Having a debate with my in-laws. Was Lot righteous or did he receive favoritism because he is the brother of Abraham? My position is that Lot was righteous.
Lot and Noah both example of righteous men surrounded by wickedness.
2Pe 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly;
2Pe 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
2Pe 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds);
2Pe 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
Jesus said something similar:
Luk 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Opposing position is that Lot was favored because he's the brother of Abraham and Abraham was trying to save Lot (Gen 18). The Bible doesn't explicitly say this and I believe Abraham would plead for the lives of all the righteous that lived in Sodom and Gomorrah in addition to his brother. Also they contend that Lot wouldn't leave Sodom because he had riches and did business there. In other words Lot was greedy.
Lot supposedly was corrupt.
Gen 19:6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
Gen 19:7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
Gen 19:8 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 (angels) do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
Gen 19:31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:
Gen 19:32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
Gen 19:33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
Gen 19:34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay last night with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
Gen 19:35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
Gen 19:36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
So what is the deal with Lot??
1) Lot was not righteous viewed from our moral sense in modern day America.
2) God said he was righteous so, if you believe God is the supreme being, then Lot was righteous.
Grace is generally defined as unmerited favor, so it could be said that Lot received something he didn't actually deserve.
I think it's a case of intercessory prayer bearing fruit.
Yup, just like the rest of us. Should we serve God all our days, we'd still be undeserving of all the blessings we receive.
As for Lot, I have no doubt that the prayers of Abraham were a factor, but so was his own conduct. While not a perfect man (are any of us?), he was certainly more righteous than his peers where he lived.
Couple of things:
1. Lot was not Abraham's brother. He was Abraham's nephew:
"27 This is the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot. 28 And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. 30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. 32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran."
2. Lot WAS a righteous man. He lived in Sodom, but there is absolutely no Biblical evidence that he participated in the evil that went on in that place. In fact, the Bible says that Lott:
"who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— "
2nd Peter 2
Lot never participated in the lawless deeds, he merely saw them, and he was TORMENTED by them.
As to whether or not God intended to destroy Sodom with Lot in it, I don't think one can make such a case Biblically. God spoke with Abraham because He knew Abraham would intercede on Lot's behalf. Remember that Abraham prayed for God to SPARE the city for the sake of the righteous. He did NOT pray that God would take Lot out of the city. God was revealing something about Himself to Abraham just as He would later do when He commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.
3. Was Lot corrupt? Not really. The Bible does not call people righteous if they are corrupt. Lot did not share the moral failings of the people of Sodom. This is not to say that Lot was perfect, as no person the Bible calls righteous is perfect. (Save Christ Himself) Lot chose to settle on the plains of Sodom because he thought the trade would be beneficial to him. He knew the place was wicked, but most likely believed that he could remain pure in the wicked environment.
Lot's offer of his daughters is not a sign of corruption. It may seem that way to some, but remember that Lot was also trying to protect strangers who happened to be messengers of The Lord. What Lot was doing was actually a courageous and moral thing according to the culture of his day. It seems unthinkable to us, but things were different 4,000 years ago. In taking these strangers in and offering his daughters, he was trying to shield them from the dangers and moral horrors of Sodom, which was a righteous thing.
Lot's impregnation of his daughters is also not a sign of corruption. Remember that Noah got drunk and passed out naked after discovering wine, but God did not call Noah corrupt. Lot's daughters, like their mother, were corrupt.
The lesson of Lot is that if even a righteous man desires the benefits of the worldly system that it can corrupt everything he has and in the end he will have to choose between it and God. It also shows that there is a difference between being righteous and truly knowing God, as Lot was righteous but unaware that he was in the path of Divine Judgement while Abraham knew what God was going to do and even had a hand in negotiating it with God.
It is not about relative righteousness but rather how the Lord sees ie. the thoughts and intent of the heart.