Why did Lot offer his daughters to be raped by the men of Sodom?
I have a question about something in the Bible that bothers me. In Genesis 19, Angels come into Lots home. When under attack, Lot offers the men his daughters to, basically rape. I find this hard to understand? Is there any explanation to understand Lots mindset?
I will have to say that this particular scene in the Bible is very troubling. In the ancient Near East, the worst possible sin was to not show hospitality to guests. This is still true today in Middle Eastern cultures, as I have heard many people testify. This may give perspective to what Lot did. Still, the fact that, in order to protect his guests from being sexually assaulted and murdered by the citizens of Sodom, Lot was willing to offer over his daughters is truly shocking to us, even if we take into account the cultural difference. The Bible does not supply a “why” for this terrible choice. Perhaps Lot was out of his mind under the stress of the situation. Perhaps, from his perspective, this was the slightly lesser of two terrible evils. Certainly we should not take what happened as an endorsement by God for Lot’s actions. In fact, Lot comes off very badly in this entire scene. Yet, he was more righteous than all those around him, as we learn in 2 Peter 2:7. We do not have an exact “why” for this terrible decision by Lot but what we can be sure of is that what the men of Sodom did is a stark example of how degraded people can become when they turn themselves over to idols and give full vent to their lusts. The terrible atmosphere in Sodom had a corrosive effect even on Lot. We can say that surely Lot should have left this city long before he did. Let us learn from Lot and from the unfortunate decision of his wife to look back (Luke 17:32) that, as disciples, we need to remain apart from the sinful influences of the world. We need to flee the corruption of sin, to look away from Sodom, and rely on God, through faith, for our righteousness.