The Story of Salvation – Part 10

+JMJ+ Welcome to part 10 of the continuing series, the Story of Salvation. There will be some notes and links at the end of the post. We left our story last time with Lot, having made the unutterably bad decision to be sitting near the gate of Sodom when the angels appear there on their mission to destroy the city full of wickedness.

Well, maybe that part of his decision is not so bad, the angels do help him out of there, after all, but he shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Yes, he was kidnapped and taken there earlier, but if he hadn’t been such an arrogant ingrate to begin with, he wouldn’t have split with Abram, taking the best and most fertile land for himself and he woudn’t have been the victim of the kings who started fighting all around him. If he had stayed with Abram, he would have been protected. But nooooooo! He had to take his things and go play, er, settle over there where the grass was greener, making himself a target along with everyone else who was with him. 

Abram forgave Lot, apparently, because Abram is a good man and an older and wiser man, and I suppose he remembers what it was like to be young, though I’m not sure he was ever as brash and arrogant and ungrateful as Lot. So Abram swoops in with his retinue of men and rescues Lot.

A little more about the sin of Sodom, from Ezekiel 16:49-50:

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them, when I saw it

Ezekiel 16:49-50, Douay-Rheims Version, public domain.

I also want to say something about Lot sitting at the gate in Sodom. Seems that Lot didn’t want to wait on the Lord’s blessings like Abram did. He saw some good fertile land and even though it was near the wicked city of Sodom, he thought he could take advantage of the land and not be affected by the wickedness of the other people living nearby. Even after he came to an ill fate (being kidnapped by the kings and ending up in Sodom) and having to be rescued by Abram, who drops him off at his chosen home, Sodom, after rescuing him. That right there says a lot about Lot and that Abram had the patience of Job. Lot simply will not let go of Sodom and his stubborn plan to gain wealth and whatever else, certainly not wisdom or discernment. 

And “sitting by the gate” is an expression, not merely a description of an action. The city gate is not only where people entered and left the city, it’s where people gathered to hear news and to gossip and complain, and to basically have their complaints against one another heard and settled. Lot seems to have not only lived among the unrighteous of Sodom, but to have grown in influence and status among them, too: he may not have become a judge outright, but likely he had at least attained some measure of fame because he was Abram’s kin, especially after that epic rescue by his uncle. I wonder how much that rankled. 

Anyway, the angels enter the city, Lot shows hospitality (we talked about that last time) to the men (he doesn’t know they are angels yet), asks them to come home with him, they decline, he insists, they are sizing him up, they go home with him. The wicked men of the city surround Lot’s home (all that fame and stature isn’t doing him much good now) and demand that the strangers be given to them. Lot is said to be a righteous man by Peter in the New Testament. It’s a passage that deserves to be quoted at length.

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers who shall bring in sects of perdition and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their riotousness, through whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you. Whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not: and their perdition slumbereth not. 

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but delivered them, drawn down by infernal ropes to the lower hell, unto torments, to be reserved unto judgment: And spared not the original world, but preserved Noe, the eighth person, the preacher of justice, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly. And reducing the cities of the Sodomites and of the Gomorrhites into ashes, condemned them to be overthrown, making them an example to those that should after act wickedly, And delivered just Lot, oppressed by the injustice and lewd conversation of the wicked: For in sight and hearing he was just, dwelling among them who from day to day vexed the just soul with unjust works. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly from temptation, but to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be tormented: And especially them who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise government: audacious, self willed, they fear not to bring in sects, blaspheming. Whereas angels, who are greater in strength and power, bring not against themselves a railing judgment. But these men, as irrational beasts, naturally tending to the snare and to destruction, blaspheming those things which they know not, shall perish in their corruption: Receiving the reward of their injustice, counting for a pleasure the delights of a day: stains and spots, sporting themselves to excess, rioting in their feasts with you: Having eyes full of adultery and of sin that ceaseth not: alluring unstable souls: having their heart exercised with covetousness: children of malediction. Leaving the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam of Bosor who loved the wages of iniquity, But had a check of his madness, the dumb beast used to the yoke, which, speaking with man’s voice, forbade the folly of the prophet. 

