He poses the question, “How on earth did I get here?” The man scratches his head and simply sits there staring out into space. His eyes are fixed on some unknown point in the distance as he searches for an answer.
This is not a philosophical inquiry. Rather, this is some serious soul-searching by an ancient holocaust survivor. It would be a mistake to confuse this man with his noble 20th century kinsmen. No, this is the rambling of an epic moral failure.
In the span of a few hours, this man lost his home, his wealth, his community and most importantly his wife as she perished when they, along with their daughters, fled a historic earthquake. It was in every sense an act of God. The depth of his suffering rivals that of Job. However, unlike Job, his grief is the direct consequence of a series of sinful compromises.
But, for this man, things have gone from bad to worse. It’s been hard on his girls. They lost their mom and their fiancées in the catastrophe. Their grief had been understandably great. But, now they both have something to distract them from their mourning—a case of morning sickness.
This is where we find Abraham’s nephew pondering his lot in life. Lot asks, “How on earth did I get here?” The urbane life that he and his family enjoyed as leading citizens in Sodom is now but a distant memory. Their present stands in stark contrast to their past. Yet, though they fled Sodom, the city’s values followed them to their remote mountain cave.
Lot has much to consider: “My daughters were virgins when we left Sodom. Their fiancées are dead. It’s just the three of us in this cave.” If he had one, this bewildered dad would have only to look in the mirror to identify the father of his two pregnant daughters. This man, once wealthy and influential, has sunk to the depths of shame. In a drunken stupor, Lot was an unconscious participant in not one, but two acts of incest. The actions of his two scheming daughters to secure their family’s progeny might make even 21st century Americans blush.
After hitting rock bottom, many a man and woman have asked themselves the same question: “How on earth did I get here?” In other words, “How did I get myself into this mess?” If you look outside God’s Word you will find neither the correct answer, nor the right remedy for putting the pieces of your broken life back together. Genesis 19’s vivid portrayal of Lot’s epic moral failure will help those who have suffered a similar fate and those who might if they don’t heed the warning from this surprisingly contemporary biblical story.
This article is an excerpt of this Sunday's sermon in my series in Genesis. All are welcome to join us for worship every Sunday at 10:30 am. Lighthouse Community Baptist Church is located at 22 Pequot Trail in Pawcatuck.