 19:4-8; 2 Peter 2:7,8) If Lot Was So Righteous, Why Did He Offer His Own Two Daughters to be Molested by the Angry Mob?

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“But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know (in a sexual way) them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.” (Genesis 19:4-8)

Many people question Lot’s motives here. Did Lot really prefer that his own two daughters be molested by this mob instead of two strangers? Sure, the two strangers were angels from God, but is this the act of a righteous man of God?

“But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day.​” (2 Peter 2:7, 8; New Living Translation)

What were these immoral things the inhanbitants of Sodom were involved in? 

"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before Me: therefore I took them away as I saw good." (Ezekiel 16:49, 50)1

The iniquity of Sodom surely had to do with their lack of hospitality, but the Hebrew word for "abomination" here is תּוֹעֵבַה (toebah) which is the same word used to describe homosexual acts in Leviticus 18:22:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination (toebah)."

The prophet Jude also spoke of Sodom saying, "just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire" (Jude 7, English Standard Version). 

If Lot was so “sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him”, why does it seem he encouraged it at the expense of his two daughters? Is this how "righteousness" acts? If so, wouldn't this be a reflection upon God Himself since He is the source of all righteousness?

Genesis 19:9 may give us one clue as to Lot’s true motives here:

“And they (the angry mob) said, ‘Stand back!’ Then they said, ‘This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.’ So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.” (Genesis 19:9, New King James Version)

As you can see by the results, Lot’s motive here may have been to divert the crowd’s violence away from the two angels and turn it upon himself in an act of hospitality towards his guests. This would reveal, like any loving father, he had no real intentions of giving them his daughters. 

Another way to look at this is to remember that we are reading the history of our ancesters who were living in a totaly different time and culture. Even though Lot taught about the one true God to the inhabitants of Sodom, he too was caught up in the culture of the time. Offering sacrifices to appease angry gods was the norm and Lot may have had this mindset when he tried to appease the angry mob by offering his two daughters (whether or not he truly intended to give them his daughters). Even though Scripture calls him "righteous", Lot was definitly not free from sinning. Scripture says Abraham was righteous (Romans 4:3), but we know he continued sinning and was also caught up in the sacrificial mindset which God revealed to him. (Please see the article entitled, Why Did God Command Abraham to Sacrifice Isaac? for more details on this). David is called the apple of God's eye (Psalm 17:8) and a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22), but yet we know David still sinned and even committed murder. King Saul also said of David, "Thou art more righteous than I" (1 Samuel 24:17). 

How is it that these men, who committed all sorts of iniquity, can be called righteous? 

"For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity." (Proverbs 24:16, New King James Version)

Here we read the reason why Scripture calls men like Lot and David righteous (or apple of His eye) even though they do wicked things. A righteous person is one who continuously believes, trusts, and claims God's forgiveness when they fall. Not in a presumptuous way, but truly acknowledging their own weakness like Isaiah who said, "Woe is me! For I am undone!" but received the live coal and his sin was purged (Isaiah 6:1-7). 

The wicked on the other hand fall (are trapped) into calamity due to their lack of faith in God's everlasting mercy, not understanding His true character, thus they never receive healing and restoration. All the patriarchs throughout time were righteous "in their generation" (see Genesis 7:1). They were righteous up until a point of how much light they knew. Jesus tells us that our righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the pharisees (Matthew 5:20), so there is a progression throughout the generations until the final generation will have Christ's perfect righteousness and they will be translated without seeing death at Christ's second coming. 

"And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13)

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:2)

"But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light, growing brighter and brighter until full day." (Proverbs 4:18, International Standard Version)

There is none but God who is righteous in and of themselves (Romans 3:10-12). If we have a relationship with Christ and His Father, accepting our adoption into the family, we can be called righteous because we will inherit it from Christ who inherited it from His Father. 

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." (Isaiah 61:10, New King James Version)

 

For more info on how God took away Sodom, please see the article entitled: Did God Send Angels to Kill the Inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah?

You may also want to read the book: The Crucifixion of Christ in the Days of Noah and Lot

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