Living in Sodom: A Case Study, Part III (When Daughters Lose Hope)

Even though the feminist agenda cheerily shouts, “You can have it all,” and “You’ve come a long way, baby,” daughters have a natural bent toward hopelessness. Everywhere they turn, they are confronted with their inadequacy. Whether the role model is Barbie or Brittany or Hillary, daughters can easily fall prey to comparisons that would lead them astray—to desires that would undo them.

In Genesis 19, we find the story of what happened when Lot’s daughters lost hope. In her perceived hopeless estate, Lot’s eldest daughter explained to her younger sister the dilemma they find themselves in, as she saw it, “Now the firstborn said to the younger, ‘Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth’” (Genesis 19:31).

Lot’s eldest daughter grew panicked by lack of hope. She saw no human means for the fulfillment of her longings as a woman.

Her perspective brings us face to face with two very important realities. First, the inclinations of the firstborn have a big impact on those siblings who follow them. In this case, the oldest daughter could have led in better directions. My firstborn daughter, Kelly, is one who has led the way for all siblings and cousins coming up behind her. Many times I have prayed thanks to God for this. What a blessing it is to have the firstborn with a heart toward God!

If you are firstborn, you have a unique place in your family as a pacesetter. Much hinges upon your behavior. Your younger siblings are watching your example. You eldest daughters: guard your hearts, for it is the wellspring of life—both for you and for many other lives as well.

Second, Lot’s daughter was filled with fear. She was afraid for the future of her heritage, and she acted upon those fears. This is the same fear that grips the hearts of every daughter in every age. She fears that somehow she will be left out of marriage and family. Every young woman I have ever known at some point comes to struggle with this boogeyman. It goes like this: “No one will ever love me”; “there are zero men around that I could want to marry”; “I am not attractive enough to attract a good man”; “the pool of men that I would be interested in is too small….”

This brings us to an important point that fathers need to monitor. A father needs to understand what is going on in the heart of his daughter regarding four of her great enemies: fear, loneliness, self-pity, and purposelessness. He should always have his antennae up for these destructive vices.

One area that a father should be tuned into is the music his daughter listens to. He should understand the tunes and lyrics of her favorite songs. Why? The vast majority of the popular songs of the day are filled with messages and chord progressions that will tend to plunge her deeper into a type of introspection that nourishes her fears. When a young woman begins to be led by these forces, nothing good will come of it. If a daughter’s virtue in bring compromised due to bad musical influences, a father must step in and take action.

Hopelessness in a young woman is a powder keg. Fathers, are your daughters lonely and insecure about the future? Then come to their aid and refresh them with the salvation of God. Help them to trust God and not to lean on their own understanding.

We don’t know exactly why Lot’s daughters had such a dim outlook. They were likely normal girls with normal temptations. What we do know is that when they looked out into the future, they could not see how God would bring them husbands, so they compromised.

If you are a daughter whose outlook toward the future looks dim, and you are tempted to jump ahead of God, then slow down; be patient. God will provide.

Another point to consider regarding the fear of Lot’s daughter’s is this: their uncle Abraham lived only a short distance away from them, and he was a godly man with a large extended household. Abraham would likely have had many young men under his oversight who could have made potential spouses for Lot’s daughters. Given their close proximity to Abraham, why then would Lot’s daughters say that “there is no man on the earth” who could be their husband? Why were they so afraid? The text does not reveal the answer.

What is revealed is this: Lot’s daughters panicked and sought a pragmatic alternative. Genesis 19:32-35 explains the perverted course they took to “solve” their problem:

Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.” So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, “Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.” Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

In the above narrative, we can observe at least two ways in which the protection of Lot’s daughters broke down.

