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.
For context, read all of Genesis 19
Yes, you read that right. The women that we will be discussing today committed incest and became pregnant by their father, Lot. Clearly, the Bible is not just a book about the heroes of the faith! Lot’s daughters got their father drunk, took turns sleeping with him, and both became pregnant by him.
Why did they feel the need to do this? In their own words, they were afraid that they would never be able to have children because there were no men left (verse 31). But if we read all of the narrative in Genesis 19, Lot and his daughters had briefly stayed in the city of Zoar after they fled Sodom. It’s true that now they were living in a cave in the mountains with only their father for company. But surely there were living men in Zoar! Why didn't they come up with a plan to find husbands for themselves from Zoar? The Bible doesn’t answer that.
While the women are definitely guilty of incest (you could also make a case for rape), the sisters may have been desperate because of the position their father put them in. He was a believer in the One True God and yet, he chose to live in an exceedingly wicked city. Also, in that culture, fathers found suitable husbands for their daughters. Lot should have sought wives for his daughters outside such a wicked city, perhaps from Abraham’s family. But he did not.
What’s more is that his daughters may not have had much faith or trust in him to provide for them appropriately. In Genesis 19:4-8, Lot was under pressure from wicked men in the city who surrounded his house. The men wanted him to send the two angels God had sent to rescue His family out to be raped. Lot rightly refuses and protects the angels. But, he then offers to send out his virgin daughters to be violated and defiled by these men! I don’t see how the girls could have any trust in a man who was willing to give them over to wicked men and was not willing to protect them. It is also possible that the sisters were just this wicked. They had to have been influenced by their culture when they lived in Sodom.
Whatever the catalyst for this shameful behavior, it seems that this story does not have a happy ending. What redemptive qualities could it possibly possess? The daughters go on to give birth to the fathers of the Moabites and Ammonites--both nations who became terrible enemies of the Israelites. And yet, the Author of history always weaves a redemptive thread. In Matthew 1:5, we find “Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.” There is a woman listed in that genealogy! Who is Ruth? Well, she is a Moabite! A Moabite who became the great-grandmother of King David. And whose genealogy is that? It is the genealogy of our Redeemer, Jesus.
Sisters, the WORD about women is that Jesus is our Redeemer. Despite our past, despite our sins, He always weaves a redemptive thread through our stories.
Have you ever felt like your sins are too despicable and wicked for God to redeem? Be encouraged that they are not! Repent and ask Him for forgiveness today.
PrayFather, I know that my heart has wickedness in it. I know that I have sinned against You. Thank you for being a God of redemption. Your mercy is greater than all of my sin. Amen.