These are fountains without water and clouds tossed with whirlwinds, to whom the mist of darkness is reserved. For, speaking proud words of vanity, they allure by the desires of fleshly riotousness those who for a little while escape, such as converse in error: Promising them liberty, whereas they themselves are the slaves of corruption. For by whom a man is overcome, of the same also he is the slave. For if, flying from the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they be again entangled in them and overcome: their latter state is become unto them worse than the former. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of justice than, after they have known it, to turn back from that holy commandment which was delivered to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.

2 Peter in full, Douay-Rheims Version, public domain.

So Lot tries to be a good man, he remembers what his uncle taught him about hospitality to strangers, but he completely forgets his duty to his own flesh and blood, his daughters when he offers them to the sin sick men of Sodom. Would that those men were as sick of sin as they are sick with it! But they are filled with pride and lust to the point of being worse than animals. Not only do they not honor the duty of hospitality, but they want to do actual harm to the ones they think are men. Oh, that would be something to see, these guys trying to harm angels. Good grief.

Living among the unrighteous and mixing with them (and seeking their approval?) has led Lot to lose his focus. He is not the man his uncle is and he never will be. He has cut himself off from his intended inheritance which will pass on to someone else now, and he seems to have cut himself off from good sense. He very nearly cuts himself off from the land of the living when he dawdles after the angels tell him to hightail it out of there along with his family. He does not want to give up his treasure. And it’s clear that it’s not his family that he treasures but his material wealth. He doesn’t want to leave all of that behind. Look what he’s put up with already to have it. Now these angels come and tell him to turn his back on it all and head for the hills?

They do tell him to head for the hills. But he says, Oh, that’s so far away, how about this little town Zoar (meaning little) nearby?

Really, Lot? Even now you cannot drag yourself away? You can endanger the ones you should love and protect because you don’t want to lose your stuff?

At least little Zoar will be safe because the angels won’t destroy it for Lot’s sake. But now get this: Lot goes there but is so afraid when he sees what happens to Sodom and Gomorrah that he decides nearby Zoar is entirely too close to all of that danger, so he flees into the hills after all, leaving poor little Zoar to fend for itself. I’m not sure how much time passed between Lot’s entering Zoar and when he fled, but he does flee, taking his daughters with him. And here they will have their revenge. They get him drunk, have their way with him, and from that incestuous night came nothing that was good.

So the daughters of Lot were with child by their father, at their own instigation! And the elder bore a son, and she called his name Moab: he is the father of the Moabites unto this day. The younger also bore a son, and she called his name Ammon; that is, the son of my people: he is the father of the Ammonites unto this day.

Genesis 19:36-38, Douay-Rheims Version, public domain.

In case you don’t realize it, these would be enemies of God’s Family for a long time to come. Lot has triggered something but they’re not blessings, even if he has been personally rescued from physical destruction. The line of Cain mixed with the line of Seth long ago and the sin and darkness only continue to grow.

That’s it for this edition. Looks like this is not going to be a ten-part series after all. Oh, well, the Spirit leadeth wheresoever He will. I really shouldn’t blame Him, though. ;) Thank you for visiting and reading. I hope you’ll join me again. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, please stay safe and well, virtuous and holy, and most of all, become who you were meant to be: a SAINT! May the Lord bless and keep you and yours, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+

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Notes and Links

Images: In the banner an image from Pixabay. Lot and his daughters fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah, by Joos de Momper the Younger, Wikimedia Commons, public domain. British (English) School; The Departure of Lot and His Family from Sodom; National Trust, Tredegar House. Lot and his Daughters, by Giovanni Francesco Guerrieri, Wikigallery, free for non-commercial use.

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Copyright: All material on Catholic Heart and Mind is copyright 2009-2021 Lee Lancaster, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. See Permissions and Copyright for more. Quoted material belongs to others and they retain their copyright. Most images and quoted material are in the public domain except for otherwise noted.

Story of Salvation Table of Contents, Annotated
All Series Table of Contents, Annotated

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