Why Would God Destroy Sodom and Save Lot?

Another question from a skeptic about the Bible.

Question: Why did God allow Lot and his daughters to escape from Sodom and Gomorrah” He destroyed those cities only to later have Lot and his daughters engage in incestuous fornication. (Genesis 19:30-36)

Response: In Genesis, Lot willingly takes his family near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, even though the people in those cities were immoral. God eventually judged the cities by burning them, but allowed Lot and his family to leave. The passage tells us Lot’s daughters instigated the sin and tricked their father into incest, but Lot should not be left blameless. All three were guilty of sin.

Other than what God actually did, the only alternatives to the situation would be to either force Lot and his daughters to act morally, not judged the cities, or judged Lot and his family also. Those alternatives exhaust the possibilities.

If God were to force Lot and his daughters to only act morally, God would have been guilty of preventing the good of freedom. God created mankind in His own image, which includes the ability to freely choose love or disobedience. A person that can only choose one alternative does not truly have a choice. Lot’s family would be prevented from truly loving, since they would not have a choice in the matter. Skeptics already criticize God for only having one way to heaven; God cannot both have multiple alternatives and force one alternative at the same time. God cannot allow people to do as they wish and force them to act a certain way at the same time.

God could have not judged Sodom and Gomorrah or left Lot and his family in the cities to die. Either option was certainly possible for God, but then God would have been in another paradox. If God did not judge Sodom, the skeptic could have accused God of allowing immorality, a popular accusation of today’s atheists as evidenced by the current question. If God judged the daughter’s future sin by destroying them, the skeptic could accuse God of not offering a chance for mercy.

As to why God did what He did, we do not know why God does most things. We can know that God sovereignly gives life, therefore He can sovereignly take it up again.

Further, God tells us that Lot was an example to us. In 2 Peter 2:5-9, God tells us that Lot was an example to people today. The ungodly will ultimately be destroyed. Lot is described as righteous (v.7), presumably because he repented and asked God for mercy. So part of the reason God destroyed Sodom but saved Lot and his family was as an example to us: those who seek forgiveness and seek to obey God will have God’s blessings, including blessings to family members and loved ones. Those who despise God and refuse to ask forgiveness will be destroyed.


About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
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10 Responses to Why Would God Destroy Sodom and Save Lot?

  1. hausdorff says:

    When I read this story, I was surprised God judged Lot righteous. Not because of the subsequent incest, but because Lot offered his daughters up to be raped by the angry mob.

    Genesis 19:8 (ESV) “Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof”

    • humblesmith says:

      The only way Lot could have been judged righteous is the only way anyone could have been judged righteous, and that is by admitting to God that we are sinners in need of forgiveness, which gives Jesus’ righteousness implied to our account. Lot was an unrighteousness sinner just like us. Your point is valid and shows the Bible true.

      • hausdorff says:

        Wouldn’t it follow that the real issue with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah is that they didn’t ask god for forgiveness? If we are all equally bad, and the only difference is some of us have asked for forgiveness and others haven’t, then the real issue with the people in those cities is the lack of asking forgiveness.

        Also, let me see if I understand something right that you are saying here. When we ask for forgiveness, we get Jesus’ righteousness applied to ourselves, right? So essentially, we are wicked, but we get the righteousness of Jesus. (not sure if that is stated the best way, but it is sorta the essence of it right? Through the cross the righteousness of Jesus will apply to us). But the episode with Lot happened WAY before Jesus, so how could him asking forgiveness help him? Is there something similar but different going on with Lot?

        • humblesmith says:

          Jesus’ sacrifice is available for all people of all time, whether before or after He was on earth. The people that lived before Jesus looked forward to His coming, while the people who live after look back.

          • hausdorff says:

            What about the other part? Wouldn’t it follow that the real issue with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah is that they didn’t ask god for forgiveness?

          • humblesmith says:

            Their sin separates them from God. That they did not repent and ask forgiveness from God is what lost them the opportunity for salvation. Both are important issues.

  2. Pingback: Why Would God Destroy Sodom and Save Lot? | A disciple's study

  3. Bradley Lodge says:

    Gods commandments were established around 1450 BC (ten commandments ) but lot and his daughters were alive much earlier around 1983 BC so i dont see how any of the Sin applied to them as NO LAW were put forth at the time period???

    • humblesmith says:

      There never has been a time when no law at all applies. There has always been a natural law written on all men’s hearts. For example, when Cain killed Able, he was held responsible, Even though they lived prior to Abraham and prior to Moses.

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