“Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.” Gen. 19:29
Popular Jewish opinion seems to be that this verse means Lot was saved because of Abraham. If so, it means that Lot may not have been saved by his own righteousness. However this seems at odds with 2 Peter 2:7 in the New Testament which refers to “righteous Lot”.
One may take the Cavlinistic view that Lot was among the chosen since before the foundation of the world, and the others living in Sodom and Gomorrah were not.
One may also take the view that this statement by Peter was merely his opinion and his own interpretation of who Lot was from the scriptures as he understood them. This would be difficult however, for those who hold that all of scripture is inspired of the Holy Spirit and is therefore infallible.
Lot is not the only person in scripture shown favor by God though they were sinful. Consider Moses, a murderer. Consider King David, an adulterer and a murderer. Consider Paul, a persecutor of the church.
Perhaps Lot is innocent even. Of we would have against him, all could arguably be explained away.
- First in Gen. 13 Lot chooses the best land, described like “the garden of the LORD” (Gen. 13:10). We could see this as covetous, but what if Lot is merely choosing the land closer to the cities because he knows Abraham is older, and likely prefers to live away from the cities?
- Lot chose to move to Sodom. Was he tempted by wickedness, or was he trying to be a witness of God in that dark place?
- In chapter 20, Lot drinks wine and becomes drunk, to which one could respond that A) his daughters gave him the wine, he did not seek it himself, and B) Lot may have allowed himself to become drunk because of the terrible ordeal he was just through, which includes losing his wife. Note that after the flood, Noah became drunk from wine as well. (Gen. 9:21).
- Lastly we see Lot’s daughters plotted to sleep with him while drunk, to become pregnant (Gen. 19:31-32). Perhaps Lot was truly so drunk that he is without guilt in his actions. However scripture does tell us the same happened again with his other daughter the very next night.
The answer may simply be that Lot was not unrighteous, but Abraham was considered more righteous than Lot. Consider that we see the people of Zoar, who were unrighteous, are saved on account of Lot (19:21), who would be considered more righteous than they. And so it is not inconceivable that Lot was saved on account of Abraham, if by degrees, Abraham were more righteous.