Genesis 19:30-38 “Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, ‘Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.’ That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. The next day the older daughter said to the younger, ‘Last night I lay with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.’ So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.”

Here is an incident which, superficially, looks like the stories that appear in the salacious Sunday broadsheets every week, widely and eagerly read by the population. People are more familiar with the aberrant behaviour of such dysfunctional families than ever before. There existed during the life of Abraham one such family, lacking strong faith in God, without the presence of a mother – who is usually the hub of a home. The women in this family did what seemed right in their own eyes, and the father, his life in ruins, was prone to ‘hit the bottle.’ Alcohol has never been so cheap or available as it is today. One of the reasons it is imbibed is in order to attain mood changes in both men and women. Under the influence of alcohol resolute convictions are broken down. Wantonness and immoral conduct are more likely. Men and women learned this over 4,000 years ago. One reads of evil men in clubs and pubs lacing the drinks of women in order to break down their inhibitions so that they can ‘have their way’ with them. Incidents similar to the one that’s been read in your hearing, describing the behaviour of Lot’s daughters, don’t shock us as once they did because the media record them complete with coloured photographs. There seem to be more incidents like this than ever. I don’t know. I think they are just reported more than ever. Certainly when the salt of gospel Christians loses its savour then the rottenness of the world has to grow worse because the God-ordained forces that restrain the putrefaction have been removed.

There was a time when such portions of the Bible as these were never read in church, let alone preached on, as though the Holy Spirit had became unguarded or too earthy in inspiring Moses to relate them in Scripture. Moralism rather than the word of God reigned in the Welsh pulpit. The Bible had been bowdlerized and censored – by the church! Such passages do not produce warm fuzzy feelings in people’s hearts, but rather yield disgust, abhorrence and revulsion. We instinctively pull away from them prepared not to think about their content, and that leaves us ignorant and unprepared for the good works we have to do, which preparation only comes from all the Scriptures. However, if you look through redemptive historical eyes at what happened you will see how different it is from the stories of the gutter press. You will find Jesus here in this cave in this great fall. This is not the story of an abusive father. Lot was certainly a buffoon, slow, pompous and lacking in tenderness but he never laid a finger on his wife or daughters. He had no recollection of what had happened during his drunken stupour. This poor widower, grieving over the loss of his wife, had been rendered semi-conscious and drugged by his daughters. To fall prey to this whole plot a second time shows his ignorance. One can even feel real sympathy for simple Lot.

The abusers here were Lot’s daughters, two mature women, but notice that they did what they did not for sexual gratification but, facing extinction, the end of their father’s line, they set one goal for themselves, by any means, to have children. This was not an act of lust; it was an act of insemination. It seemed to them that everyone they had known, especially their fiancés, had been killed. How would they ever have children? The older one, the stronger personality, devised this plot; the younger sibling never opens her mouth at all. She is under the power of her older sister, and so this sad incident took place. You have the callous older brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son in the New Testament, and you have the callous older sister here in Genesis 19. The danger this incident presents to us is of absolutizing one single good achievement, because then your whole moral code will be distorted. For example, if you absolutize tolerance and make it the greatest then you will lose your commitment to the truth. If you absolutize hospitality (as Lot did) then you become prepared even to sacrifice your daughters on that altar. If you absolutize keeping the family line and having children then you are prepared even to sacrifice purity and modesty for it. Remember, there is always a God-honouring way out of a seeming dead end situation. These girls were acting as Abraham and Sarah had acted, unable to leave their futures with God. Sarah had urged Abraham to have a child by Hagar her servant girl. We can be like them too when we insist that we must have something and we must have it now.


Lot was a real Messiahist, a Jehovahist. His hope was in the coming Seed who would crush the head of the serpent. He believed what Abraham had told him, that God had promised through the seed of his uncle all the nations of the world were going to be blessed. Yet Lot fell in this horrific way! We know that another righteous man named Noah had a similar fall linked to drunkenness. He too planted a vineyard, gathered the grapes, crushed and fermented them and made wine. He too drank too much of it, perhaps not realising its power. Noah became inebriated so that he collapsed while half undressed for bed, naked in his tent. It was in that condition that one of his sons named Ham stumbled across him, but there Ham mocked his father. His other sons, Japheth and Shem, covered Noah over pitifully without looking at him. Do you see the parallels to Lot? What a lot they shared in common; they both had been very straight men in evil company; they had both been surrounded by the ungodly; they had both escaped from the judgment that had fallen on a godless age and both had been brought into a new world, a post-apocalyptic world, and it was then, after such great cataclysms, that they both fell.

