Why does the Bible call Lot a righteous man when he committed sins?

Some find it difficult to accept that while Lot did some bad choices in the Old Testament (Genesis 13:12-13; Genesis 19:5-8),  he was still called righteous in the New Testament: “and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds” (2 Peter 2:7-8).

It is clear from the above passage that Lot was utterly worn out and disgusted by the immorality of the people of Sodom. He openly didn’t support nor approve of the sins that were prevalent there. Even the inhabitants of Sodom themselves spoke of Lot’s righteousness when they said, that he “keeps acting as a judge” (Genesis 19:9). Lot had the reputation of being a just man unaffected by the iniquities of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The Bible teaches that though Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others were counted righteous (Hebrews 11:7-29) even though they did at some point commit some sins (Genesis 9:21; 12:12-20; 20:1-18; Numbers 20:1-12). God never blessed their unfaithfulness, only their faithfulness.

Likewise, King David made some terrible mistakes but, he repented from them sincerely and with great sorrow he cried to God saying, “…Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1,2). God accepted David’s repentance and erased his sins but he had to suffer the consequences of his sins.

Just because God saved these righteous people does not mean that God condoned their sins. In like manner, just because Peter called Lot righteous does not mean that Lot was without sins. Lot was a righteous man, who at some point made serious bad choices.

Jesus said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). The Lord is in the business of healing and restoration to God’s perfect image.  “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

Sign Up for Our Updates

Get notified of our latest updates. Don't worry, they're occasional :)

You May Also Like