Remember Lot’s Wife! (Part Two)

dscn0692Luke 17:32

This is the season of the year when Christians and those under Christian influence, look forward to Christmas. Perhaps for most in our time it is a cultural event. The recollection of the Christmas story’s account of the first coming of the Messiah is a springboard to think of preparation for his second coming. Jesus used the example of Lot’s wife to urge us to be prepared. Let’s think more about her.

Remember that Lot’s wife was warned to flee from a city appointed for destruction. It had filled up the measure of its sins. The Holy God had decided to put an end to its wickedness (Genesis 19:12-13). Think of the following:

  • Sodom was full of wickedness and sin. In the Scripture, the city stands as a monument to sexual immorality, perversion, pride, love of ease, gluttony and unconcern for the poor and needy (Jude 1:7; Ezekiel 16:49-50). Sexual immorality of whatever kind is not new; neither is the pursuit of pleasure. Such sins come out of the human heart (Matthew 15:19). Life is about much more than seeking a good time. Are you giving your life for the good of others?
  • There was nothing in Sodom worth looking back at. She was told that all its pleasures, and sin offers pleasure (Hebrews 11:25), would soon be no more. God did not offer her a yard sale of Sodom’s pleasures. He told her that he was throwing it all in the incinerator. She was not to even glance at its ruin. “And is it worth the while for us to return back for the sake of a moment’s enjoyment of them, before they are burnt up, and so expose ourselves to be burnt up with them?” [Edwards] Does any sensible person play in a burning house?
  • Sodom was ready for a terrible destruction. It was ready for universal destruction— “and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:29). Read Genesis 19:24-25. All sorts of people perished, and not just the ringleaders in sin. All their belongings and buildings were destroyed, and even the fruitful land itself. It was ready for eternal destruction. They are an example of people “who suffer the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7; cf. 2 Peter 2:6). People may scoff at this now, and say “we want no more of this hellfire and brimstone preaching”. But one day they will scoff no longer. It was ready for sudden destruction. The word of the angels to Lot and his family was “Hurry!” Genesis 19:15; cf. 2 Peter 2:3
  • Lot’s wife was warned to flee and not to look back by revelation from God. The Sovereign God directly ordered her to not look back. She stands as an example of the insufficiency of external events to change the heart. Here were angelic visitors telling her husband that all was about to be destroyed—in her own house, and she was not motivated to listen! The Lord even had his servants use a forceful means to remove her from the city (Genesis 19:16-17).

Dear readers, do not comfort your heart too lightly. She heard the way of rescue and turned back from it. You might know the good news of salvation, and yet have never repented and believed. This event from the Bible provides us a warning-example for us to evaluate our true condition. Now is the best opportunity you might ever have to turn from your sin and to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Do not imitate Lot’s wife.

Grace and peace, David

Remember Lot’s Wife! (Part One)

dscn1467Luke 17:32

The Lord Jesus will suddenly return in power and great glory, and his coming will suddenly end all the normal activities of life—all that most people spend their lives in. When the Lord comes, there will be no escape, and it will be the time when God finally separates the godly from the ungodly. In our verse, Jesus provided an example of someone who was not spiritually prepared for the judgment of God. We know her only as “Lot’s wife”.

“When the time for separation arrived Lot’s wife could not tear herself away from the world. She had always been in it, and had loved it, and delighted in it; and, though associated with a gracious man, when the time came for decision she betrayed her true character. Flight without so much as looking back was demanded of her, but this was too much; she did look back, and thus proved that she had sufficient presumption in her heart to defy God’s command, and risk her all, to give a lingering love-glance at the condemned and guilty world. By that glance she perished… The love of the world is death. Those who cling to sin must perish, be they who they may” (Spurgeon, “Remember Lot’s Wife”, 1879). So then, let us remember Lot’s Wife!

Remember that she was Lot’s wife. She was married to a man, who with all his faults is called a righteous man (2 Peter 2:7). Since she was married to Lot, she had numerous spiritual advantages, yet she failed to profit from them. She had the privilege of being a member of a family that God had chosen and called. Yes, this election and calling were not saving, but they did put her in a position to know the true and living God, when most of the world stumbled around in dark idolatry. For many years, she traveled with Abraham, a man of great faith and to whom God spoke. She was there when Abraham built an altar and called on the name of the Lord. She was there when God acted with his mighty power to deliver Sarah from Pharaoh. She saw God bless their whole family greatly. She knew what God could do!

Yet Lot’s wife failed to make use of those great advantages. She, like the people of Israel of a later day, did not combine these privileges with faith (Hebrews 4:2). She is like many in our day—the wife of a man of faith, the husband of a godly wife, children of believing parents, or parents of children who follow Christ. The Bible only teaches one covenant family in our day—the church, those who follow Christ by faith. Yet to be related to someone in covenant with God is a tremendous spiritual advantage.

She had the benefit of sharing in Lot’s experiences. Some of those experiences were mixed blessings at best. Lot chose the plain of Jordan, but soon he pitched his tent near Sodom (Genesis 13:12), and the next thing we hear of him, he was a resident in Sodom (Genesis 14:12). Beware of walking in close friendship with the world in rebellion against God! You might soon find yourself living their way of life. Yet God remained merciful. Mr. and Mrs. Lot shared in the experience of God helping Uncle Abraham rescue them (Genesis 14:16).

In the midst of Sodom, Lot’s wife still received blessings. She could see her husband’s heartache of soul as he was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (2 Peter 2:7). But especially she was in the house the night before judgment fell on Sodom. She saw the angels deliver Lot from his foolish behavior. She heard the solemn warning of judgment. She felt the angel grasp her hand to lead her out of the city.

Sadly, none of God’s blessings helped Lot’s wife. Is God’s blessing helping you? Think of how God has answered prayer for you this year. Did God’s kindness help you to live more for him? May God give us grace to learn from Lot’s wife.

Grace and peace, David