Study Guide

Lot in Book of Genesis

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Lot is one unlucky dude.

Bad things just keep happening to this poor guy. He's an immigrant, just like Abraham, but he gets the super short end of the stick.

  • His dad Haran dies prematurely, and so Lot has to move in with his grandpa Terah and his aunt and uncle Sarah and Abraham (11:27-32). 
  • When he has to split off from Abraham, Lot picks a lovely place that's kind of reminiscent of Eden (13:10). Unfortunately, taking the easy road doesn't turn out too well. The evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are waiting for him at the end.
  • Lot is taken captive in war, and is only saved when Abraham leads a militia to rescue him (14:12-16).
  •  Lot is rescued from Sodom and Gomorrah, but for what? His wife is turned to a pillar of salt. All she did was look back at the destruction of the cities in disobedience to the deity's messengers (19:17, 26).
  • Now he's living in a cave with his two unmarried, virgin daughters, who get him drunk and have sex with him because they want kids (19:29-38).

Think about Lot's resume: orphan, immigrant, captive in war, citizen of Sodom, widower, raped by daughters, guilty of incest, progenitor of Israel's future enemies. Are you going to hire this guy? Well, talk to Abraham, Lot's uncle. Maybe he'll put in a good word for him.

Bad Choices

Is it possible that Lot's bad luck is due to one majorly bad decision? Let's take a look. When Abraham tells him to take first pick at the land he wants, Lot does some recon:

Lot looked about him, and saw that the plain of the Jordan was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar […]. So Lot chose for himself all the plain of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastwards; thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the Plain and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the people of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord. (13:10-13)

Is it possible that Lot took the easy way out and God is punishing him? You be the judge.

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