Indwelling sin remains in the most godly of men. We shall in fact meet it again in Abraham immediately after this incident is over, in the opening two verses of the next chapter – the very next verses to our text. The father of all of us believers was to fall again into the same sin he had once committed. I am pointing out to you that the fiery darts of the evil one still keep flying towards the righteous. The enchantments and temptations of the world allure the whole church – even after some Christians have known great blessings or deliverances or great warnings. Here in Genesis are accounts of several mature believers, Noah, Abraham, Lot and Jacob who were all tempted and fell. It was not by some subtle intellectual doubts or because of great suffering that they fell, but in the most basic of ways, through consuming alcohol, or through sexual sin, or through fear of arrest and death (as in the case of Abraham), or vaunted ambition for superior influence
(as in the case of Jacob), and they all became indulgent. They lied, or coveted, or they lost their modesty and certainly their fellowship with God. Take heed you who stand lest you fall.

Lot and Noah both got drunk and both lost any sense of what they were doing – drink does that to men and women – and yet Lot did not become inebriated by his own excess, as Noah did, but by the devices of his own daughters. What a pathetic father he had been to them taking them to live in Sodom and giving them to two men of Sodom to marry, maybe even offering them to the mob of homosexuals. This was a kind of revenge, though none of them saw it like that. They plied him with drink, as the song of the seductor puts it, “Have some Madeira my dear! I have a case of it here . . . nice . . . Have some more . . . and more.” Lot’s nakedness was violated not by a son who ridiculed him for his folly, but by both his daughters who incestuously abused this old man. And there was no one else in Lot’s family who could rebuke the girls for their wanton behaviour, and could cover this man’s nakedness. Lot’s drunkenness is the last surviving memory of this man in the Old Testament. What a shame!

Noah and Abraham and Lot and Jacob were all true believers. In fact God identifies himself as the God of Abraham and Jacob. How important that is. I don’t want you to read these verses as if you were reading a newspaper report about an abused family member today. I don’t want you to think, “Ah, Lot was a pathetic creature, an unconverted man, a child of this world! No wonder he got drunk and then got into this mess.” Lot was nothing of the kind. Lot was a true believer, a justified soul, a righteous man. God could acknowledge himself to be the God of Lot because he is the God of sinners. There may be many in this congregation who have done worse things than Lot did. Has any one of you grace in his heart? So also had Lot. Has any one of you a hope of salvation? So also had Lot. Is any one of you a new creature? So also was Lot. Is any one of you a pilgrim on the narrow way that leads to life? So also was Lot.

This is not my private opinion, and I don’t want you to believe it merely because I’ve just said it. The Holy Spirit has placed the matter beyond controversy, by calling him “just,” and “righteous” in 2 Peter chapter two, verses 7 and 8, and Peter has given us some evidence of the grace that was in him that we don’t find in this chapter. Lot was a righteous man living in the cesspit of Sodom, and for that to be the case a man must have the grace of God in his heart. Lot “vexed his soul with the unlawful deeds” he saw around him (2 Peter 2:8). He was hurt at the sight of sin. It really got through to him. King David also had a fall but he was like saddened Lot, writing, “I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved, because they kept not Thy word;” “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not Thy law” (Psalm 119, verses 136 and 158.) That is how Lot felt in Sodom. Then, you ask, why didn’t he get out of that place? We don’t know, but we do know that he was a weak Christian, and we also know that nothing will account for his godly sorrow but the grace of God.

In fact we are told that this very man who was later to get disastrously drunk, “vexed his soul from day to day” with what he saw going on around him (2 Peter ii. 8.). It is possible for a Christian to have a great fall and yet to hate sin and grieve not only over his own wickedness but grieve over the behaviour of people around him. A fallen Christian is not a hypocrite when he acts like that. He says to people going in that direction, “Please consider what you are doing. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I know the price of such folly. I have paid the wages of sin,” and that is a great mark of the reality of his grace. Such a one was Lot, a just and righteous man, a man sealed and stamped as an heir of heaven by the Holy Ghost Himself. He is the one who fell into sin.

