INSIDE THE HEARTS
OF BIBLE WOMEN

6 ~ Not So Gay
(Lottie*)

(*Actual name not given in the Bible)
(based on Genesis 11-14 and 19 in the Old Testament)





Part 1 ~ Protecting Morals
       Lot and Lottie were both born out east.  They were descendants of a well-established family.  Lot's father, Haran, had explored an
area up north and founded a city which he "modestly" named after himself.  After Haran died, Lot's grandfather, Terah, and his uncle,
Abraham, moved the whole family to the town of Haran.  Old Terah died there just recently.  

        Lot, being the son of the founder, was looked up to by people.  But even most of them thought he was a little odd.  He only
worshipped one God.  And he was very peculiar about what he termed his family's morals.  He didn't like them going to the local parties
unless given by his own relatives.  But he was rich, so people figured his idiosyncrasies must not hurt any.  [1]

        One day God spoke to Abraham and told him to leave Haran and go to an unknown land where his descendants would become a
nation so powerful it would save the world.  Lot was part of Abraham's family.  So Lot and Lottie left their homeland and followed Abraham
to a new promised land.  It was on the west coast in a land thus far called Canaan.  

        Life in this new area was a little strenuous at times, especially with the nomadic life style they had to adopt.  When they first arrived
in their promised land, there was a famine and they had to go on into Egypt for awhile.  They were now back, but still hadn't really settled
anywhere.    

        Lottie got to visit with Sarah, her aunt by marriage, regularly.  She was grateful she had one relative to spend time doing things with
in this strange land.  Sometimes she thought Sarah was too strict, but she did like and admire her.  

        Lot's and Abraham's herds were multiplying so fast, the herdsmen kept having to move them around for pasture.  Pretty soon
bickering began among them.  One day Abraham and Lot were walking along a high ridge surveying the problem when the elder man
came up with a solution.  

        "Let's not have any quarrelling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are relatives."  

         "You know we've tried, but things just aren't working out as they should.  It's very disturbing, Uncle.  We can't let things keep going
like they are, that's for sure."  

        "Is not the whole land before you?  Let's part company.  Just far enough away from each other that the confusion is eliminated
regarding what belongs to whom."  

        "Well, that might be a good idea.  But how will we work it out?  We'll have to locate two areas with equal amounts of water, equal
amounts of decent pasture, and so on."  

        "Let's not make it so complicated, Lot.  You just decide what you want.  If you go to the left, I'll go to the right.  If you go to the right,
I'll go to the left."  

      "Well, that would simplify things.  But it's such a big decision, I'd like some time to pray about it.  I wouldn't want to rush into anything.  
If it's okay with you, I'd like to give you my decision later."  

        "Of course.  That's a wise thing to do."  [2]

        Lot went home and told his wife about his conversation with Abraham.  

        "Oh Lot!  This is just what I've dreamed of!  I'm so tired of moving all the time.  Let's take the part that the cities are in.  We can have
a real house.  The educational and cultural benefits for our children will be so much better there."  

        Lot thought.  Well, the pasture is mighty good there, with the river and all.  It would be a good investment.  

        "Okay, Lottie.  We'll take that section of the land if it is agreeable to Uncle.  But we're not moving right into town.  I don't like the type
of influence those people could have on our daughters.  They are much too worldly.  We didn't leave our homeland just to get away from
such things and then get right back into them again.  Besides, the political turmoil in those towns is too explosive."  

        Lottie threw up her hands.  "Well, I guess that's better than nothing," she mumbled as she walked back to the oven.  In her
frustration she reached in too carelessly to get the bread and burned herself.  [3]

        They made the move, and pitched their tent as close to the city as Lottie could talk her husband into.  For the last twelve years the
city had been ruled by a foreign power; but earlier this year they had several riots and finally managed to regain their self-rule.  

        "Lot," said Lottie one day.  "The city is rid of those godless rulers now.  Things are much better than they used to be.  The people
have fought for freedom and gained it.  They are really nice."  

        "My dear wife, do you think that's going to make a whole lot of difference in their life style?  It's ingrained in them.  They'll never be
any different."  

        "Sure they were a little rough while the foreigners were there.  But they don't have to be any more.  They really need someone like
you to guide them.  You could be such a good influence and teach them about the one God of heaven."  

        "Yes, Daddy.  That's where all our friends live."  

        He looked at his teenage daughters.  Their eyes were so bright and glittering with excitement.  

        Finally, after what seemed to be a planned program of propaganda on the virtues of big-city living, Lot consented.  He would move
Lottie and the girls inside the city.  

        At first it seemed to be a good decision.  They were like missionaries now.  They could live among the people and show them with
their daily life how to be godly.  Her husband even got involved in the local politics and sat with the elders of the city at the gate as a local
judge.  But what worried him were the rumors that the foreigners were regrouping and planning to come back and take over again.  This,
indeed, was a strategic city in the area.  [4]

        Early one evening it happened.  "They're coming!  Close the gates!  Quickly!  Get your weapons!  Every man, defend your home
and your city!"  

