The story of Lot’s wife gets a lot of attention. She is the one who looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah as it was being destroyed, even though she was told not to. As a result, she was turned into a pillar of salt. But the story of her daughters receives a lot less attention, though their lives are just as tragic as their mother’s.
Genesis 19:12-17 tells us that Lot’s daughters were engaged to marry two men before Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. The angels warned Lot about the coming destruction and told him to get his family out. Lot went and told his soon-to-be son-in-laws to get out of the city before it was destroyed, but his soon-to-be son-in-laws thought he was joking. They didn’t listen to him and continued on living the way they had always lived. When the angels saw this, they were like, “Forget them, Lot! Just get your wife and daughters and get yourselves out!” When Lot hesitated, the angels took him by the hand and took his wife and daughters by their hands, and led them out of the city to safety. Once they were outside of the city, the angels let them go and told them, “Flee for your lives!” The angels also warned them not to look back. We all know that Lot’s wife did look back, but Lot and his daughters did not. Can you imagine how they must have felt when they finally stopped and discovered that Lot’s wife was not with them? In one day, Lot’s daughters lost both their mother and the men who they were planning to marry.
After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his two daughters went to Zoar. Because Lot was afraid to stay in Zoar, they soon left that city and went to live in a cave. It is then that the two daughters wrongly conclude that no other men are left alive on earth for them to marry and have children by, so they come up with a plan to have their father impregnate them so they can continue the human race. The entire unfortunate account of this event is told in Genesis 19:30-38. The daughters eventually give birth to two sons named Moab and Ben-Ammi.
We do not know how Lot reacted when he found out that he was not only the grandfather of his daughters’ firstborn, but also the father. And we do not know how the lives of Lot and his daughters ended. Did they stay in the cave until they died? Were they ever reunited with Abraham and his household? We do know that the sons, Moab and Ben-Ammi, returned to civilization and found women to marry because they became the fathers of their own races, the Moabites and the Ammonites. Whatever the ending of Lot’s daughters may have been, their lives were marked with disgraceful behavior and marred by destruction and death.
1. Lot’s daughters were tainted by the immorality that surrounded them. In 2 Peter 2:6-8, Lot is referred to as a righteous man who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless. Even though he lived among unrighteous people day after day, Lot was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard. This is why God rescued Lot. In a show of mercy, God also rescued his daughters and tried to rescue his wife. But Scripture does not say that either Lot’s wife or daughters were righteous.
The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were known for their sexually immoral acts, which is one of the reasons God destroyed them. And even though Lot was righteous, he was not perfect – far from it. In fact, when some of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah crowded around the door of Lot’s house and demanded that he hand over the visiting angels to them, Lot instead offered his daughters. Usually a man would rather himself be killed to save his wife and daughters, but Lot was willing for his daughters to be abused to save his life. This action by Lot and other immoral acts that were going on in the city, probably rubbed off on Lot’s daughters. It affected their faith. It affected their thoughts. It affected how they viewed the world and themselves. Eventually, it affected their behavior, as well.
Instead of trusting in God to provide them with husbands who they could preserve their family line with, they decided to do things their own way and have children by engaging in incest. After being witnesses to so much death and destruction, Lot’s daughters lost hope. They lost their sense of goodness and morality. They allowed themselves to practice the depravity that they were accustomed to seeing.
It is easy for this to happen to all of us. We are more likely to do what we persistently see (even if what we see is wrong), than what we are told or what we know to be right. Despite the evil that we hear about in the news, on the Internet, and perhaps even see in our own communities, schools, churches, and homes, we must be on guard that we do not end up engaging in that same evil. It is not easy to maintain righteous behavior in an unrighteous world, but we must not lose our sense of morality or our spirit of godliness that is given by Christ when we make the decision to believe in Him. We must be careful not to conform to the ways of the world, but be transformed by the goodness and grace of God.