November 16th, 2021 – Tuesday Afternoon
“But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” ~Genesis 19:26
“Remember Lot’s wife.” ~Luke 17:32
Since beginning this journey of devotionals focused on the character of God, I believe we have only deviated once from that focused perspective. I was getting ready to continue that in this devotional, but felt like we ought to pause here (at Lot’s wife) due to Jesus’ words in Luke 17.
If the last devotional highlighted one of the most terrifying passages in Scripture, this one (Genesis 19:26) might be in the “most horrific” section. Can you imagine?! How awful it would have been to witness the horrifying and sci-fi-like scene: God’s wrath being poured out in full measure upon the cities and the plain in the background with Lot’s unnamed wife turning to look – immediately (whether it was instantaneous or a slow, painful process) being transformed into a pillar of salt! I can’t spell the sound one might make, but the idea behind the sound is shivers running up and down your spine or…perhaps that of becoming violently ill from horrified shock.
Why would Jesus in Luke 17 command His disciples to remember such a terrifying and repulsive thing? Rather, why would He call attention to the woman that such a terrifying thing happened to? This second question is the important one; we could get caught up in the grotesque and captivating scene of what happened, but I believe Jesus’ command is much more serious and direct than that. Why ought we to remember Lot’s wife? We probably could come up with at least two reasons: First, because of the stark picture of what happened to her because she did not obey the command to not look back. Disobedience has consequences – whether we understand the why behind what we are instructed to do or not. Second, we ought to remember Lot’s wife because she did turn and look back when she ought not to have.
Skipping to the second reason (we all understand that disobedience has consequences), why did Lot’s wife turn back? Was it because the allure of Sodom’s pleasure-based culture was too strong? Was it because she did not want to leave her home? Was it because she was curious to see the destruction? Why? Scripture does not answer these questions, but…it is clear from Scripture that Lot’s wife (like Lot) was not as intent on her own salvation from destruction as those sent to deliver her and her family were. If you read some of the preceding verses to the LORD’s destruction, the angels had to eventually take Lot, his wife, and his daughters by the hand and lead them out of the city because of their delay in heeding the angels’ commands. Even then, Lot asked for (and received) permission not to completely flee the region, but to go to a nearby city due to fear. When Lot’s wife turned back, she turned back from the assured deliverance and towards the dreadful destruction.
This, then, must be the reason why Jesus gave His command in Luke 17:32; in the context of that passage, Jesus was speaking of the coming of the Son of Man and the urgency with which His followers were to respond to Him. Instead of being like faltering and relenting Lot’s wife, we are to go on to salvation and the hope of our deliverance. Instead of being side-tracked and distracted by the allure of this world, our own flesh’s desires, and the temptations and deceit of Satan, we are to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Are you and I cultivating that attitude of immediate obedience and submission to our Father? Are we living with one eye on our possessions, our social status, our reputation, and our comfort or are we forsaking everything to follow Him? Let us choose today to view our lives from His vantage point and with His power; only then will we be strengthened to follow Him and never turn back.
Remember Lot’s wife.