        But it was too late.  The mayor was killed and the more prominent citizens rounded up and taken to a prison camp, including Lot and
his family.  

        "Lot, why didn't I listen to you?  If we hadn't been in that city when the enemy came, we'd still be free," Lottie lamented.  "Right now
we'd be in the plains walking free.  Instead, by this time...."  she wept, "....by this time tomorrow....we'll all be dead."  

        "Maybe they'll make us slaves instead," remarked one of the daughters.  

        "Some alternative," the other replied bitterly.  "I'd rather be dead."  

        "We should be spending this time praying for God to help us so none of this happens to us, or that we will have courage for
whatever fate we face."  Father had spoken.  

        When Abraham learned of the invasion, he gathered his private army of over 300 men and surprised the enemy camp.  While the
other soldiers freed the people as a whole, Abraham concentrated on finding his beloved Lot.  He couldn't allow anything to happen to
them.    

        He was relieved to find Lot and his family safe.  He asked whether they planned to go back to the plain where they had lived before.  
Lot thought not.  But his family told him he was needed more than ever in Sodom.  He was needed to help pull the people back together.  
Maybe now they'd be willing to listen more about the ways of Jehovah God.  

        So the decision was made.  They'd go back into the city.  Abraham restored Lot's stolen goods, as well as those of the other families
in Sodom.  Peace returned.  

        Lot was quite famous now, his own uncle being the one who rescued the whole town from certain doom.  Lottie was quite a
celebrity.  Some even talked of making her husband mayor.  She and their daughters basked in all the attention.  Lot felt that his
influence for good might be enlarged now after all.  [5]

        "Dad, they are having a party at Bela's house tonight.  See our new dresses?"  

        "No, you are not going to any party at Bela's house or anyone else's house in this town," he announced firmly.  

        "But Dad, he's the town treasurer's son, and we've been wanting to be introduced."  

        "No, you're not going."  

        "But why?  Everybody's going."  

        "They're a good solid family in the community," Lottie added.  

        "I know what goes on at those parties, and you're not going.  Those homosexuals have vexed me from the day we moved here"  

        "Oh Dad.  They have a right to their own life style.  God made them the way they are.  We should love every one of God's
creatures," the oldest daughter proclaimed.  

        "Yeah, you claim to love everybody, but you don't love those people," the younger one added.  

        "SIT DOWN!"  

        Uh-oh.  They'd gone to far.  Now it was coming.  They sat down.  

        "Jehovah loves everyone, but he hates sinful deeds regardless of who does them, because he knows what it is doing to them.  If
everyone turned to this life style as you put it, there would be no more people born in this world.  Doesn't that give you any inkling as to its
wrongness?"  [6]

        "Well, I never thought of it that way," one of them said, staring at a gaudy tapestry on the wall.  

        "Even the animals honor this law of nature.  God created males and females for each other.  Are we smarter than God to say he
didn't need to create us this way? "    

        "God's just prejudiced" one of them whispered."  He heard as he was leaving the room, and came back.  

        "The same God," Lot replied "who made homosexuality wrong also made fornication and adultery wrong.  He doesn't punish us for
these things as much as he is trying to protect us.  He made us and knows what's best for us.  End of story.  End of lecture.  I'm going
back to the city gate where they'll listen to me."  

        Time went on.  Lot's daughters continued to associate with the children of the people in the town.  After all, they were all the ones
that were around.  Lot continued trying to influence them to do right.    

        His daughters eventually became attracted to a couple of young men.  But since most of the males in the town were both bisexual
and homosexual, they knew their father would scrutinize them about it.  So they decided to try to work it out with the young men before
their father did.  [7]

        "I really like you a lot."  

         "I like you too."  

        "Uh, do you really like girls?"  

         "Sure I like girls.  Doesn't everyone?"  

        "Well, what about boys?  Do you like boys?"  

        "What kind of question is that?"  

        "Just answer.  Do you like boys?"  

        "Well, so what if I do?  I've got variety in my life.  So what's wrong with that?"  

        "Well, do you just have to have that much variety?"  

        "Yeah.  There's nothing wrong with a little fun. Hey, it's that father of yours, isn't it?  He's bugging you about gays."  

        "He doesn't bug us about anything.  He just tries to explain things."  

        "Explain what things?  That gays are corrupting people?  I've heard about him.  I know."  

        "He just wants people to have a better life, that's all."  

        "Better life?  How much better can you get?  We've got the best of both worlds."  

        "But Jehovah has said the gay life is wrong."  

         "Why's it wrong?  Just give me one good reason."  [8]

       "Well, I don't know exactly.  But Jehovah must know.  After all, he made us."  

