How are we to take the fact that Lot offered his daughters for rape?
The Bible simply gives us an account of the event and does not tell us what motivated Job to offer his daughters. (Gen. 19:4-8)
Genesis 19:4-8 (NRSV)
4 "But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom,
both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the
house; 5 and they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you
tonight? Bring them out to us, so that we may know them.” 6 Lot went
out of the door to the men, shut the door after him."
7 "And said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 Look,
I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out
to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men,
for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”
Some may wonder, how could lot protect his guests by offering his daughters to the lustful mob? , and did Lot act cowardly?
Did Lot act cowardly ?
The answer is no, Lot did not act in a way to displease God, since under inspiration by the spirit of God ,Peter many centuries later wrote that Job was a righteous man.
2 Peter 2:7-8 (NRSV)
7 "And if he rescued Lot, a righteous man greatly distressed by the
licentiousness of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among
them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by their
lawless deeds that he saw and heard)".
Lot was not a coward, he was placed in a difficult situation, he offered hospitality to his guests and was thus compelled to offer refuge and protection to them, in fact he faced the lustful mob by going out of his house and closing the door behind him. Lot protected his guests , despite the fact that the two angelic beings (Gen.19:1) were capable of taking care of themselves, and as representatives of God, perhaps by giving his guests to the lustful mob , may have been tantamount to rejecting God himself.
Lot may have acted in faith,
Believing that God would protect him and his daughters. Abraham was Lot's uncle and was aware how God intervened to protect Sarah from being violated by Pharaoh:
Genesis 12:11-20 (NRSV)
11" When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I
know well that you are a woman beautiful in appearance; 12 and when
the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; then they
will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so
that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be
spared on your account.”
14 "When Abram entered Egypt the Egyptians saw that the woman was very
beautiful. 15 When the officials of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her
to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for
her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male
donkeys, male and female slaves, female donkeys, and camels."
17" But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues
because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram, and said,
“What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she
was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took
her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her, and be gone.”
20 And Pharaoh gave his men orders concerning him; and they set him on
the way, with his wife and all that he had. "
Another possibility is that Lot tried to split the licentious mob, his daughters were engaged and perhaps he hoped that relatives and friends of his prospective sons in law , in the mob would speak in defense of his daughters, in the hope that this would divide the mob, making it less dangerous.