A Bible Study and Contemporary Application of Genesis 11-19 by Anne Turner

KEY VERSE: Genesis 19:29 "So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived."

Chapter Five Appendix: Lot’s Legacy

A True Type of Every Believer

Did any of Lot’s descendants figure in the lineage of Jesus? Now we are advancing from an assurance that Lot was appointed to travel with Abram to a view of him as integral to the coming of Christ.

We know that after Lot escaped Sodom’s fate with his family, he and his daughters migrated to a mountain where they lived in a cave. There, both daughters became pregnant by their father, bearing sons whom they named Moab and Ammon.

Surely, no one from such shameful origins could enter the line of Christ, could they? Yes, and they did. In the first chapter of Matthew we find: “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham”… Verse 5 states, “Salmon the father of Boaz whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed, the father of Jesse...”

Ruth was a Moabitess as we know from the Bible Book named for her. She married into the tribe of Judah and became the mother of King David’s grandfather.

Continuing with verses 6 and 7 of Matthew 1, “and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam…” It is not mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy, but to find out who Rehoboam’s mother was, we can look in I Kings 14:21: “His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite.” This fact is confirmed in 14:31, “His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite.” Thus, both Moab and Ammon are included in Christ’s ancestry.

Some scholars have suggested that the lineage of Christ set forth in Matthew is that of Joseph’s family, while Luke’s traces Mary’s ancestors. In Luke’s genealogy, Boaz is included but not Rehoboam. Instead Jesus’ line is traced from David through his son Nathan.

These are significant links, but Lot’s claim to fame in Scripture is not for his place, through his line, in the ancestry of Jesus. Rather, he is best known for escaping Sodom’s incineration. Also, he is not well known for having been rescued from slavery by Abraham though that is a key element in his story.

Considering his deliverance from slavery which preceded his escape from Sodom, we must see him as a true type of every believer, for each of us is delivered from bondage to sin when we first believe, then, ultimately, we are kept safe from the flames of hell.

Unfortunately, the marvelous deliverances performed for Lot did not result in a dramatic change of his character. He was a follower and an impressionable man throughout his life, and these tendencies led him into danger and sin seemingly as often as they led him to light and blessings. Regardless, God had a special affection for him as shown in his instructions to the Israelites not to disturb the territories of his descendants, Moab and Ammon, as they came to the threshold of entering Canaan. These peoples bordered their promised land, but were not among those they were commanded to conquer. Instead the Lord said to Moses,

“Do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land. I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession. (Deut. 2:9) …When you come to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them to war, for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot.” (Deut 2:19)

Even a thousand years later, when Babylon plundered Israel and the countries that had lured her away from God, including Moab and Ammon, the Lord’s prophet promised that Lot’s inheritance would not perish… “‘Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come,’ declares the Lord. So ends the judgment on Moab.” (Jer 48:47)

A similar promise was made to Ammon: “‘I will bring terror on you from all those around you,’ declares the lord, the Lord Almighty. ‘Every one of you will be driven away, and not one will gather the fugitives. Yet afterward, I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites,’ declares the Lord.” (Jer 49:5, 6)

These prophecies show God’s mercy and love for the sons of Lot, and this must be on account of Lot himself who faithfully accompanied Abram to Canaan. Though in this world the nations of Moab and Ammon were ultimately routed, surely in the Resurrection, Lot and some of his descendants will be seen once again, finally sanctified, fellow inheritors of God’s kingdom, at last good neighbors of the sons of Abraham, and in fact, sons of Abraham.

In biblical times they were not good neighbors, except on occasion. Moab was the final stop for Israel before crossing the Jordan into their promised land. Moses pronounced the covenant blessings and curses there in safety, and he died and was buried in Moab, though no one knows where. The Ammonites refreshed David in a time of weariness, and one of his Mighty Men was an Ammonite.

On balance, though, Lot’s descendants were enemy nations, more useful as God’s “washbasin” for his people, by whom he purified them when they strayed from his commands. “Judah [is] my scepter. Moab is my washbasin…” (Ps 60:7, 8 NIV)