Lot’s life-choices seem to be focused on one thing: success in a worldly way. He wanted it more than anything else. But that success eludes him.
This section opens with Lot sitting in the gateway of the city of Sodom, the common meeting place for movers and shakers (also known as the “elders” of a town – the leading men). But note that Lot is not sitting with them. Like a lawyer pretending to be a judge in an empty courtroom, Lot is pretending a position of prominence; pretending to be a leader of Sodom. It’s really the last thing he should want to be, for Sodom’s leaders have led them to the precipice of destruction, one that Lot will only barely survive himself.
Lot knew he lived in a bad place. Why else would he insist that respectable people not sleep in the city square – a common practice in the ancient world? Whether Lot knew these men were from God or not, Lot knew the judgment of God. If bad things happened to these men, God’s possible judgment upon the city would be the ruin of them all – including Lot.
The story of Lot is the story of worldly attachment. Lot’s desire for success led him to the city, at first Sodom, and later a smaller one – but a city none-the-less. Lot’s wife couldn’t bare to leave the sinful city, and her longing glance cost her life. Lot’s girls, desperate for a future but ignorant of God sought to secure it in a worldly way. And the end result, the Moabites and Ammonites, would always be the enemies of God’s people. Their mention in the first five books of the Old Testament is always as people who oppose God’s people.
The Apostle John wrote: “Don’t love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. . . The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” We can’t chase the respect of the world and live in the blessing of God.