Biblical People

Biblical People: Lot

We don’t know how old Lot is when his father dies, but his grandfather, Terah, appears to take him in. We can assume this because when Terah heads out for Canaan, he takes grandson Lot with him, along with son Abram, and daughter-in-law Sarai.

When Terah dies, Abram travels on to Canaan, taking Lot with him. The trio of Abram, Sarai, and Lot travel together, but seeing how Lot’s story unfolds, he may have been better off staying behind.

The first glimpse into Lot’s character comes after Abram’s and Lot’s herdsmen fight over grazing land. The pair decide to separate themselves and their flocks.

Being the oldest, the choice belongs to Abram, but he lets Lot pick. Lot takes the best land for himself and leaves the subpar area for his uncle.

Later Lot moves to the city of Sodom, which God decides to destroy for their sinfulness. God tells his plan to Abram, now called Abraham. Abraham lobbies God for mercy, but God doesn’t waver in his decision.

He does, however, provide a rescue for Lot and his family, sending two angels to extract them prior to the city’s destruction.

When the angels arrive, the men in the city want to have sex with them. Lot tries to intervene, offering them his daughters instead. What a horrifying decision.

What does this teach Lot’s daughters about their value? Fortunately for them, the men aren’t interested. Lot tries his best to rescue the angels from the men, but the visitors end up rescuing Lot instead.

With time running out, the angels drag Lot, his wife, and their two daughters from the city. As God’s destruction falls upon Sodom, Lot’s fleeing wife looks back to see what she’s leaving behind. She dies instantly.

This leaves Lot with his two daughters. Fearing for their safety, they end up living in a cave.

With their biological clocks ticking and no men in sight, the girls conspire to get their father drunk and sleep with him on successive nights. Lot impregnates them both, and they each have boys. This is the last we hear of Lot.

The life of Lot serves as a tale of what to avoid. We see him as a selfish man who lacks integrity and does what’s best for himself. He’s also a poor father who fails to raise godly daughters, disregarding their purity and diminishing their value.

It’s no wonder they have no reservation in seducing him to produce children for them.

Do we make self-centered decisions that reveal a lack of integrity? Are we doing all we can to raise godly children and positively influence those around us?

[Read Lot’s story in Genesis 11:27–14:16 and 19:1–38. Discover more in 2 Peter 2:4–9.]

Learn about more biblical characters in Old Testament Sinners and Saints, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Get your copy today.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at