Men and women, holy people of God, be filled with compassion and grief as you read our text. Remember that a true Christian may have many a blemish, many a defect, many a fall, and yet be a true Christian nevertheless. You don’t despise the invention of the world wide web because it contains so much unadulterated filth. You must not scorn grace in a Christian because a big fall comes into her life. Never forget, as you read our text, that Lot was a child of God.


Lot had been a big man in Sodom. He had sat at the city gate, the virtual mayor, certainly a civil magistrate passing judgment on each case as it was brought to the town council. When the day of judgment came he’d found it hard to leave the city. An angel had had to hold his hand and draw him out, but even then he pleaded that he might not have to live in the mountains. Lovely little Zoar was the place he wanted to live and God granted his request, sparing Zoar from the judgments that had befallen its twin cities, Sodom and Gomorrah. Was Zoar a better place than they? No different at all, and soon Lot was afraid. Did he remember the wrath of the Lord and became fearful of living there? Would the men of Zoar seek to violate his daughters? Would they take out their anger on him as a man of righteousness, spared by God from the wrath that had fallen on their friends and family in Sodom? Would God’s judgment fall on this place too?

How different was Abraham; he pleaded for mercy on behalf of Sodom, while Lot had pleaded for himself. Lot had planned what his future would be, he, his wife and his girls downsizing and all of them living in the little town of Zoar just as they’d lived in Sodom. But he is not there long when all the wickedness of Zoar rubbed his conscience raw, and the judgment of God that had spared not his own wife seemed very near. He couldn’t live in the shadow of such wrath and so we’re told that he left the place. Lot fled to the mountains taking the girls with him. God had told him to go to the mountains weeks earlier but he had whined and begged for a small town. So the Lord gave him a small town but God did not give him peace, and what is the most favourable location on the planet if you are in a state of turmoil? Lot told his daughters to pack up the few belongings they had and they headed for the mountains.

Had these three learned their lesson? How foolish it is to be wiser than God. How foolish to hang onto what God has assigned to destruction. Don’t insist that your roots are going down in Sodom, or Zoar, or the mountains. Lot, you must head for the promised land. Lot, you must go to live with your uncle Abraham. Set your face for the promised land. Be a pilgrim! Your uncle will receive you and offer you a part of the covenant that God had made with Abraham. You will lose nothing, Lot. Because soon you will say good bye to everything. You must go where you will gain truth and godly friends and true worship and contentment in this world, and in the world to come, glory. Lot, we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ and, Lot, stop and think; you are going there with the treasure you love and have gathered here on earth. Do you realise that you are taking to God the memories of your affection for Sodom! Look at uncle Abraham! He lives in the land God has promised him and God is prospering him there. He did not seek treasure near Sodom or in Sodom. He believed God and lived in his land, and when the burning sulfur fell on Sodom and destroyed it completely, Abraham didn’t lose a thing. His treasure was unscathed; his inheritance was incorruptible and undefiled, one that didn’t fade away; it was reserved for him as he was kept by the power of God.

How had Lot got on? How had he survived choosing Sodom, and then choosing Zoar, and then running to the mountains? “He
and his two daughters lived in a cave” (v.30). “Wonderful,” you think, or so the young people and children think who have explored a cave like Wookey Hole in the Cheddar Gorge, or the Dan yr Ogof caves of the Brecon Beacons. They have been there with the school, on a trip; they have seen ventilated caves, illuminated caves with pretty rock formations, and a tour guide pointing out to you funny features and it is all soon over and there is ice-cream in the cave gift shop, and that night you are back in your warm house with electricity and running water and your own bed with its Batmobile duvet. Maybe the teenagers have seen older boys and manly men who love nothing better than to explore caves. That is their hobby on as many weekends as possible, getting away from their homes and going down into caves.

I say, you must take every romantic notion away from Lot’s cave. You must think in terms of wild animals, and bats, no running water, no toilets, nowhere warm in the winter, no front door, no oven, constant drips of water especially when it is raining, no comfy beds and you can forget your favourite armchair. Nobody in the world wants to live in a cave today especially if you were once the daughter of the magistrate and mayor of Sodom, soon to get married and move into your own home. Living in a cave is living in the pits! The Sodom suburbanite became a troglodyte. That is where Lot ended up, and the chapter ends. It doesn’t say that he came to his senses and went to the promised land. He ended half way up a mountain living in a cave with two pregnant daughters. Lot the caveman lost all he owned. How rich he had been when he took his herdsmen and went to live near Sodom and soon he’d moved into town. That was his inheritance, and how slowly he learned that fading is the worldling’s pleasure, all his boasting, pomp and show.