First, you can see the breakdown of Lot’s protection in the character of his daughters. Lot’s daughters’ character qualities are revealed in striking fashion. They placed their trust in human means, and they did whatever they had to do to bring about the result they were after. In this case, they get their father drunk to suit their ends. These daughters were manipulative—children of Sodom and Gomorrah. Here is what Ray Stedman says about what they had become under their father’s roof:

These two girls were virgins in body, but they were already debauched in mind. They had long since grown accustomed to obscenity and unrestrained luridness, so, up in the cave on the mountainside, they seized the thinnest tissue of excuses and the story ends in a foul orgy of drunkenness and incest. Lot had nothing but heartbreak and grief to show for the years in Sodom. The Lord said, “For whoever would save his life will lose it,” (Matt 16:25a {RSV}). So Lot, trying to get the best out of both worlds, lost all and has become for all time the picture of the Christian who is saved, “but only as through fire,” (1 Cor 3:15b {RSV}). He has nothing but wasted years to look back on and eternity ahead.

Lot’s daughters possessed the same qualities of their father Lot. They were “their father’s daughters.” Not surprisingly, they did with their father the same thing that he proposed they do with the men of Sodom. They had become like their father. Their thinking process was just like his.

A father needs to be very discerning. He needs to be constantly asking, “Are my daughters becoming children of Sodom (Hollywood) or children of God? Are my daughters filled with hope? Do they have faith that God will see them through every difficulty and confusing trial that they encounter?

Our daughters need two things to hedge their vulnerability from these gripping fears of the heart. First, they need to have a father who will debunk the destructive ways of the world and show them how to avoid them. This is what Lot did not do. Instead of debunking the wrong notions about womanhood foisted on his daughters by the children of Sodom, Lot let them be.

Second, our daughters need to have a clear vision of Christ, and they need to be encouraged to become like Him. In Hebrews 1:9, we learn that Jesus Christ, when considered among his band of disciples, was the happiest of them all. And why was He so happy? The writer of Hebrews gives the answer: “Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. Therefore, God, Thy God has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions.”

Fathers must extol the righteous life of the Lord Jesus Christ in their daily lives if their daughters are to have faith-filled hearts. Fathers need to love righteousness —the very best things—and to be dissatisfied with the world’s bankrupt solutions. This is the key to a daughter’s heart.

Pray that our daughters will have the character of the Lord Jesus Christ so that when they are in times of trouble, they will cry out to God for their answers instead of looking into their own hearts, into the lives of their peers, or into the popular songs of the day.

Second, you can see the breakdown of protection in the leadership of Lot as a father. It is easy to say that Lot is a terrible example as a father. Here is a father who has not lovingly or effectively trained his daughters. God has given Lot to us as an example of what NOT to do. Lot consented to the disobedient behavior of his daughters. He got drunk, and don’t believe for a minute that he was a victim.

Notice that what has happened in so many homes in our day happened in Lot’s home nearly four thousand years ago. Alcohol made the unthinkable actually plausible. This story should give us pause to carefully consider the presence of alcohol in our homes. I am not making a biblical case for total abstinence of alcohol (because Scripture does not do so), but I would like to note that we have two cases of alcohol in the home in the first nineteen chapters of Genesis, and neither one is positive. There are two incidences: Noah’s drunkenness and Lot’s drunkenness. These accounts should not escape our careful attention. The testimony of Noah and Lot should cause us to be cautious, should we choose to have alcohol in our homes.

In Conclusion

Fathers, you must take active steps to guard your daughters from harm. Here are some practical ways you can protect them:

  • Position them for a hope-filled life by filling their minds with the sufficiency found in God’s Word. In this way you will fortify them by your good deposit of clear teaching.
  • Instruct them on the destructive influences around them by exposing the harmful messages propounded by their peers and carried by many of the popular songs of our day.
  • Draw near to them by taking the time to listen to your daughters and responding to their concerns. Be available for them.
  • Give them clear and firm direction, even when it grates against their inclinations. Let them know that all of their feminine desires are not helpful, and that if they simply follow their hearts, they will lose the essence of what they are longing for.

Oh, fathers, take responsibility for protecting your daughters. Cry out to the Lord for them. How easy it is for them to lose heart. Everything the devil has for them is designed to kill, steal, and destroy their hope. Become a fountain of life for them. Create for them green pastures and pure waters. Expose the wolf. Silence the liar. Protect your precious lambs.