         "Is it going to make us sick?  No.  Is it going to cripple us?  No.  Is it going to make us die?  No.  Is it going to make us attack just
anybody on the street?  No.  Is it going to create riots?  No.  See, you can't give any reasons."  
                                    Part 2 ~ Compromising  Morals  

        "Even if I can't, we must trust Jehovah."  

        "Who's Jehovah?  Just another one of the gods.  They're all alike.  One's for one thing.  Another's for another thing.  Just take your
choice."  

         "Have you ever worshipped Jehovah the way we do?"  

         "All I have heard about him is that he is invisible, makes all kinds of weird demands of you, and then lets you off easy if you worship
him."  

        The conversation ended there.  Lottie's daughters became more discouraged.  

        "We'll never get married," the girls told each other more and more.  

        "God knows we've tried to explain his commands to these people.  They just don't understand yet."  

        "We can't wait forever to convert someone so we can marry them, you know."  

        But finally one day the big question was popped.  

        "I want to talk to my father about asking your father if you can marry me."  

        "Oh, you really mean it?"  

        "Yes, I want you as my wife."  

        "Oh, I can't believe this is happening!"  

        "You mean you would go along with it?  You like the idea?"  

        "Oh yes.  Uh, but there's one thing.  You don't believe in Jehovah and his laws.  Dad will object to that."  [9]

        "Well, it's kind of hard for me to understand those things.  Maybe after we're married.  I'll bet after we're married and I get to know
your family better I'll be able to understand your religion better."  

        "You know, you're probably right.  That's all you need.  Just time to get to know us better.  We can marry and then you'll start
worshipping with us, and before you know it you will believe as we do."  

        "So then, as far as you and I are concerned, it is all settled.  If we can get our parents to go along with it, we will be married.  Then I'll
start learning more about your religion."  

        "I can't wait to tell Dad.  I want to get to him before your dad does so I can explain your feelings about these things.  Then he'll be
ready for an answer when your dad comes to see him.  Oh, I'm so happy!"  

        Of course Lot objected.  "No, you are not marrying one of these local boys.  I've been talking to Uncle Abraham about it.  He
strongly recommends sending back to our homeland for a relative for you to marry.  There's a young man back there about your age ~
Laban.  He has a little sister named Rebecca.  They are not completely God-fearing, but at least they have good morals and are willing to
listen and learn."  

        "Oh Lot," his wife interjected in behalf of her daughter.  "That's so far away.  It's impractical to send them off so far to find a
husband.  There's hypocrites and immoral people there too.  Besides the trip would be so expensive."  

        "Money is not a question here.  I can find the money.  It's moral principles."  

         "Well, at least we know all about the young men here and we can tell ahead of time which ways to try to teach and influence them.  
After all, they probably don't even remember us back in our homeland.  And you've got influence here."  [10]

        Lot told his wife he wondered whether he did or not.  He and Lottie had tried.  But anymore they both had to admit they wondered if
the towns people were the same as they'd been when Lot and Lottie first moved there.  

        Sometimes Lottie caught herself using the same expressions as the people in town, although they were not nice things to say.    

        Sometimes Lot found himself softening on some of his moral principles because he'd been told so long that he was taking things too
seriously.  

        Sometimes they both found themselves giving in to one wrong because it would deter a wrong they considered much more serious.  

        "Come on, Daddy.  He promised he'd start worshipping with us as soon as we married.  He said he'd probably even start to like our
religion after we were married."  

        Lot knew better.  But at last he gave in and consented to the engagement.  [11]

        Life continued as it had in some respects.  But in other respects things seemed to be getting worse.  It was no longer safe to go out
at night even within the walls of the city.  What good were the walls and locked gates at night when the enemy was within?  

       At first the more decent people began to stay in at night because of people who started to party and drink in the street.  Then the
people who partied in the streets started staying in at night because of the people who began to rob them while they were drunk.  Then
the robbers started staying in at night because of the gangs that started up.  They were overpowered and then sexually assaulted.  Some
were killed afterwards.  

        The city fathers said that perhaps the gangs should be left alone because they were at least serving a purpose.  The thieves had
become dangerous.  Besides, the gangs saved them from the trouble of executing the thieves anyway.  [12]

         One evening as Lot sat at the city gate, two men approached.  He realized they were strangers to the area and invited them to
spend the night in his home.  He had exercised such hospitality on many other such occasions.  

        "You can get up early in the morning refreshed and go on your way."  

        But they kindly refused.  "No, thank you.  We plan to spend the night in the city square."  

        "Please, don't do that.  It is dangerous for you out here.  Go home with me."  

         "Well...."  

        "You will be safe and warm.  We have food and extra beds.  You can clean up and refresh yourselves.  Please come home with
me."  

        So they did.  Lottie made unleavened bread so their hungry guests could be fed as soon as possible.  As they ate, Lot thought, "If
only I'd been able to influence these people to put away their sinful practices.  But they are fat with the leaven of their sins, and I cannot
get it under control."  