What did the Lord Jesus Christ once say? They are amongst the most familiar words he ever uttered, and you will all know them once I say them; “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19-21). What did Madonna once say? “Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me. I think they’re OK. But . . . the boy with the cold hard cash is always Mr. Right, cause we are living in a material world, and I am a material girl.” You have to choose between the words of Jesus Christ, all that he is and all that he has done, and Madonna and all that she is. You have to choose which one is right, and which one are you going to follow. Are you going to be a material girl or the Master’s girl? You have to choose. On this one hand I hold everything that Jesus has to offer you, and on this other hand everything that the world personified by Madonna can ever offer you. We are told about Moses who had to make that choice between all the treasures of Egypt, the royal palace which was his home, the slave girls, the exquisite cuisine, the trips on the Nile in the royal boats, and hunting deer on stallions across the desert with his fellow princes. All that is on one hand and on the other hand, serving Jehovah and his people. What a life! Moses had to choose, just like all of us. This is what we are told about Moses; “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebs. 11:24-26). Moses knew where his eternal treasure was, the only kind that counts. Do you know?

You dream that Lot might have learned some great things living in a cave, things he never learned in Sodom. I don’t know. His girls didn’t learn much in a cave did they? And what they did learn was wretched. I don’t find in the Bible that poverty and loss are the means of saving or sanctifying us. They can more readily harden and embitter a person can’t they? Only Jesus can change us and make us godlike people. I read in the Times last week of a 56 year old man named Geoff Spice who came to the end of a month spent alone on a tiny Scottish island called Sgarabhaigh. He had gone there in order to conquer his addiction to nicotine, to smoking 30 cigarettes a day. He is an intelligent man. He’s been a merchant banker and is senior director of Rothschilds. When he got off the island he said he had no more desire to smoke a cigarette. Good. Then he was asked if he had learned anything else on the island. He thought for a moment and he said, “No.” He hadn’t learned anything else from loneliness and deprivation except that the desire for nicotine smoke filling his lungs had diminished. Where do we learn? In the one who said, “Come to me . . . learn of me for I am meek and lowly of heart.” You have made a terrible mess of your life, but do not despair. You can learn the greatest lessons of all when you start following the Son of God. Become his disciple and learn from him. So Lot’s sin impoverished him in many ways. That is my second point.


They were two young women, their lives before them, living in a cave with their Dad. They had come down in the world a long way and they talked to one another, “We don’t have any children and there’s no prospect for us in these mountains of ever finding a husband.” Sodom’s glory and all its men have been destroyed. “There is nobody,” they said. They did not think of the incredible deliverance God had given them. They did not think of an angel’s hands that had held them strongly and delivered them from destruction. They did not think of casting themselves on that same personal Lord who talked to them asking him to provide for them. They did not think of persuading their father to go to Abraham their great uncle and finding work and a future and husbands amongst his men. They were truly daughters of their father Lot and they loved worldly things like he did, and lived in a worldly way as he did and they thought and devised their schemes in a worldly manner. They wanted to perpetuate themselves and their family and their name through becoming mothers, but their longing was not as women have longed since the time of Eve, that they might be the favoured woman who would bear the child who would become the Seed of the woman who would crush the serpent’s head, and repeal the curse, and regain paradise, and have fellowship with God, or that they would at least be children of the line of the woman and not of the line of the serpent. No. Lot’s daughters wanted to preserve the family line so that they might have their portion of the world, this world, not the world to come.

