Remember Lot's Wife

15 March 2012

“Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” (Luke 17:32-33)

One of the shortest verses in the Bible abounds with wisdom.

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It is a solemn warning to God’s children after the Holy Spirit has weaned them from the world, and led them in the paths of righteousness. The warning is simple: never look back upon former sins with fondness. Though the journey may seem long, and there may be times of darkness and sorrow, it is better to be with Jesus in tribulation, than to take the pleasures of sin for a season. Never look back! Those that do, may become ensnared once again with the very sins they were delivered from: “Remember Lot’s wife.”

If you will recall, Lot and his family had situated themselves in the well-watered plains adjoining Sodom and Gomorra. Eventually, they made their home within its gates. Lot became very wealthy, and as a result of his wealth, a prominent citizen of the city. Because of the great sin found within its walls, God had passed judgment to burn it up. In mercy, God sent His holy angels to rescue Lot and his family from the impending danger with this solemn warning: “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.”(Genesis 19:17)

A few verses later, we read the fatal outcome of Lot’s wife: “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”(v26). She did not listen to the wise counsel of God. I can just see her, as Lot was pressing his way from the impending danger, shirking back just far enough from her husband’s glance, to take one final look at the city of her delight, a city she loved, a city steeped in sin. God’s judgment was sure. She became a pillar of salt.

This seems to be a harsh judgment for just once glance over the shoulder. A pillar of salt! Surely, the Lord is giving us a solemn warning here. He is highlighting a fatal mistake made by many. This is indeed, a wide, and dangerous pit that has swallowed many unsuspecting pilgrims. Do no look back upon your former sins with fondness!

From experience, I would say, that there are times we all look back on our former life with pleasure. Most of us have many happy memories of the past. But we must be careful. As we are perusing the past, our minds may wander into some fields of sin that produced some evil fruits. Before we know it, we may begin to partake of these and the battle ensues. What we had escaped form begins to overtake us. We have all heard of the mid-life crisis. The man or woman, who has raised a family, been faithful to their spouse, then all of a sudden they want to be a teenager again. They have looked into the past, and thought to themselves: “If only I knew then what I know now. I could really have some fun.” Then, off they go and fall into a pit. They wind up with many heartaches and sorrows for the rest of their days. They have essentially become: “a pillar of salt.” This is truly a most common and dangerous pit.

God’s word is replete with warnings of this nature for those who know, for those who have been delivered. In Luke 12:47-48, Jesus compares the punishment of those that knew God’s will, and those that were ignorant of it: “And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Paul gives the same warning to church goers in Hebrews 10:26-27: “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”

Even Solomon, gives his warning in Proverbs 26:11: “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.”

Peter gives further comment on Solomon’s words in 2 Peter 2:20-22: “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” Enough said!

When Jesus gave he warning that day, to “remember Lot’s wife”, he was warning the Jews not to return to Jerusalem. God was about to judge the city that had once honored God but had now crucified the Lord of glory. Don’t go back there. I have delivered you from their error. Sad to say, many did not heed the words of our Lord. Over a million lost their lives in the city in 70 A.D. when Titus surrounded its walls and cut off their food and drink.

Jesus gave further commentary, though, on the three words that we are to remember. He also said, “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”

Yes, those that go seeking to save a sinful lifestyle they have left behind will lose their lives. This does not mean they will die physically. It means that their life will be brought to destruction and misery through sin. But those who choose to lose their lives, give up their lives to Christ, give up their own selfish desires preserve their life from destruction and misery.

Has the Lord delivered you from some great sin? Has He delivered you from this present evil world? Don’t look back. Go forward and serve the Lord with cheerfulness. Remember Lot’s wife!

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