Genesis 19:26 – But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
Luke 17:32 – Remember Lot’s wife.
Hello readers, it’s a rainy day here in Adelaide! No better time to type up a blog, and today we will be talking about Lot’s wife. The Lord Jesus Christ said, Remember Lot’s wife. Jesus said it would be like it was in the days of Lot when he is going to be revealed. The state of the world is pretty bad at the moment, in fact the conditions of this world resemble Sodom and Gomorrah more and more, and it seems like we’ve been saying this forever, but the Bible still says… for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. There are some good reasons to remember Lot’s wife, after all, she became a pillar of salt… and that salt pillar we would do well to learn from today.
Firstly, the words “pillar” and “salt” are usually used in a positive sense in the Bible. Peter was a pillar in the early church, here was this bold man who was strong in the faith… as Jesus said to Peter, when you are converted, strengthen the brethren. People strong in the faith, who know God’s word and obey it, are pillars for the rest of us, and can strengthen us all. The church itself, Paul said, is meant to be the pillar and ground of truth. The local church should be, but rarely is it, as churches move away from the solid unchanging foundation of God’s holy word. We should all be pillars for Jesus Christ, after all… pillars carry with it the sense of strength and the quality of being unchanging in all seasons. Lot’s wife not only became a pillar, but a pillar of salt. Jesus Christ said that salt is good and that we are the salt of this world… but if you’ve lost your savor you’re good for nothing. It was salt that Elisha commanded to be thrown into the spring of the waters of Jericho that healed them. Salt is used to add flavor, it has taste, it can even make a bad meal taste ok! So today, looking at this pillar of salt here early on in the Bible might just give you some good direction for a meaningful life!
It is interesting that a disobedient, rebellious person is what comprised the pillar of salt, so as a lot in the Bible, it is often the negative examples that are most beneficial to us. The stories aren’t in the Bible to be cool, but so we can take meaningful direction for our lives from them. Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt, Lot’s wife is a warning to us, which if heeded will have the effect of “salting” our lives, learning from Lot’s wife might change how you are living your life today. Through the Bible we are given many examples like Lot’s wife, and many of which serve as warnings. They are just as applicable today as ever. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. The Bible is so up to date we cannot even grasp it, mankind thinks he’s more enlightened and advanced than ever before, but is in actual fact discovering a well worn path that was already been treaded thousands of years ago, and the warning of which is recorded here in Genesis.
Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. It was the judgement of God on her, and she serves as a stark reminder of things we must learn and act upon if we are to avoid her fate. She got to her fate though, because of her life spent before that moment, it was not a singular mistake, it was a life just like Esau’s which might be punctuated by one event, as with Esau forfeiting his birthright, but really Esau was just a bad man all along and that decision was consistent with his identity. It’s a good lesson for us, and it’s good to be told the truth, and that sounds lovely in theory, but look at what John the Baptist said to Herod… it is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife. Herodias, Herod’s wife, HATED him for it. Many things that are good in the Bible we have a negative perception of, for example words like judgement and law don’t seem very good to us. But we forget the stakes are high, the issues are serious, God is not playing games with you… despite how much we love games. We love to play around, like the army of David did with the army of Saul at the pool of Gibeon… which resulted in all of them getting killed. It was the young men that played, but we should be wiser than they, we should grow up, and make sure of who’s in our driver’s seat, not a Joab and not an Abner, for we have God’s word and the examples to learn from. God’s examples are exactly what we need to reprove us, convict us, to set us on the right path… so we CAN be both salt and light in this dark world.
Why did Lot’s wife become a pillar of salt? Why wasn’t it a pillar of cornflakes? Why was it a pillar at all? We have already got a few hints. The Bible is always so specific in every detail, details are important. The key to understanding why she became a pillar of salt is to think in terms of what her life means to us. Her life is a pillar of salt to the reader. She is an unchanging example, a key milestone we come across in Scirpture, one to learn from. And the effect of learning from her life and actions, will certainly salt our lives up if heeded. She wasted her life, her life counted for nothing, she looked back… and as we look in more detail, we see her life characterized by actions which we should not follow. So the key is in understanding the effect in which her life can have on us, should we read her story, and not only her story, but Lot’s and not go the path they did. You have Abraham’s example, and you have Lot’s example, both with similar starting points, but both with vastly different outcomes, fruits if you will. Lot’s kids were Ammon and Moab, an ungodly wicked nation who opposed God, Abraham’s seed was Jesus Christ. That should be a warning in itself.
