Turn to Genesis 19:30-38. Last time we saw God's visitation of judgment on the wickedness of Sodom. Not ten righteous souls could be found, and God brought down His judgment on those places. As we come to the next part of chapter 19, I'm sad to say things haven't gotten any better. This is the sad and depraved aftermath of God's judgment on Sodom and the plight of Lot. I'd like to break this passage into three parts. The first part you’ll see in verse 30, which gives us a description of where Lot is now. The second part you’ll see in verses 31-35, which describe the sad family sin of Lot and his daughters. Then verses 36-38, the third part, tell us the issue of Lot's daughters.

I. Lot's situation

First, in verse 30 we see a picture of Lot's location and, again, doubt and fear rather than faith are driving Lot in his decision. The passage opens with a comment about Lot's relocation. You remember when they were leaving Sodom, he had asked, “Don't send me all the way to the mountains. Let me stay at this little place in the plains.” So the angel gave him the permission to stay in this little town. But this word about Lot's relocation is suggestive of more than his itinerary. He had initially refused God's call and command to leave Sodom and flee to the mountains, but now he goes to the mountains as the Lord had commanded. Fear was the driving motivation on both occasions. Even though God has assured him that he will be safe in the city, he still fears.

Furthermore, this relocation of Lot reveals a trend that invites comparisons with Abraham. Once, Lot lived in a house, apparently grander and more secure than Abraham's tent. Now we see Lot huddled in a cave. Whose accommodations look more favorable now? Abraham trusted in the Lord to care for him. Lot chose his own path. Now Lot is in a cave, and Abraham is still safe and secure in his tent.

Now, the very context that is given here is full of foreboding. Lot is dominated by fear, and now in this cave he is isolated from other influence. Sin in that circumstance is certain to arise, and that is precisely what's happened. That lesson should not be lost on us. When we are dominated by doubt and fear rather than faith, we have already opened ourselves up to the tempter. Then when we isolate ourselves from those who would influence us to do right, we have set ourselves in a place which is indeed the devil's workshop. We also see the downward spiral of the consequences of sin here as Lot moves from Sodom, loses his wife, relocates to Zoar and then finally ends up huddled with his daughters in a cave committing unspeakable crimes. As Calvin says, “This narration proves that those things which men contrive for themselves by rash counsel drawn from carnal reasons never prosper. The Lord at length curses whatever is not undertaken with His approval.” So Lot's choice of Sodom has now come home to roost.

II. Lot and his daughters

Then we look at verses 31-35. Here we see the heinous deeds by Lot and his daughters, these children of Sodom, and we learn again that some sins serve as gateways to other sins. Now, the daughters of Lot are apparently themselves motivated here by a fear of their isolation. They speak as if there is no man on earth whom they could possibly marry and who could give them children to extend the line of their father. They are concerned about the extinction of their family, but by the means that they choose we see the imprint of worldliness on their character. The action of Lot's daughters after the destruction of Sodom finds no justification in customs or in ancient culture.

We also see a connection between drunkenness and sexual immorality. We see again the downhill course of sin. What greater debasement could have been experienced in this context? And who's more to blame, Lot or his daughters? Lot was drunk; he didn't know what was going on. Yet Lot bears responsibility for what he had taught those daughters about themselves. Even in his attempt to appease the multitude, did he not teach his daughters that they were not valuable? And now they act out of the estimation that their father has made of them. Is that not a warning to all of us who are fathers of daughters, that we must teach them how another man ought to treat them?

In this passage we see a sobering reminder that the company we keep has an impact upon our children. We ought never to underestimate the impact of worldliness upon them. Where we live, the crowd with which we run, whether we approve the things that they approve, how we respond to wickedness that our children report to us, our own spiritual commitments—all of these things are vital in the spiritual formation of our children. So this passage reminds us again of the result of the worldliness in which Lot's daughters had been reared. The solution that they chose is no doubt derived from that context in which they had been reared, and which they had appropriated in their own thinking.

This passage also gives us classic illustrations of gateway sins. Lot's drunkenness opened him up for other sins. Lot's fear opened him up for other sins. Lot's isolation from believers opened him up for other sin. Some sins serve as gateways, and so we must be on guard against them.

III. God's grace

One last thing. As we look at verses 36-38 we see the origins of a great vexation to Israel. The issue of Lot's daughters turns out to be one of Israel's greatest problems: the people of Moab and Ammon. Again we see in the history of Lot's line both the consequence of sin and the grace of God. Moab and Ammon were to be a standing trouble to Israel. The territory east of the Jordan was a constant battleground and, furthermore, Moab and Ammon would both occasion very serious temptations to Israel. You can read about them in Numbers 25 and Leviticus 18, for example. This passage is a reminder of the insidiousness of sin in a family unit and in a culture. These cultures began with a rebellion against the norms that God had established, and that initial rebellion had consequences in the culture as it developed, even leading to child sacrifice. It's also a standing warning against all those who transgress the covenant, whether they be Moabites or Ammonites or Israelites. When we reject God’s Lordship we may expect the judgment of God and the consequences of sin.

But let me also say that this passage brings to mind God's grace in spite of our sin as well, for God would appoint a Moabite woman to serve as the grandmother of David, and she would find a place in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus. Bearing that in mind, two great themes come throughout this passage: certainty of God's judgment against sin and the overruling grace of God in our lives. Lot is forgotten in the pages of Scripture after this point. Yet in the Moabitess, Ruth, we see that God delights to turn our sin into righteousness and the judgment that we deserve into an occasion of His grace. And that is a message of hope to each of us.