‘Remember Lot’s wife’
At one of his teaching sessions, the Lord Jesus told his followers, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Many women are mentioned in the Bible for various deeds, why was Lot’s wife singled out for remembrance, and by no ordinary preacher than the Lord himself?
Who was Mrs Lot?
Lot followed his uncle Abraham to the land of Canaan when God instructed the patriarch to move out. When the land could not support nephew and uncle, there was the need to part company.
While Abraham remained in the arid landscape of Canaan, Lot, like some Ghanaians, chose to move to Sodom where the pasture was as green as the Garden of Eden. Lot did not know that it is not everything that glitters that is gold.
The day Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, God showed great mercy to Lot, his wife, and their two daughters. They escaped towards the town of Zoar, assisted by the angels who instructed them, “Do not look back as you go.”
Unfortunately, Lot’s wife, whose name the Bible does not provide, looked back. Immediately, she turned into a pillar of salt. Jewish tradition names her “Edith” or “Idit”.
That incident, which rendered Lot a wifeless husband and his daughters motherless, contributed significantly to the incestuous sodomy that produced the Moabites and the Ammonites who pestered Israel during their occupation of the Promised Land.
Was it just looking back momentarily to watch the twin cities in flames that resulted in Mrs Lot turning into a pillar of salt? Yes. Disobedience has serious consequences that we often take for granted to our own detriment.
Oh Sodom! Oh Gomorrah!
What was going on in Mrs Lot’s mind and heart as she escaped? Note that the Lots were wealthy, like the Abrahams. She must have longed for what was being destroyed—their wealth, livestock, vineyards, buildings, businesses, connections and everything that provided them with a comfortable life.
Mrs Lot must have moaned as she turned to look at the burning cities. “My money, my clothes, my jewellery, furnishings, servants, maidservants, musicians, the entertainment – all gone. Oh Sodom! Oh Gomorrah!”
How could she be longing and crying for something that God had condemned for destruction? Everything in Sodom and Gomorrah was so tainted with wickedness that God found it necessary to clean up the mess—as the flood waters did to Noah’s world. And yet Mrs Lot was crying over them!
The travelling nation of Israel behaved like Mrs Lot. While escaping from their harsh slavery conditions in Egypt, they “looked back” with nostalgia and felt sorry for themselves.
“Do you remember the garlic, onions, and cucumbers we used to enjoy?” they asked one another. “Think about the sumptuous soups and stews full of meat, fish and chicken! We miss our neighbours and we miss the Nile. How we miss the evening jamboree!”
You wouldn’t believe they were the same people who “groaned and cried out for help because of their slavery” (Exodus 2:23).
They forgot the brutalities and the shame. “Their slave masters made their life bitter with harsh labour in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields” (Exodus 1:14).
Deceptively missing the sugar-coated evil in Egypt, they forgot that they lived as aliens for 430 years. Freedom at any cost is better than pleasure in captivity.
We do the same today, don’t we? After receiving the new birth in Christ Jesus, and after walking with the Lord for some time, we look back, longing for the old life we left behind.
We remember the friends we used to walk with and the sinful lifestyle we patronised. We return to our past waywardness, lose our first love for Christ, compromise our faith, and backslide into our former darkness. Proverb 26:11 refers to this “as when a dog returns to its vomit”!
“Remember Lot’s wife!”
We do this because we want to save our life and enjoy the world of ease and comfort. But Jesus said, “Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it” (Luke 17:32, 33).
Entangled in fleeting worldly pursuits, we become spiritually weak and easy prey for the devil who is always looking for someone to devour.
Unless we let go the world and its enticements, we are in danger of being devoured.
It is a fearful thing to backslide, for the scripture warns that after tasting the heavenly gift of salvation, if we backslide, it is difficult to bounce back again (Hebrews 6:4-6).
What a waste that we, the salt of the earth, should lose our saltiness and become “a pillar of salt” that has lost its taste!
Mrs Lot’s pillar of salt, currently standing on a hill overlooking the Red Sea, is an emotional reminder not to turn back on our faith.
The writer is a publisher, author, writer-trainer and CEO of Step Publishers. E-mail: lawrence.darmani