        Before long it was dark.  They sat talking quietly.  Lottie had not realized her growing confusion as to just what is right and wrong
until she heard these men speak.  These visitors believed in Jehovah.  Their words were so simple and to the point.  No rationalizing.  No
exceptions.  No compromises.  She hadn't heard such plain talk in so long.  [13]

      Suddenly there was a noise outside that grew in volume.  It was a mob of men.  He'd heard them over on other streets, but never
before had they gotten so close to his own neighborhood.  At first Lot told his guests there was nothing to sorry about because their
home was secure and this was common in the streets at night any more.  This, he said, was what he had been warning them about.  But
in his mind, he wasn't quite so assured.  Why were they coming here?  They'd never done that before.  Things were more dangerous in
Sodom all the time.

        He'd heard they had attacked a couple of houses lately, now that there were so many of them.  But it was just rumor.  He had
wondered if it were really true since no one came forward to say it had happened to them, or if those attacked kept quiet for of fear of
reprisal.  

        Closer they came.  Then the dreaded pounding began.  

        "Hey, Lot!" they called out.  

        Oh, no!  Not here!  They can't come here.  Lottie stood up and listened to them and grew cold.  All those years they said they just
wanted to be left alone to their own life style.  Her husband went over to the shutter and peered through a crack.  Lottie, too, had thought
if they left these people alone, they'd leave their family alone.  The people in the house stopped what they were doing.  And listened.  [14]

        "Okay, Lot!  We know they're in there.  Bring them out to us.  We have not made love to such fine looking men in quite awhile.  We'll
even share them.  Come on, Lot.  Open up!"  

        "Bring them to us!"  

        "Bring them to us!"  

        "Bring them to us!"  

        The chanting continued louder and louder.  It seemed to rock their house.  For sure it rocked the very being of those inside.  

        Lottie looked over at her husband, then her guests, then her daughters.  She knew what was next.  They would begin to beat on the
door.  It would only take them minutes to break through.  

        Lot was trying to decide what to do.  He could not allow harm to come to everyone in his house.  Thoughts ran through his mind.  
"Stand up and do what you have to.  Do what you have to.  Do what you have to."  He grabbed a lamp.  

        "Where are you going?" his wife shouted nervously.  

        "I've got to stop them!"  

        "No, don't go out there!  They won't listen to you!  Not any more!"  

        He didn't seem to hear.  He unbolted the door and went out, shutting it after him.  Courageously he stood looking over the crowd.  
He could hardly believe his eyes.  

        Wasn't that his own neighbor standing there?  And the mayor?  And the fathers of the young men his daughters were engaged to?  
And the judges of the town?  It seemed as though nearly all the men from every part of Sodom were there.  He had no idea.  He had
thought that everyone kept their doors locked at night.  But had it gotten down to only him?  Had he blinded his eyes this much?  Was he
the only one left?  [15]

        Out of fear for the lives of everyone in his house, he tried to bluff them.  He held up his hands to indicate silence.  Everyone grinned
widely.  So far so good.    

        "No, my friends!  Don't do this wicked thing!"  

        His answer was not what they'd wanted.  Their roar of displeasure bolted at him.  They raised their clubs in the air and shook them
at him.  

        "We don't want to hurt you, Lot.  Just hand them over to us."  

        His mind whirled as he tried to think of what to do.  These men in his home were so godly.  The town's people had respected him so
far.  Then a plan began to formulate.  His daughters were quite popular.  The mob didn't prefer girls.  So maybe if he offered them, once
the crowd saw them they'd lose interest and leave.  Surely no one would try to harm his daughters.  They knew how powerful he was.  
He'd try the bluff.  

        Again he motioned with his hands for silence.  "Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out
to you, and you can do what you like with them.  But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."  

        The people inside his house were leaning against the window sashes to know what was going on outside.  They could hardly believe
their ears.  His daughters rushed to their mother and she held them as close as she could. "The hypocrite!" one of the girls declared.  

        "Over my dead body he'll send you out!"  The noise of the crowd built up to a rage.  Their kindly requests were no more.  Their
patience was about gone.  [16]

        "Get out of our way!"  

        "This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge!"  

        "If we can't have these men peacefully, then we'll just rape them.  And we'll treat you worse than them, you prude."  

        Lot raised his hand again, but they neither heard his cries for silence nor paid attention to his motions for silence.  

        "We want what we want!"  

        "We want what we want!"  

        "We want what we want!"  

        He realized the crowd was inching its way toward him.  Their clubs were raised.  They were ready to break the door down.  His family
was no longer safe living in Sodom. [17]
                                            Part 3 ~ Losing  Morals  

        The two men inside opened the door, pulled Lot in just in time and bolted it back.  The mob banged on the door and its hinges
strained.  It was a matter of moments.  

        Lottie and her family moved back as far as they could.  The two men did not.  Instead, they extended their hands toward the door.  
Then....sudden silence.  

        "Where's the door?"  

        "I can't see!"  

