We all know the back drop of this woman’s story. How could we forget it? In Luke 17:32, even Jesus said “Remember Lot’s wife.” But long before Jesus came to earth, the book of Genesis tells about the woman who became a pillar of salt. She was married to a man named Lot. Lot was the nephew of Abraham. He lived in Sodom with his wife and they had two daughters. Unfortunately, they were the only righteous people in the city for all of Sodom was extremely wicked and God was about to destroy it. In His mercy, God sent two angels to warn Lot and his family to escape.
According to Genesis 19:17, the angels said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”
Taking heed to the angel’s warnings, Lot ran and did not look back. Lot’s daughters ran and did not look back. Lot’s wife ran and she…DID look back. Genesis 19:26 reads: “But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
What lessons can we learn from the tragic end of Lot’s wife?
1. Lot’s wife was disobedient. We may think ‘What was so bad about Lot’s wife looking back?’ After all, if the city one had lived in for years was burning down, who wouldn’t want to look back? Lot’s wife was only wrong for looking back because the angels had specifically told them not to look behind. The angels gave them a direct command from God and Lot’s wife disobeyed it.
While her husband and daughters were running to get out, Lot’s wife lagged behind. Her heart probably felt for the friends she was leaving behind. It probably hurt her that she had to leave all her clothes and jewelry and other material riches behind. Her old life seemed more important than obeying God. She might have doubted that God would actually rain down fire and destroy an entire city, so she looked back; but her hesitation only resulted in her death.
Jesus didn’t tell us to “Remember Lot’s wife” for nothing. Once we decide to follow Christ, we are not to look back. We are not to allow unbelief to cloud our faith. We can’t let doubt keep us from believing that what God said, He will do.
Just like wickedness was all around Lot’s wife in Sodom, wickedness is all around us in these modern times. One day, all that is dark and evil will be destroyed. But until that day comes, we are not to look back. 2 Corinthians 5:17 reads: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Once we have been saved, we cannot go back to our old ways. We are a new creation. Philippians 3:13-14 says, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
It is dangerous business to linger and look back at those things which are behind. Unlike Lot’s wife, let’s keep pressing forward to higher things. Let’s keep our sights on the things which are ahead.