The Man In The Cave

Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day. (Genesis 19:36-38)

The Man In The Cave

At the entrance to the cave sat an old man carrying years of disappointment and heartache. He sat in a reflective mood looking back over his life wasted for something he could not attain and gaining everything he did not want to get. His life began in a beautiful family of God-fearing, devoted people to the one true God. As the nephew of Abraham, Lot was privileged to sit at the table with the patriarch of a great people. His aunt Sarah was a beautiful woman inside and out who showed her faith in God. When his grandfather Terah told the family they would leave the Ur of Chaldee to go to Haran, Lot gathered his family and joined the procession. While in Haran, Terah died, and as the oldest son, Abraham became the family patriarch.

The journey for Lot was not completed. God came to Abraham and told him to leave his country and his father’s house to a place the Lord would show him. Abraham obeyed, and Lot went with him. Traveling in the company of Abraham was a time of great faith for Lot and his family. The influence of Abraham and Sarah was pleasant. Lot would travel with Abraham to Egypt and then return to the land of Canaan. Abraham was very rich in livestock, silver, and in gold. Lot was also a wealthy man enjoying many of the fine things of life. Being associated with a godly man like Abraham enhanced the life of Lot tenfold. Abraham was a man of great faith.

When the herdsmen of Abraham and Lot began to dispute where their flock could graze, Abraham offered a compromise to his nephew. Abraham did not want strife between him and Lot over the herds of animals. In the act of mercy and grace, Abraham gives Lot a choice of where he desires to live. Abraham could easily have told Lot where to live because, as the family patriarch, Abraham was like a king. Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan that was well watered everywhere. The land was like the Garden of Eden. In a moment of greed, Lot chose the best land for himself. He should have honored the headship of Abraham by begging his uncle to choose first, but Lot could only see the prospect of prosperity before him. Lot and Abraham separated.

At first, Lot pitched his tents as far as Sodom. Lot knew the reputation of the cities of the plain. Sodom was a place of exceeding wickedness and immorality. This was not a secret. The area around Sodom and Gomorrah was exceedingly sinful and corrupt. His years with Abraham should have told him to turn away from such a place, but in time Lot moved his family into the city and became a community member. The righteous soul of Lot was vexed daily with the world he had moved his family, but he never took them away. He continued to live in a city filled with homosexuality at every level. His judging rebuke went unheeded by the people. But Lot remained in Sodom, and his family made a home there.

The old man in the cave looked back and realized he had given up everything for the pottage of riches, prestige, popularity, and what he thought was important. His uncle Abraham had been blessed far removed from the influence of Sodom. When the kings came against Sodom and Gomorrah taking the people hostage, including Lot of his family, Abraham came to rescue them. Did his uncle exhort Lot to leave Sodom? The record does not tell, but Lot returns to Sodom. He faced certain death as a captive save for the bravery of Abraham. Living in Sodom was a dangerous decision, but he returned to his wicked city after he was released. Now he sat with head in hand, lamenting his choices. God had sent His angels to protect him and his family. He saw the grace of God with his wearied eyes, but it was too late.

When Lot and his family fled the city of Sodom, Lot’s wife turned longingly to her home and was immediately killed by the hand of God. The angels warned against looking back. Sodom had become the home of Lot’s wife, and she looked back and became a pillar of salt. Lot’s decision cost him his wife. When he and his daughters fled to the mountains, they sat in terror as the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah and overthrew the cities of the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. Their world came to an end. When the old man in the cave looked out the entrance to the two little boys playing in the sand, his heart was crushed to know his grandchildren were his children. Believing no man was left on earth, the two daughters of Lot got their father drunk and conceived children by him. The man sitting in the cave with his head in his hands looked over his life and saw all the wasted opportunities and the shame of his decisions. A righteous man was living with the consequences of unrighteous choices.

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