“Remember Lot’s Wife”
Women play a very important role in the bible message. Whether it be good or bad their fingerprints are imprinted on almost every single page we find in our bibles. Adams’ wife, Eve, the mother of all of the living gave into the temptation of eating the fruit and committed as we consider it, the first sin. Have you ever wondered what would have happened if she didn’t? Job’s wife who witnessed everything taken from them; her kids, their livestock, their livelihood everything gone; she witnessed her husband’s health rapidly decline in all the pain and sorrow and instructed Job to curse God and die. She sure sounded pretty supportive of Job. Esther, who pursued dangerous efforts to try and save her people, succeeded with the help of God. Eunice and Lois the mother and grandmother of Timothy who had tremendous impact of Timothy’s faith; great examples. Mary the mother of Jesus, who trusted God’s plan and brought forth His Son to make amends for our broken relationship with God and our sins is another important female character in God’s book. And while there are many examples like these, there are not many Old Testament women that are mentioned in the New Testament. However, there is one particular woman that stands out in the words of Jesus. One that Jesus made sure to mention we remember. In Luke 17:28-32 Jesus is speaking and he says a particular phrase that was really interesting. “Remember Lot’s Wife.” It sounds a lot like a warning that Jesus is handing down in this passage but why Lot’s wife? What’s so special about her?
- Do Not Look Back– Let’s go back to our Old Testaments to figure that out and we’ll put it all together. In Genesis 19 we are told of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Most of us know the story, a lot of us know it inside out. There are so many lessons in this story of destruction and Lot’s wife is one of them. As the cities were full of wicked men with evil deeds God granted Lot and his family a way out. The command was simple, it was clear. Lot and his family were told to get out, escape for their lives, don’t stay anywhere in the valley, flee to the mountains and to not look back! Lot’s two sons-in-law didn’t want to be a part of it, so it was lot and his wife and his daughters and they were on their way to safety, salvation. Or at least that was the plan. But the Bible tells us that Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt. Just like that she was gone. But you mean all because she looked back? Back in Luke 17:31 prior to mentioning Lot’s wife as an example Jesus said those that are in the field must not go back. “Remember Lot’s wife.” It was quite likely from what was taking place that Lot’s wife looked back and started making her way back. You see, her heart was set on Sodom and Gomorrah and she wasn’t ready to just pick up and leave. It wasn’t just about looking back, it was about loving the world. That’s where her heart lay. God have her to opportunity to escape for her life, to be safe, to be saved. But she looked back. She was already on her way but she chose to look back. Here’s what I’m saying. Jesus gives us the opportunity to escape our lives, this life that is broken and engulfed with sin, to run and get out but like Lot’s wife we choose to look back. And frankly it’s easy. It’s easy to go back to the comfort of sin and pleasures. It’s easy to give in to all the desires and lusts of our heart. And it’s the most difficult thing to see that and try to move past it when everything around you is exactly that. Make no mistake about it, this world that we live in is enticing, the passing pleasures of sin is sometimes too good to pass up. But…
1 Jn. 2:15-16- “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” But what’s so wrong with that? Friends the devil, Satan, is the god and ruler of this age, of this world. That is why John encourages us to stay as far away from that as we can. There’s nothing good about loving the world and all its pleasures. We all have choices to make and one of the most impactful life-changing choices we can make is choosing whether or not we are on God’s side or on the devil’s side. But you might say, but I’m always on God side. But here’s the thing, if you walk away even if it’s just for a little while, you have forsaken God. You have turned your back on Him. It’s not a one foot in, one foot out thing. It’s either your all in or your nothing at all. The bible says in Heb. 11:24-26- “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.” He chose Christ over the world. Will you?
- Do Not Forsake God’s Commandments– But there’s more to it than just that. It wasn’t just about looking back. It was about forsaking God’s command. When Mrs. Lot chose to look back, she made a decision, whether it was split or a well thought about process, she blatantly chose to say NO to God. In effect, God told Lot, “I’m going to save you and your family in accordance with my mercy and grace but there’s certain things you have to do.” But, Lot’s wife said, No God. I have a better idea. I want to do things my way. I like my way better. I don’t like your authority. Well we know how that ended up. Pillar of salt and that was that. But I do want you to see the underlying, compelling factor here. It’s saying no to God’s commandments, to His Authority and forsaking Him. Each time we look back, each time we decide to turn back we forsake the very commandments that can save us. Time and time again we observe this with the people God chose to fellowship with in the Old Testament. Isa. 1:28- “But transgressors and sinners will be crushed together, and those who forsake the LORD will come to an end.” In passages such as Jer. 2:5-8, 13 and Jer. 15:6 God makes it very clear that He will destroy all those who want no part with Him. It becomes so easy to overlook God when we can’t see Him, we don’t really read our Bibles, we don’t help each other, we don’t focus on the spiritual and the eternal but we back pedal 10 steps for every step we go forward and that’s so often the case. We deceive ourselves into thinking that because we take one step forward and man it feels like the biggest step of your life, then you become convinced that’s all I need to do. And what do I do next? I start walking backwards. And maybe we don’t even think about it but we do. That’s what Jeremiah is trying to point out for us. The Israelites often took steps to improve, to succeed, to draw closer to God but for each occasion they never seemed to fail to forsake Him. And you know what? We do the same thing. We are no different sometimes. We forsake God time and time again. And maybe it’s because we take for granted the fact that we won’t become a pillar of salt, at least not here and now, but know that we will be judged one day like Mrs. Lot was.
- Do Not Neglect His Deliverance– Jesus’ recollection of Lot’s wife has brought to mind a couple aspects of application that we must see and observe and ultimately learn from but perhaps even bigger than these two aspects is the vital summation that Lot’s wife chose to neglect God’s deliverance. She chose to neglect His saving grace! Lot wasn’t perfect and neither was His family. But God (two of the most important and life-changing words you can ever hear) chose to set them outside of the city and help them. He told them exactly what to do but even through all of that Lot’s wife didn’t want any part of it. Imagine that? One would think any logical person would be especially grateful for such an act of help but to reject it? Unheard of. Well, not really. In Matthew 27:15-26- The Jews and the religious leaders rejected Jesus as the Messiah. They rejected the only hope of them being saved. In John 19:15, Pilate said shall I crucify your King and the answered Him, we have no King but Caesar. But according to His lovingkindness, His mercy and His grace, He still wants to save us! Rom. 5:8- “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” And how wonderful is that!
God has extended His outstretched arms to every single one of us because He doesn’t want what happened to Lot’s wife, to happen to us. Jesus’ statement of Lot’s wife is a reminder for everyone that we must listen to His commandments, follow through on them, not looking back, ultimately taking advantage of His offer of deliverance. This is a life-changing decision that we must make and it can determine whether or not we enter into life or death.