My most memorable Spring Break in college didn’t happen at a beach. While I did spend a week in Nags Head, North Carolina, golfing and fishing with my father, this was a close second. I was persuaded by God to attend a mission trip with City Team Ministries in Innercity Philadelphia. While serving lunch at a homeless shelter, the leader shared the dangers of living in this section of town, especially at night. This warning served as a way to protect me and my team from harm.
It was evening when the two angels came to Sodom. Lot was sitting at Sodom’s [city] gate. Seeing them, Lot rose up to meet them and bowed to the ground. 2 And he said, My lords, turn aside, I beg of you, into your servant’s house and spend the night and bathe your feet. Then you can arise early and go on your way. But they said, No, we will spend the night in the square, Genesis 19:1-2.
One of my favorites jobs as a teenager was being a Summer Camp Counselor for the YMCA. This was my final summer in Delaware before my parents moved to Cleveland. Each week a different group of children arrived at this day camp. My main responsibility was to watch over and protect the children under my care. While some were repeat campers week after week, several were new strangers looking up to me for care and protection.
[Lot] entreated and urged them greatly until they yielded and [with him] entered his house. And he made them a dinner [with drinking] and had unleavened bread which he baked, and they ate. 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, all the men from every quarter, surrounded the house, Genesis 19:3-4.
Lot had a similar concern as two men, angels in disguise, came to visit Sodom. Based upon the words of Moses in the passage above, Lot was a hospital man who possessed the gift of making guests feel at home. Recognizing the dangers of Sodom, Lot tries to convince these angels to stay with him rather than spend the night in the public square. Despite the mob surrounding Lot’s house, he did all that he could to protect these two strangers from harm. Lot’s actions are consistent with the Golden Rule: love your neighbor as yourself.
by Jay Mankus