And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The various steps in the downward course of Lot are plainly marked out. First, he “lifted up his eyes and beheld.” Second, he “chose all the plain of Jordan.”
D. L. MOODY (1837-1899): Lot’s choice was a terrible mistake.
A. W. PINK: Lot was still attached to “Egypt” in heart―To the worldly eye of Lot all the plain appeared “well watered, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt;” but to the holy eye of Jehovah the cities of the plain were peopled by those who were “wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly before the Lord,” which shows us what God’s eyes dwelt upon.
ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): Such were the companions Lot must have in the fruitful land he had chosen.
ALEXANDER MacLAREN (1826-1910): But Lot evidently never thought about that. He knew it, though, and ought to have thought about it. It was his sin that he was guided in his choice only by considerations of temporal advantage.
A. W. PINK: Third, he “separated” himself from Abram.
D. L. MOODY: Lot was one of those characters who are easily influenced―and I think, perhaps, that is just the key to his character…So long as he stayed with Abram he got on very well. His mistake was in leaving him. Some men all through life have to be bolstered up by others. When they are at home, home has an influence over them; or while they are among their relatives or friends they stand well, but when they are away, and trial and temptation come, and the world comes in like a flood upon them, they are carried away.
A. W. PINK: Fourth, he “dwelt in the cities of the plain.” Fifth, he “pitched his tent toward Sodom.”
D. L. MOODY: Lot was probably like a great many men around us. He was careless; he was covetous…I imagine him saying, “Now, if I take these well-watered plains, I can accumulate wealth very fast. I know Sodom is a very wicked place, but I will not go to Sodom.” He at first did not intend to go into Sodom; but when a man begins to pitch his tent toward Sodom, and to look at it, it will not be long before he will be inside it. His heart will be there, and by and by his heart will take him down to Sodom.
A. W. PINK: Sixth, he “dwelt in Sodom,” Genesis 14:12.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): There was poor Lot living over in Sodom, just as a great many professed Christians are doing today. I hope they are God’s people, but I cannot make them out. They like worldly amusements and they like worldly talk—they are like Lot in Sodom.
C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): No doubt, Lot thought he was doing well for himself and his family, when he moved to Sodom.
D. L. MOODY: And he was perhaps a very prominent candidate for political honours, and they all desired to show him respect because he was wealthy. Perhaps he owned the very best corner lots in Sodom; and if they had the custom of putting their names on buildings as they do now, you would have found ‘Lot’ on a great many of the finest buildings in Sodom―that is what the world calls prosperity.
C. H. MACKINTOSH: He has evidently made progress. He has “got on in the world.” Looked at from a worldly point of view, his course has been a successful one.
D. L. MOODY: Yes, getting on amazingly well. And if he was a judge, ‘Judge Lot’ would have sounded well, would it not?
A. W. PINK: Finally, we see him an alderman of Sodom, seated in its “gate,” Genesis 19:1; and his daughters wedded to men of Sodom, Genesis 19:14.
C. H. MACKINTOSH: Sitting in the gate—a prominent, influential post.
D. L. MOODY: He was a man of immense influence. That is what they would have told you down in Sodom. There was not a man in the whole city who had more influence than Lot. He was one of those men ‘who had not religion enough,’ as the world says, ‘to make him unpopular.’ But, look! Though everything was moving on well, when he had been there twenty years, this wise man, this influential man, had not won a convert. These worldly Christians don’t get many converts—note that.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): We know the arguments that have been put forward. We have been told that we have to make the Church attractive to the man outside, and the idea is to become as much like him as we can.
D. L. MOODY: These men who are so very influential seldom get many converts to Christ. The world goes stumbling over them.
H. A. IRONSIDE (1876-1951): Look at Lot. He spent years in Sodom building up a great reputation and even became a judge, but he had no business being there. We read, “That righteous man, dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds,” 2 Peter 2:8. Abram’s soul was not daily thus distressed. Why? Because he was not there at all.
D. L. MOODY: The world thought that Abram had made a great mistake; he stayed out there on the plains with his tent and altar, and if he had come to Sodom when Lot did, he too might have had a high position.
A. W. PINK: Notice how, in His faithfulness and grace, God had given Lot a very definite warning. From Genesis 14:1-24, we learn that in the battle between the four kings with the five, “they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.”
C. H. SPURGEON: Then, by the intervention of Abram, he was delivered from the captivity which threatened him and brought back again. This was a solemn warning, and you would have thought that Lot would have said, “I will go back to Abram’s way of living.”
A. W. PINK: Nevertheless, this experience failed to teach Lot the evil of being associated with the world, but he recovered his freedom and his property, only to return unto Sodom.
D. L. MOODY: There was another of Lot’s mistakes―returning to the city after such a warning.
ALEXANDER MacLAREN: We shall see, in subsequent sections, how far Lot’s own moral character suffered from his choice.