There’s a story about a cave in Genesis 19, and that’s an appropriate setting. A cave is dark. It’s dank. It’s hazy. Out of the way. Isolated from sight and from community.
Perfect for the end of Lot’s story.
If you read Genesis 19 you’ll find a shocking story. Lot, having been mercifully saved from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, found himself hiding with his two daughters in a cave in the mountains. The girls looked around and realized there wasn’t anybody else about, and so took the preservance of their family line into their own hands. A lude tale of drunkenness and incest insued, and at the end of the day, Lot was both the grandfather and father to two boys. Scripture records their names:
“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” (Genesis 19:36-38).
It gets worse. The Bible tells us what became of these boys and their descendants.
Moab was the father of the Moabites who, according to Numbers 25, engaged in religious orgies during worship of their fertility god and were a snare to the people of Israel. Ben-Ammi, meanwhile, was the father of the Amonites. According to Amos 1, these people were so ferocious in warfare that they would cut open the bellies of pregnant women. What’s more, they worshiped the god Molech who required child sacrifice.
You’d be hard pressed to find anything good coming out of a cave.
And yet here, too, there is a place for the gospel.
Those Moabites? Those wicked and disobedient people, fathered from an incestuous relationship? The most famous Moabite in all history is Ruth. Who followed her mother-in-law to Israel. And met a man named Boaz. And then had a child named Obed. Who had a son named Jesse. Who had a boy named David. Who was the ancestor of Jesus Christ.
Yes, God knows how to bring good from the cave.
For that same descendant of David, and of Lot, spent some time in a cave Himself. And just when the story of the universe was at its darkest, completely devoid of hope, the busy and redemptive hand of the Lord was still at work.
Three days later, the Great Good came marching out of another cave. Again.