“Lot’s Escape,” Tambuli, Aug.–Sept. 1985, 6
After the death of his father, Lot went to live with his uncle, Abraham, who loved Lot like his own son. Lot became prosperous and, like Abraham, owned many animals and servants. When the Lord commanded Abraham to move to the land of Bethel, Lot went also. When they reached Bethel, however, they found it necessary to separate their households. Abraham told Lot to look over the land and choose where he wanted to live. Abraham would then settle in the remaining area.
Lot looked and beheld all the plain of Jordan; he saw that it was well watered, that it was a beautiful and fertile place, and he chose to live there. He pitched his tents near the city of Sodom. Abraham took his household in the other direction, toward the land of Canaan.
At first it seemed that Lot had made a good choice. However, the nearby cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were very, very wicked. Neighboring kingdoms went to war against Sodom and Gomorrah. When they captured the cities, Lot and his entire household were taken as prisoners. When Abraham heard what had happened, he armed 318 of his trained servants and rescued Lot.
Lot was a righteous man and tried to teach his children the gospel, but he lived in one of the most evil cities ever on the earth. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah had become so evil it was necessary that they be destroyed. Abraham was worried when the Lord told him this; he knew that Lot was a good man, and he thought that surely there were other righteous people in those cities.
Abraham asked the Lord, “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? If there are ten righteous people in Sodom, wilt thou destroy it?”
The Lord answered, “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.”
Sadly enough there were not even ten righteous people in the entire city, so it would have to be destroyed.
The Lord sent two angels to Sodom. Lot met them at the gate of the city and bowed in respect. He invited them to his home to eat and rest. While the two angels enjoyed Lot’s hospitality, wicked people gathered outside his house demanding to see the messengers. Lot went outside to persuade them to leave, but they became angry with Lot and tried to harm him. The angels pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they smote the wicked people outside with blindness.
The angels instructed Lot to gather his family together and quickly leave the city. “For the Lord has sent us to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah,” they said.
Lot immediately went to his married children to warn them of the danger: “Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city.”
How heartbroken Lot must have been when his married children refused to listen to him. He knew that if they stayed in Sodom, they would die. Only Lot’s two unmarried daughters were obedient and agreed to leave.
In the morning, the angels told Lot, “Arise, take thy wife and thy two daughters, which are here, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.”
Lot hesitated, perhaps thinking of his married children, who refused to listen to him. The angels knew there was no time to waste. They took Lot, his wife, and his two daughters by the hand and led them out of Sodom. The angels then said, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.”
When Lot and his family were far enough away from Sodom to be safe, the angels called upon God to destroy the city. The Lord rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah, and all the people were killed. Animals, homes, and even plants were destroyed by the fire. Nothing was left of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The angels had told Lot and his family not to look back on the burning cities, but Lot’s wife could not resist the temptation. She looked back to see what was happening and immediately was turned into a pillar of salt.
When Abraham awoke that morning, he saw huge clouds of smoke rising from where Sodom and Gomorrah once stood. Heavenly Father assured him that Lot was safe. Even in the midst of the most evil cities on the earth, God found and saved those who loved and obeyed him.