Most of us know the story of Noah. He’s the guy who built the ark.
Most of us also know the story of Lot. He’s the guy who had to picked the wrong community to live..and had to flee with divine help.
But what most of us don’t focus on is what happened after.
Now, both Noah and Lot went through extremely tragic events. Noah watched the world he knew die in a flood while travelling in a boat with every animal on Earth. (Can you imagine the noises you’d hear while trying to sleep?)
Lot was harrased by his neighbors who threatened to sexually assault the visitors to his home. Now these weren’t ordinary travellers. They were angels with an urgent mission, “Drop everything now…and run because God is going to destroy your home and everything around it”. He also learned that his wife turned into a pillar of salt.
So…it’s understandable that Noah and Lot took a drink of wine…or two…or more.
Well, anyway, both characters ended up REALLY drunk which ended up really bad not only for them…but for their family members and descendants.
But, if you look at their stories, there are differences in how these consequences played out.
Here is Noah’s account (Genesis 9:20–23):
And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
Here is Lot’s account (Genesis 19:30–32)
And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:
Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
Not a pretty picture for either Noah or Lot….but the consequences that happened to each are slightly different…
For Noah (Genesis 9:20–22),
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.
Noah wakes up the next day and does this (Genesis 9:24–25):
And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
So, one drunken night with Noah led to the cursing of one of his sons…but Noah’s story continues. He lived 350 more years after the Bible, according to the Bible.
But, Lot’s story turned out differently (Genesis 19:34–36)
And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.
Now if you compare the two stories, two things stand out:
- Noah had one incident. Lot had two incidents.
- Noah had support around him. Lot didn’t.
These two things might be what led to dramatically different consequences for each. Noah lost the gift of having three blessed sons. Lot lost the gift of having any blessings at all.
So what’s my point?
The first point getting drunk puts you in a bad place that can have serious consequences…in ways you never intended
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”
- Proverbs 20:1, KJV
The second point is lingering can keep you in a bad place. If you look at the story of Lot, there’s plenty of compromise…compared to the story of Noah.
Lot grew up under the care and mentorship of Abraham, yet he chose to live in a town known for violence and crime.
We can tell that Lot knew where he was because of Lot’s response in the Sodom and Gomorrah: While he does condemn the men who attacked his door intending to do even more damaae, he tried to compromise.
Now only did he compromise, but he lingered (Genesis 19:15–16)… Even after his family had this horrible and frightening experience and was told to leave, he lingered.
The angels had to grab them to leave.
Now, it can be a little hard to understand why Lot didn’t immediately leave, but think about it…Lot probably did the same thing we all say when we give an excuse to stay where we are (even we know it isn’t good for us):
“They probably just had a bad night…plus I’ve got this house and everything I ever known.”
And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
God didn’t take that excuse. He moved Lot and his family out.
Yet, even while they were running, there is some hesitation…Lot’s wife.
OK, we are left with Lot and his two daughters. The daughters had husbands, but they didn’t come with the family. (This also shows that Lot’s daughters chose men who didn’t put them as a priority. Contrast this to the wives of Noah’s son’s, who agreed to go in the ark.)
Correction: We have Lot and his two daughters alone..with no support. Lot didn’t go back to Abraham. He didn’t ask God for help. He lingered.
Now, the two daughters were in their own bad place. They felt they were the only women left on Earth. They lost the mother. They lost their husband. They were almost killed themselves (if the angels didn’t intervene).
But….. rather than check their assumptions, or trying to go back to their grand-uncle Abraham…..rather than pray…they moved on their impatient (and horrible) plan
This is what happens when we think from a bad place. Noah sinned, but he got back on track. He had a family who looked out for him.
Lot didn’t. He just lingered without a purpose or guidance.
Lot’s daughters felt trapped. When we feel trapped, we act on fear, instead of logic.
That fear mindset is just as toxic as a mind under the influence of alcohol.
It’s even worse when you combine the two…Linger in the bad place of fear…or the bad place of drunkenness, and there is no happy ending…