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Did Lot hate his daughters?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Bible related
For a father to willingly present his daughters to a group of men to be raped and abused sounds completely implausible. Yet that is exactly what the Bible narrates in Genesis 19. Two men (angels) came to investigate the sin of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. (“The Lord said to Abraham, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know’” - Genesis 18:20).
While the two angels stayed for the night in Lot’s house “and before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom - both young and old -surrounded the house. They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we van have sex with them’” (Genesis 19:4-5). “Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, ‘No, my friends. Don’t do such a wicked thing. Look I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them’” (verse 6-8). One can scarcely think about a more terrible ordeal for such young unmarried girls. Fortunately the men of Sodom refused the girls and answered, “Get out of our way.... They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door” (verse 9). Despite Lot’s awful suggestion about his daughters, the New Testament speaks of him as a righteous man (“he was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men” - 2 Peter 2:7).
Let us look at a possible reason why Lot offered his daughters: When the two angels (who looked like men) came to the gateway of the city, Lot immediately invited them to spend the night with him (hospitality). They did not want to, since as divine messengers, they knew what problems Lot would get into. But he persevered and they consented and went with him. When the town’s men insisted on having sex with the two angels, Lot said, “don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof” (verse 8). It was a matter of conscience to Lot to protect the visitors, and it at least seemed less of a sin to him to offer his two unmarried daughters.
The angels came for two reasons:
1. To show that God will judge sin. (“The Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah - from the Lord out of heaven. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities - and also the vegetation in the land” - verse 24-25).
2. To show that ‘Salvation is from the Lord’ (Jonah 2:6). God would have stayed his judgement and saved the cities if 10 righteous people were found in them (Genesis 18:16-33). But there were not even 10. The only people who did not participate in the evil, were Lot and his family. Therefore the angels saved them from the destruction. The angels “reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door” (verse 10-11). Lot and his family could then see that the warning of destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was serious business (“we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it” - verse 13). His two future sons-in-law would not believe it and thought he was joking. Lot and his family obeyed the command to flee (“Flee for your lives! Don’t look back.... - verse 17). They saw the angels in action, and realized that they were not ordinary men. Lot and his family were saved, but would they have understood the seriousness of the sin had they not had the experience with the townspeople?
Conclusion: God judges, but He also saves. For those who love God everything works out for the best (Romans 8:28). What could have been a terrible ordeal for the two daughters, ended in a miraculous rescue.