        It had struck them all.  They were all blind.  Even in their blindness the crazed men outside were so enslaved to their own desires
they kept searching for the door.  But in their utter confusion they began bumping into each other and fighting with each other.  Gradually
the sound came from farther and farther away.  Gradually they groped together down the street.  The young.  The old.  Rich.  Poor.  How
evil and pathetic.  

        Lot shuddered.  He looked at Lottie and his daughters who stood still horrified.  

        The intense danger of the moment still not quite comprehended, the youngest murmured, "But they were all such nice people
before."  Immediately she knew that was the wrong thing to say and wished she hadn't.  She ran to the other side of the room with her
face in her hands crying.  [18]

        Lot looked over at the two guests.  It hit him that they had just performed a miracle.  He knew now for sure they were from Jehovah.  

        "Do you have any other relatives here?" they asked Lot.  "Sons-in-law?  Sons?  Daughters?  Anyone else in the city who belongs to
you?"  

        "Yes, I have two intended sons-in-law, engaged to my daughters.  But they're safe."  

        "No, they're not.  Get them out of here.  A greater destruction than what you saw tonight is coming."  

        "What do you mean?" asked Lottie.  

        "We are going to destroy this place.  The outcry to the Lord of good people against Sodom's people is so great that he has sent us
to destroy it."  Had they been bothering people out on the highway?  In other cities?    

        "That's nonsense," Lottie retorted.  "Why, we've lived here for years.  Nothing's going to happen.  Our city is at peace with all the
people around here."  

        "Lottie, listen to them," begged her husband.  "They're not talking about other people destroying Sodom.  They're talking about
Jehovah doing it!"  

        "But...."  

        "Whatever they say is truth.  I believe them.  You must believe them."  

        "But it never happened before.  Besides, we've got too much wealth here to just up and leave."  

        "Will you trade your soul for them?  Remember Noah?  The people didn't believe him either.  At least we've seen a miracle and know
their warning is truly from Jehovah God."  [19]

        "Daddy, we can't leave without our promised husbands!  We love them."  

        Lot turned back to the two strangers, whom he now knew were angels, messengers of God.   

        "Give me a few hours to go into town and persuade the young men."  

        The angels agreed.  They said the townsmen that were so dangerous were still blind and he'd be safe as long as he was careful.  

        Lot slipped quietly out, and they bolted the door after him.  After looking down the street both ways, he left, trying to stay in the
shadows away from the moonlight.  As he walked he kept hoping these two young men had not been with the mob earlier that night.  He'd
be able to tell if they were blind.  He prayed they had not.  

        He went to the house of the one and of the other young man. No, they hadn't been with the mob.  Yes, they were aware of what had
happened earlier that night.  And no, they did not believe there were any angels in town.  

        "But you must believe me.  How else do you account for all those men going blind at the same time?"  

        "Coincidence.  That's all."  

        "Please listen to me!  We want to save you!"      

        "Go away, old man."  

        "Hurry!  I can't stay here with you much longer!  Get out of this place!  The Lord is about to destroy anyone in the city!"  

        "You're putting us on!  Get out of here," they scorned.  

        "No, it's the truth!  Take the way out!  The city wouldn't have been marked for destruction if only ten good people were in it.  But
there weren't.  Escape with me."  

        "You've gotta be kidding!  You are really funny!  Wait till I tell my dad.  He'll get a kick out of my new father-in-law."  

        "God knows how to help you if you will listen to him.  Please go with me and escape the punishment of fire!"  

        "Listen to that!  This God of his takes away all our innocent fun, and now he's going to send fire right out of heaven!  What'll he
think of next?"  

        "It never rained water out of the heavens before Noah's time, but it happened anyway. He'd like the city to be empty when the fire
comes.  But if people won't listen and leave.....  I'm begging you!  There's no more time left!  Will you go with me or not?"  

        "Bye-bye.  Have fun with your bon fire.  See you tomorrow!"  

        "Oh God," he groaned to himself.  "Please tell me I'm only dreaming.  I never knew until now how Noah must have felt trying to save
people around him in addition to his own family."  [20]

        Lot had no choice.  He left and made his way back home for the last time.  He wondered what he'd tell his daughters.  As he
wondered, he looked around at the sights and sounds he'd never see or hear again.  

        Back home he tried to comfort his daughters.  "They thought I was joking."  That's all he could say.  

        The women had been packing while he was gone, and were still busily trying to decide what to leave behind.  

        No one went to bed that last night.  Lot continually had to reason with Lottie and his daughters as they periodically announced they
weren't going, for the whole thing was just a bad joke.  After all, why should Jehovah get so upset over a little fun among the men, or
among the women?  A little variety.  Sure, they did get a little carried away tonight.  But they wouldn't do it again.  

        Sometimes they even had Lot nearly convinced.  Then the angels would have to explain it all over again.  

        "But why would God just out-and-out kill these people instead of just warning them?"  