Do you remember that this nineteenth chapter of Genesis is a very instructive parenthesis in the life of Abraham, and all the time we read of Lot and his wife and children we are thinking about Abraham and his wife and the child that they were both reverently and passionately waiting for, waiting on God acting and miraculously to give them a son, because Sarah was 90 years of age. The promised son Isaac, was a picture of Christ, the Seed of the woman and the Saviour of the world. Abraham and Sarah had finally stopped doing what these two sisters planned to do, trying to raise up a seed by their own plans and efforts. Sarah was barren and nothing they did could change that. Abraham had gone into the bed of Sarah’s servant Hagar at the insistence of Sarah and he had fathered a child by her, but God had rejected that seed and clarified his promise. Abraham’s seed would be the offspring of his own body through Sarah. So
they were hemmed in to wait upon God to act, to do what they could not do. God is sovereign in creation, in regeneration, in revival and in resurrection. Nothing you can do can short-circuit the plans and times and works of God. Wait on the Lord. Do all the things that God tells you to do. Fear God and keep his commandments.

The three of them must leave the cave, come down from the mountain and go to Abraham. They must go humbly and tell him they did wrong ever to have left him all those years ago and that they would never leave him again. They must mean it, every word, even if it meant they would never marry and never have children. Marriage was not crucial but doing God’s will was. The great Son to be born of Abraham’s line, the seed of the woman, he is man’s great hope, to see his fulfilling in us all he has promised. Go to Abraham and his God, the Lord who had met them outside Sodom and delivered them from so great a destruction and would yet deliver them. How could they escape if they neglected so great a Saviour? Their problem was not that they did not have offspring. What good is it to bear children if they will live like the people of Sodom? You have brought children of destruction into the world. The real problem was this, that Abraham and Sarah weren’t having a son. Abraham, through whom God had made  covenant, Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth would be blessed, had to procreate a son. The sin of Lot’s daughters began with their indifference to having a part in the covenant God made with Abraham. They didn’t want to be the children of Abraham. They had a wrong prognosis of their problem, and so they made a wrong diagnosis of the solution.

They would get impregnated by their father after they got him drunk. He was the only man about, and hideous and wicked though it was they would do it. Hammurabi’s law code criminalized it, but they would do it. Their father, Lot would never agree to it, maybe he would die first, but they would do it. The older girl worked it out so matter-of-fact, this depraved and dangerous act. The ordinance of creation stated that children should leave their parents and cleave to their spouses, that is what they defied. Cleaving to their father was the solution to preserving their family line. Lot’s sins were being visited on his head. He had cried to the mob of homosexuals in Sodom, “Take my daughters.” Now his daughters take him. He would have had them violated and now they violate him. He had betrothed them to men of Sodom and now they carry out a sin worthy of the reputation of Sodom itself. They went further than Lot and further than Sodom.

Is this what people will do who reject the Seed of the woman, who insist on conceiving years after the divine time of conception is over, who will have children by any means, at any time, because it is possible? Yes, this is exactly what people will do. Is this world really a ‘brave new world,’ without moral guidelines except what anyone chooses for himself? Is it brave? No, it is cowardly to choose the easy, self-loving, self-pleasing way – the road without the cross. Is it new? No it is as old as the words of the serpent in Eden challenging God’s way. No brave new world, but a world for lovers of short-term pleasures. “Pleasures are like poppies red; you pluck the bloom . . . the flower is dead.” This is Lot, the one in whom so often the flesh triumphed over the spirit, who wanted to do it his way at every step. This is the man who survived the judgment and ended up in destitution living in a cave with two wanton daughters. The universalist imagines the world to come as having every kind of sinner in it, no one excluded, no hell beneath you, and above you only sky. Who is going to accomplish this? Who will deliver twelve thousand million people from the effects of sin and cause them to love one another for ever? I don’t read that the act of dying changes the convictions or morality of anyone, but rather than the unrighteous are unrighteous still. Will men do it? Will a man do it? Lot could not do this even for two daughters let alone the billions who have been born into this world. Here he is in big trouble, covered in shame in his cave. John Lennon? What about him? No, he won’t be able to do it; he was shot down by a wicked man, and his music can’t prepare us for eternal harmony. Only the promised One can redeem the worst of sinners! Only the Seed of the woman, only the blessed Jesus, the preacher of the Sermon on the Mount, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, only he can prepare us for the new heaven and the new earth.

