Today, I am reading and commenting on Genesis 19-20.
When the angels came Sodom to see if the city was indeed as wicked as reported, Lot insisted that they spend the night in his house. They told him that they had intended to spend the night in the city square, something it was apparently common for travelers to do at the time, but Lot insisted. I noticed something interesting today when I was reading this passage. When the men of the city came to Lot’s door and demanded that Lot turn his guests out so that they could rape them, Lot asked them not to do such a wicked thing. There is reason to believe that, in Lot’s eyes, the wickedness these men wished to perpetrate was the violation of hospitality. They wished to inflict violence upon men who had been offered hospitality in their city. The response to Lot from the men of the city is interesting, to paraphrase, they said, “Who are you to judge us?” Notice that it was not enough for them that Lot look the other way when they violated hospitality by attacking men who stayed the night in the city square. He did not impose his sense of right and wrong on them there, but now they were declaring that his wish to defend men to whom he had extended hospitality was an offense against them. It was not enough that Lot did not interfere with their disregard for what he considered common decency in the public square, they wished him to allow them to turn out his own guests for them to abuse. I suspect that this may represent the sin which led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was not enough that Lot did not come out and condemn their violation of the code of hospitality which he believed in. They demanded that he not uphold that standard in his own home.