        "God cannot force anyone to obey his way, which is also nature's way, for he created nature.  If people choose to turn their backs
on the God of creation, the God of life, then they choose death.  But it is their choice, not his."  

        "He has warned them through Lot for years," they went on to explain.  "But they don't care to listen to him or his people.  They don't
think it's for their own good he warns them.  And what favor would it be to the rest of the people around here  to keep putting them in
danger?"  [21]

        It was dawn.  Already?  They had not rested all night.  The angels could not allow Lot to delay his leaving any longer.  

        "Hurry!  Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished!"  

        "But what if it doesn't happen?  Everyone will laugh at us," said one.  

        "Look outside.  The sun is pink.  It's so peaceful and quiet out there.  Surely they're mistaken," objected the other, hoping she could
talk herself out of the terrible reality.  

        "What about our husbands to be?  If we believe you, we'll be condemning them."  

        "If you don't leave, you'll be condemning yourself, and what good will that do them?" an angel said.  He grabbed the hand of Lot and
his wife and literally pulled them out the door.  

        "Wait!  I forgot my jewelry!"  

         "It's too late!  Come on!"  

        The other angel grabbed the hands of the two daughters and followed close behind the parents as they rushed out into the street
for the last time.  

        "Don't run so fast!"  

        "We've got to!  There's little time left!"  [22]

        When they got outside the city gate, the angels stopped a moment to let them rest and instruct them in what they must now do.  
They had practically forced the family to be saved.  But now the rest of it was up to them.  They must now accept this salvation and not
turn back.  

        "Flee for your lives!  Don't slow down to look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain!  Flee to the mountains or you will be swept
away!"  

        Even now Lot objected.  "No!  You have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life.  But I can't flee to the mountains; this
disaster will overtake me, and I'll die!"  

         He pointed in the direction of the smallest of the five towns in the plain.  "Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small.  
Let me flee to it.  It is very small, isn't it?  Then my life will be spared.  Destroy the others, but save this one for my sake.  I can't make it to
the mountains."  

        "Very well, I will grant this request too.  I will not overthrow the town of which you speak.  But flee there quickly, because I cannot do
anything until you reach it.  Now run for your life!"  

        Lot began to run across the barren plain.  Everyone had to do it alone.  He turned around to the women who were still standing
there looking at their home in disbelief.  

        "Come on!" he shouted.  "I can't run for you!"  

        So the daughters, too, began to run, followed at last by their reluctant mother.  [23]

        Just as he reached the little town, the sun was fully risen.  And the Lord rained fire from out of heaven.  

        The people in the little town saw it in horror.  "What's happening?" they screamed.  "Why is Lot the only one who escaped?  Where
are the rest of the people?"  

        Once inside the city, Lot stopped running.  Out of breath, he turned around, and his daughters were just coming in through the
gate.   They could feel the heat, the fire came so close to the town.  

        "Where's Lottie?  Where's your mother?" he demanded hysterically.  The three looked.  Just a few hundred yards in front of the
gate of safety was the edge of the great vast circle of the rain of fire.  

        Horrified, they could see just barely inside that punishing circle a statue enmass with salt and brimstone.  It was their wife.  Their
mother....  

          Lot fell to his knees at the city gate and stared in disbelief at his wife.   He pounded the ground, he looked up at her and groaned
endlessly.  "Lottie!  Lottie....  I tried to tell you.  They were so evil there, but you thought they were such nice people.  Oh my Lottie.  They
weren't nice.  Why didn't you listen to me, Lottie?  Why?  Oh my Lottie...."    

        His daughters each hung to one side of him and cried in hysterics.  "No, mama!  No!  No!  Please, mama.  No, please...."    

        People looked at the trio in disbelief and wondered if they were bringers of doom - perhaps even gods.  Lot looked around him and
realized they may be in danger.  He stood and brought his daughters to their feet.  The three stumbled away from the terrible sight and
retreated to an inn.  They took a room and collapsed.  [24]

        More and more the people grew nervous with Lot in their midst.  Every time they looked out their gate at his wife, now a statue
covered with fired and hardened salt, they shuddered.  They could see one of the cities in the distance, and the smoke still rose up from
it.  From over the hills they saw evidence of the other cities in the plain which apparently had burned also.  

        After a few days the talk and speculation about Lot mounted.  Had he brought a curse on those cities?  Were they next?  

        "What if he brings the curse on us too now?"  

        "We'll have to destroy him before he destroys us."  

        Sensing the atmosphere of the town and the whispers behind their backs, Lot told his daughters they were no longer safe there.  
Just before dawn they gathered up their little packs and fled to the mountain, just as they had been instructed by the angels in the first
place.  

        On their way out the gate, they stood frozen in place at the sight of their mother.  They wanted to at least bury her.  But the salt and
brimstone that had fallen on her had hardened and was immovable.  With utter helplessness in his heart, and without a word, Lot took
hold of his daughter's hands and headed out toward the mountain.    