Abraham could pray for righteous Lot’s life to be spared, and it was, but deliverance alone from some pain is not enough is it? Lot was spared the conflagration, but for what? To live in a cave with two unscrupulous, unbelieving daughters? That was a deliverance hardly worth having. Wesley longed for the Deliverer who would be of sin the double cure, cleansing him from both the guilt and the power of sin. The penalty was paid by Sodom, and Lot was spared that by the intercession of Abraham, but the power of sin can only be obtained by Jesus Christ. What good is becoming a Christian if the penalty alone is taken away and we are left as we were in a world, dominated by sin? Jesus comes to indwell us, to keep us by his mighty power, to take us from the caverns of sin to the mansions he is preparing for us. He will be our shelter and our shield. He will motivate us and enable us to live high and holy in him. Each day his mercy will be new and his grace sufficient for any trial.


So in the prescribed time two children were born to these girls, both of them boys, and the girls were thrilled. They showed no shame whatsoever, quite the reverse, they named the boys Moab, which means ‘from the father,’ and Ben-Ammi, which means ‘son of my kinsman’ or ‘son of my close male relative.’ Weren’t they bragging about the shameful origin of their sons and flaunting their sin in the very names they give these boys? Their years in Sodom, and their exposure to its wickedness has made their consciences dull to their wickedness.

Then you consider the future lives of these boys. Instead of Lot returning to the promised land and the people of God Lot has fathered two nations who would trouble the people of God for over a thousand years. The Moabites and the Amonites are sometimes referred to as ‘the sons of Lot;’ idolaters, they often fought against Israel. When Israel left Egypt and asked Moab permission to pass through their land on their journey to the promised land they were refused. As a result the Lord judged Moab and excluded them for ever from Israel. When Israel camped in the plains of Moab ready to cross the Jordan the men were seduced by Moabite women and they began to sacrifice to Baal the god of the Moabites. In that cave the impregnation was all over in a few minutes but the legacy of what happened there lasted a thousand years. The Moabites and Amonites raided Israel in the time of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah and again in the days of the prophet Elisha. Instead of taking their rightful place amongst the people of God in the land by repentance and humbly seeking the fellowship of Abraham and his people these sons of the devil sought to take the land by force and make it their own.

Then there were the Ammonites who hired Balaam to curse Israel at the time of the exodus. They joined with Moab in opposing them in the years of the judges. Solomon brought Ammonite women into his harem and just as Lot’s daughters seduced him so this old foolish king was seduced by the daughters of Ammon and he served their gods and helped to destroy the nation of Israel. Joash king of Judah was assassinated by Ammonite men and on and on goes the sorry history, fifteen hundred years after drunken Lot was seduced by his daughters
the Ammonites were still relentlessly fighting the seed of the woman. What a legacy of wickedness and unbelief. You sow to the flesh and of the flesh you will reap disaster not only in your own generation by in the generations to come. If only Lot had acted in faith. If only Lot had believed the promises of God, but he did not and thus he walks off the pages of redemptive history at this point, never to be mentioned in the Old Testament again.

But God can redeem such a man as this. What Lot and his daughters did was not the unforgivable sin. Though sin abounds grace much more abounds, and centuries later a remarkable woman from Moab turned her back on her people and its gods and came to the promised land to serve the God of Abraham. The name of this Moabitess was Ruth, and she married a man called Boaz, and she gave birth to Obed who was the grandfather of king David, and through the line of David came Jesus, the son of David and the son of Moab with the blood of this noble Moabite woman running in his veins. Yes, through the umbilical cord that attached Jesus to Mary the line of our Lord goes back and back finally to this cave and to a drunken righteous man and his scheming immoral daughters. Jesus is here in this insemination, and in the birth of Moab and the birth of Ruth and the birth of David and the birth of Jesus. The lineage of our great Lord and Saviour goes right back to this act in that cave, for he is the Saviour of the chief of sinners, of Jews and Gentiles, Ammonites and Moabites and whoever will put his faith in the Saviour. You can be the daughter of a righteous man and fall as low as a woman can fall but still underneath is grace to forgive and uphold you – if you turn from your guilt and shame and cry to him for forgiveness. Who ever has cried in vain? Not the worst offender. So do not think that you have acted too abominably ever to receive mercy from the Lord. There is mercy for the chief of sinner who runs from his son to find forgiveness in the merits of Jesus only. You put your trust in him. You do it. You must do it. Do not delay. Come out of your moralism and self-righteousness, yes, but come out of the gutter too, and hide in the wounds of Jesus.

6th September 2009        GEOFF THOMAS