Monday, April 8, 2013

When a Molehill Becomes a Mountain

Today's passage:  Genesis 19: 17-38
     I wish I could just skip the end of this chapter  I wish there had been a way to avoid this sordid mess between Lot and his daughters.  And when I back up several verses, apparently there was.
     The most obvious way for Lot to have avoided some of this was if he had not been a drinker.  I think Lot must have had a history with alcohol because the oldest daughter knows that if she sets wine before Dad, he's going to overindulge.  How would Lot's eldest know this unless he had a history with drink?  He is so incoherent that the verses say "and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose."  Did she spike it with something?  It doesn't appear that is the case.  He may have been drowning his sorrows because of losing his wife.  Aha!  Now there is where the real solution would have been, had Lot's wife still been alive, this would never have been able to come to pass.
Lot and his family fleeing from Sodom
Taken from Religion in the Home (Part 1)
By Charlotte M. Yonge
Engravings by Julius Shnorr Von Karolsfeld
Published by George W. Bertron, 1913
     This automatically starts the age-old argument that if Lot's wife had not been so attached to the things of this world and looked back at the inferno behind her, she would not have become a salt statue.  Let's not forget that she had left two married daughters behind and possibly grandchildren.  We don't read about any grandchildren, but that does not mean that her daughters had not borne any (especially as they would not have figured into Lot's future genealogy).  She was more than likely a grieving mother who is anguished that part of her family would not survive.  And I'm not saying that is the only reason she looked back, she may very well have been clinging to her old life.  Remember, security is a woman's number one need.  But could this have even been prevented?  Back up a few verses.  When the angel ushers them out of the city, where does he tell this family to go?  The mountain.  Why don't they do as the angel instructs?  Lot thought he had a better way.  He couldn't stand the thought of being that far away from society.  He suggests, no he begs, to enter into that small town of Zoar, not too great a distance from Sodom and Gomorrah.  I checked out a few Bible maps, and although there is no great consensus as to where these cities existed, somewhere along the coast of the Dead Sea, Zoar would have been situated at a diagonal across the Dead Sea, giving an inhabitant there a pretty good view of the smoke and destruction happening in Sodom.  I always thought that Mrs. Lot had looked back just as they had stepped outside Sodom's city gates.  But these verses make it sound as if they had already entered Zoar.  Eventually, Lot leaves Zoar, and goes where?  To the mountain, exactly where the angel told him to go at the start of all this.  Would Mrs. Lot have been able to have a good view of Sodom's destruction from the cave?  It is quite possible that might have happened, but if the angel suggested it, I'm thinking the chance of that was less likely.  The angel was probably trying to help Lot shelter his wife's anguished heart, knowing the temptation to look back at the city might be too great for a mother's love.  Lot was the one who argued, diverted, sidetracked.  And ended up in the mountain anyway, but without his wife, which prompts the whole incestuous mess that also gives rise to Israel's greatest enemies.
     As for Lot's daughters, why they would even devise such a scheme shows how little they had been taught about the ways of God.  Daddy had just offered them up to the men of the city a few short days ago, so how would this be any worse?  Mrs. Lot had perished so there was no possibility of a brother ever being born (as it appears Lot only had daughters) and now they were cut off from civilization by taking refuge in a cave.  When would they ever meet a husband?  Warped thinking I know, but they had been raised in a city of warped thinking.  Certainly the Sodom culture had rubbed off a little on Lot's daughters.  I can only say that at least they had the sense to know to get Dad drunk first.  I'm glad that Lot would never consent to this willingly while sober.
     So what is the lesson here?  Do things God's way.  When God suggests a course, don't negotiate.  He knows what is best and is trying to spare us a lifetime of pain.  Lot and the whole nation of Israel would have to live with his mistake for the rest of their lives.  His daughters would have to explain to Moab and Benammi that Granddad was also Dad. Is it any wonder that these two father nations that end up despising Israel?  Talk about dysfunctional.
     I would think that if God sent an angel to tell me something, if He thought it so important to dispatch one of His personal messengers to deliver me to safety, I might want to take his advice.  Lot ended up in the mountain anyway, but not without some loss. What I want may seem like a little thing, but it is the littlest things in my life that become the biggest problems.  If God tells me to go to the isolated mountain, the loneliness might overtake me, but I would rather succumb to that then the guilt and shame as a result of  living in the molehill.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What is God doing in your life?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...