        As they walked, Lot tried to comprehend the loss of his wife.  Lottie never really wanted to leave.  She thought she'd be doing those
people a favor by staying behind with them.  She was almost saved.  But she stopped trying just before the end.  

         They found a cave, and began living in secret for fear of the people.  

        Lot had taken along a large skin of wine.  He sat down and began to drown his sorrows.  His daughters cried, not only for the loss of
their mother, but also their now-dead betrothed husbands.  How could they go on living?  Their world had never been darker.  Days
passed.  Then weeks.  

        "We will never be able to go back to any city again.  We have been saved to live a cursed life.  We won't even be able to marry now,
for no one will allow us near them ever again," complained one sister.  

        "You're right.  Everyone hates us now," she sobbed.  "Not only will we never be able to get married, but we'll never have any
children.  We'll die old and ugly and childless.  Cursed."  

        "I know what we can do," said one in a bitter whisper.  "Dad's been drunk for days trying to forget everything."  

        "You're right," the other one agreed, beginning to get the gist of what her sister was leading up to.    

        "So what do we care?  It was all his fault anyway.  Didn't he offer us to those men that night?  He doesn't care what happens to us.  
Such a hypocrite!"   

        "That's right.  We'll just make sure he stays drunk.  Then we'll go to bed with him and have children by him."  

        "Why not?  There's no one around anyway.  He owes it to us.  We deserve to have at least one child."  

        Months later, when Lot realized his daughters were pregnant and that it was by him, he became completely desolate in spirit.  He
must have thought they were Lottie in his drunkenness.   Incest?  He reeled at the thought.  [25]

    "What have I traded for the souls of my family?  I gave them everything they ever wanted.  They have brought me to the grave.  It
cannot be done.  A person cannot associate with sin and not get burned.  I escaped the fire but our consciences had already been
seared.  We saw the sins everyday and began to accept them.  The people were so friendly.  We were so deceived."

    "Oh God," he sobbed.  "Warn the others earlier.  Warn those generations still to be born in this world.  It isn't worth taking the chance.  
I gave in too many times, and in the end we have all been crushed."  [26]

       One evening, the three admitted what they had done was wrong ~ father as well as daughters.  He'd had his own demons to fight,
and maybe that's why he fought other demons as hard as he did.  They needed each other.  That's the only way they could make it from
now on.   And so, with their admissions, there was forgiveness.   Their lives continued on.  But they were forever changed.
                                            THOUGHT QUESTIONS

                                       Part 1 ~  Protecting our Morals


1.        We must make a firm decision to follow God, and sometimes even make it for our children (Joshua 24:15).  Tell of a time you had to make a
decision for your children to stay away from bad influences and later they thanked you for it.
    
2.        One thing for sure we don't need if we are going to stand firm for right in the world:  Bickering from within - family bickering, or church, or
close friends (John 13:35).  Tell of a time you were discouraged from standing up for something right because you weren't getting along with someone
you loved.

3.        There are many things in the world that are good of themselves, but surrounding circumstances make them too costly (Matthew 16:26).  Under
what circumstances might higher education and better culture be left well enough alone?

4.        Doing missionary work among people of another culture is commanded by Jesus (Matthew 28:19).  Yet it has its dangers, and only strong
Christians should do it.  If you decided to live and do missionary work among people who were rich and given to drugs openly, for instances, what
could you do to keep your moral standards above theirs?

5.        Sometimes people can flatter us and twist things around to convince us something would be right, while they have a selfish ulterior motive
(Psalm 5:9).  How can we guard against flattery (Psalm 37:11)?  Give some specific examples of such flattery.

6.        Romans 1:22,24,26-28 explains that homosexuals do not like to acknowledge God but rather dishonor their own bodies.  The reason we are to
honor our bodies is because God wants to dwell and work in us (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).  Try to think of as many types of sin as possible and determine
whether you believe people on earth would continue to be born and live if these sins were committed by everyone.

7.        Leviticus 20:13-16 links several sexual sins with homosexuality - all called sodomy - and condemns the participants to death because they are
abominable.  "Ab" means away as in abhor and abuse, and "omin" comes from omen referring to a sign of the future.  God is telling us that
homosexuality is a sign of an abhorrent future.  Such people who do not obey God's commands in this "abomination" are not likely to take other
self-respect and self-control commands of God seriously, thus leading to a bad future.  Specifically, how can we get control of any body function that
we are abusing (Romans 12:1,2)?

8.        The Encyclopedia Britannica states that sexual inversion "rarely appears by itself, and is frequently associated with other...abnormal immature
ways of obtaining sexual pleasure."  The key here seems to be immaturity.  Read 2 Timothy 2:22 and discuss how such a person can accomplish this.

GOOD WORK:  Send a note to a Christian you know working or associating with people who make little pretense of following God.  Tell them you are
proud of their good example and pray they will remain strong.