The Bible is a pillar for your life. And within the Bible, Lot’s wife serves as a pillar, an unchanging monument to the danger of wasting your life, by not making your life really count, by spending your life in this world and at the end having nothing. She serves as an eternal reminder to the folly of disobeying God’s word, of loving the world, of hearing truth but turning back to the world. Realizing these truths for yourself will “salt” your life up, that’s for sure, it’ll give you the right focus, it’ll give you the right emphasis. It’ll make you not want to make the mistakes she did, to not busy yourself as she did in Sodom. Does your life need salt? Does it need flavor, does it need meaning, does it need relevance? The Bible says not to waste time… but the redeem the time, to walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. It’s easy to get entangled with things that don’t matter, things of no value, and have nothing to show for it.
God finally got Lot out of Sodom. It took a bit to get him to leave, and so we can become so entrenched in sin and error, that we are almost impossible dislodge from the road we are on. Try dislodging an unsaved person from the road they’re on, it’s hard, and infact impossible for us. Try dislodging a saved person from the error of their way, and many times, they will reject you, unless they truly do put God’s word first. Unless God draws, and God softens, they will not, that cannot hear, they cannot see. Comparing Lot to Abram (who later became Abraham)… and we see so many crucial differences. Lot didn’t have fellowship with God like Abram did. Lot didn’t have godly priorities like Abram did. Lot didn’t know the will of God like Abram did. Lot didn’t hear God’s voice like Abram did. Lot protested, Abram obeyed. Lot didn’t get on with Abram in the end because of the strife their herdmen had… and this is why many Christians part ways today, because some want to go the way of the Spirit of God, while others want to go the way of the world. Abram pitched his tent in this world, because this world wasn’t his home, but Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, and next we know is he was living in Sodom. It’s a tribute to the progressive steps the devil takes in our lives, he might not take all at once, but little by little he gains ground on us. Abram put God first, at cost to himself, while Lot put his cattle ahead of seeking and obeying God.
We don’t actually know that much about Lot’s wife, we don’t even know her name. And perhaps that is because she is representative of so many people who follow in her footsteps today. Nameless, not making a dent in this life. Waste. In fact only useful for as a warning to others. How often we become causalities whose only purpose is, “don’t do what I did”, rather than leaving a legacy of obeying God. Life is a pretty great gift from God, so is the freedom and freewill to choose to do right. But we can spend it in such different ways, and misspend it in most cases. But sure, it looks like she had “a life”. In fact, she was absent when Lot hosted the angels that had come to get him out of Sodom. Perhaps she was too busy to be a keeper at home, perhaps she was so invested in Sodom’s nightlife and her friends to tend to her wifely duties. Too busy to care for God, for what was right. Was she even saved? We don’t know, but her absence is telling. Lot’s wife was married to… Lot. It might sound a stupidly obvious statement, but look at who she was married to. She was married to a man who compromised on his walk with God. You look at the character and decisions of Lot’s life, and that’s what she was married to. You better be careful who and what things you marry yourself to, be it sin, be it the wrong causes, be it the wrong motives, be it the wrong life, be it disobedience to God’s word, be it to mammon… it might just be a bad partnership that drags you down… and ends up costing YOU. If your life isn’t founded upon God, and his word, ALONE, you might just find yourself ending up like Lot’s wife. There is nothing that should come before God and his word. But we tend to look at Bible examples, and think it applies to everyone else, but no, it applies to each of us.
One of the most important things to learning from Lot’s wife are the big words… judgement and wrath of God. She did not live with God’s judgement as her perspective. She was unaware of it, and didn’t really care for it. Having that fear of God, and that fearful viewpoint will change your life. Judgement was coming and she didn’t know it, and when she knew it, she didn’t believe it, it didn’t change her life. By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. She didn’t even realize how blessed she was to be saved, after all she was only saved for Lot’s sake, by all rights she would have been part of the city that was obliterated by fire and brimstone. God was merciful to Lot… and so she got to escape. It is worth going even further in realizing it was initially because of Abram’s intercession as well that God would spare what rightfully should be destroyed. So often, unbelievers, they love their life and hate Christians and despise God’s word, yet the prayers and intercession of saved people is what is sparing their life to date. They breathe on the fumes of grace and use that breath to deny God. You’d think she was thankful to be warned, and to escape God’s righteous judgement, and would’ve got out in a hurry, and in fact been at the front of the escaping party… but was she thankful to get out there? No, she was unwillingly following behind Lot, and she looked back, disobeying God in the process. We get so caught up in this life here, our minds so warped by sin and disobedience that our priorities, our world view, how we live, becomes so messed up. Judgement is coming to this world today, and living with that perspective will give you a heart for God and a heart for others. It will change what’s important to you. It will make you want to escape a life of sin, a life of rebellion, and not live a life that does not count at all. There are so many people occupied with the affairs of this life, and it’s ok to have a family, job and do stuff, but we must never put them before God, or lose the perspective of fearing and obeying God… and realizing that all we physically see has an expiry date and what really matters is being found right with God, and obedient to God.