                                    Part 2 ~  Compromising Morals

9.        Sometimes in life we have few choices.  If we must decide between a "homosexual marriage" or a compromise marriage and no marriage at all,
what must be our choice?  What are the advantages of not marrying (1 Corinthians 7:34,35)?  Tell about an unmarried Christian you know of (never
married or widowed) and the opportunities for Christian service they have taken advantage of.

10.        Often there are benefits to a Christian young person going off to a Christian college during the normal time of dating and seeking a marriage
partner.  Compare the price of a non-Christian marriage to a Christian marriage.

11.        Lot and his wife had been trying to live a good life under the circumstances condemned in Psalm 1:1.  Share a time when you associated with a
group of people who did not act Christian, and your own resistance was worn down.

12.        Gays say they want to be left alone to their own "life style" and that they do not bother anyone.  However, one of the characteristics of most
gays is that their relationships do not last.  So what actually develops is the nose-in-the-tent or foot-in-the-door syndrome (2 Timothy 3:13 and 2 Peter
2:17-19).  What can we do to protect ourselves from their influence?

13.        It is believed that some homosexuals learned to identify with the opposite gender as a child, and therefore try to carry this pattern out in every
area of life.  It is also believed that some homosexuals have grown to fear or resent the opposite gender from one or more very bad experiences.  Their
homosexuality in both cases is apparently just a symptom.  What are the real problems in these cases, and how can they be solved?  Considered
Philippians 4:11 and Proverbs 29:25.  Tell how you could help a homosexual overcome these two problems.

14.        When homosexuality hits a family, most relatives go in to shock.  They think it happens to other people.  What can we do to help our family
over such burden if it happens (John 5:39, 2 Timothy 3:16,17; Colossians 4:5-9)?

15.        When we close our eyes to sin in our community, we often find it has become a sleeping giant just awakening. If we feel it is too late to control
the giant, what must we do (Joshua 24:2,3)?  Tell about someone you know who did this.  Do you think Lot and Lottie should have?

16.        Sometimes we put ourselves in such a bad situation we come to the conclusion we must weigh and choose the lesser of two evils.  When all
the justifying and excuses are cleared away, what puts us in such no-win situation (James 1:13,14)?  How can we get out of such situations?

17.        When by our own doing we place ourselves in circumstances where only bad can be the outcome, what is our only recourse as Christians
(Romans 12:19)?

GOOD Work:  Send a note to a homosexual if you know one.  If you do not know one, give it to a preacher or counselor to pass on.  Tell them that
God loves and has blessed both males and females in their special way, and he has a blessing for them too.  Offer to do a good work with them if you
know them.

                                            Part 3 ~ Losing our Morals

18.        We humans judge people by their outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7).  Give some examples of how we describe the "all American girl" or "all
American boy."  How can we train ourselves to not do this without becoming suspicious of everyone (Matthew 10:16)?

19.        The status quo can fool us - leading to complacency (Luke 17:28-30).  Tell about a time when something unusual happened and caught you off
guard because it had "just never happened before."  What lessons did you learn?

20.        Even with warnings, some people persist and even enjoy doing the opposite of God's will for their lives (Isaiah 5:20-24).  Without giving names,
tell of a time you tried to warn someone, and the feelings you had when you finally left them alone.

21.        Have you ever had to destroy part of something so the rest could grow and be healthy?  How does this compare with rejecting evil people (John
15:2)?  Who actually does the condemning (Isaiah 3:9)?

22.        Have you ever heard anyone say, "If I believe that part of the Bible, I'll be condemning my ______________ [loved one]"?  How would
following their bad example hurt them even worse (Luke 16:23,27,28)?

23.        When we get ourselves into a mess and can't seem to get out, what should we rely on (2 Peter 2:6-9)?  Give an example of this in your life.

24.        Ultimately we must make the decision to do the will of God ourselves.  No one can make it for us (Romans 14:12).  The most terrible thing in
the world is living with the knowledge someone you love has refused to follow God.  Coping with the heartache is extremely difficult.  Something that
can help us cope is directing our anger at what source (1 Peter 5:8)?  Another aid is increasing our love and dedication to the one trying to eradicate sin
in the world (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16).  Talk abut this.        

25.        Despite everything, Lottie's daughters had not learned their lesson much better than their mother.  They only grew more bitter and grew to
assume only the worst.  They had apparently not been guided to spend their time how (Ezekiel 16:49)?  Instead of going in to hiding, might Lot have
been better off taking his daughters far away such as back to Haran?  How can we encourage our teenage girls to associate with other teenagers busy
doing good works today?

26.        Read Jude 7.  In today's world, people are often considered narrow minded if they do not approve of popular sins.  But the punishment of sin is
fearful (Hebrews 10:31).  What can we do to help people love God (2 Corinthians 5:14,15) so they will then believe and respect his laws?

GOOD WORK:  Write a combined letter to the editor from your discussion group regarding homosexuality using any of the scriptures used in these
lessons, and express your concern.  Keep in mind you may be criticized by the general public if/when it is published.