Lot’s wife didn’t have faith in God. God said don’t look back, but she did. Disobedience to God’s word will ruin your life, as it finally caught up with Lot’s wife. Do you want to escape the judgement and wrath of God? Lot’s wife nearly escaped, but she also became a casualty, even outside the city. Why is that? Because although she was physically removed from Sodom, spiritually she was still very much in Sodom. Lot had integrated his family there, and she had well and truly integrated in. If Lot knew better, then it was a very foolish, negligent husbanding. Maybe he was able to keep some separation, but she wasn’t. He was a stumbling block to his own family. And his lineage was cursed because of decisions he made that would set on fire the course of his future generations. Fathers have a great responsibility before God to lead their home in righteousness and holiness. You won’t achieve that by moving to Sodom, by becoming part of Sodom and it’s deeds. And sure, there are many Christians who love being in the world, and cite scripture as justification, but there’s a big difference between being in the world and not of it. Many Christians in the world, are actually of the world, they don’t bring the world to God’s standard… and look at Lot, he was a judge of Sodom… but they instead go down to Sodom’s standard. Sin is like leaven, it permeates the whole thing. Lot offered his virgin daughters to the Sodomite mob, how sick can you be, how far gone can things get to be before you will wake up. Not only that, but by the end, Lot couldn’t imagine living a life like Abram did, in the mountains, he wanted his city life. Watch how involved you get in sin, you just might not be able to imagine a future without it by the time you’re through.
Lot’s wife was a spectator, there is nothing to show that she showed any commitment or will of her own to find out God’s will or to obey God’s word. She was just being dragged along, nothing of it was of her own accord. Don’t take a backseat to your own salvation, or a backseat to what happens with your own soul. The battle is on, the time is now, today is the day. There is no time for apathy, and for putting off what needs to be dealt with now. There was urgency to get out the city, but she wasn’t urgent. The immediacy of the Lord’s return and the Lord’s judgement should be a guiding light for you, but for Lot’s wife, there were far more pressing issues. You can’t rely on other people’s salvation, as she did. We are all individually accountable. She was getting saved on Lot’s account. But that didn’t have the effect of converting her, because she wanted to stay in Sodom. She was more interested in what was happening in Sodom, than the path of obeying God. We see the narrow road, and most prefer that enticing broad road that leads to destruction. Our life finds us out, just as hers did. Where was her heart really? In Sodom. If you get saved, God will take you out of Sodom, he will take your heart out of this world, and knit your heart with Christ, as Jonathan’s was with David. You can’t be saved and unchanged. She was saved, but unchanged, and that isn’t really being saved. Stop coat tailing someone else, get your own relationship with God because following others wont save you. You will stand before God alone. Be sure your sin will find you out. Maybe she thought noone else saw her look back, but God did.
Jesus Christ said, no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Lot’s wife however, looked back. How many people have heard God’s word, yet turned from it? What a warning today. God’s word is saving you from judgement, yet you look back, yet you turn back. Looking back shows that your heart hasn’t changed. How can you go from saved back to the things of the world? There are so many people who have heard the gospel, who have all the chance in the world, yet it doesn’t get it done for them. There is no other way to heaven bar through Jesus Christ, to whom else, to what else, will you turn? It is foolishness to turn away from truth, to turn away from God’s word. Like there’s something else in life more important.
Lot’s wife was being saved from destruction, yet she looked back. She disobeyed God’s command, she wasn’t even with Lot, but trailing behind, unwilling, uncertain, unconvinced. There are things in life that prevent us from obeying God. Her love of Sodom stopped her. It’s amazing how certain things, vices, or interests, or something we like doing, will stop us from being saved. Ask yourself this? What is worth going to hell over? Is social acceptance and validation worth going to hell over? Is financial success worth going to hell over? Are they worth ruining your life for? God wants you to get out of things, but Lot and his wife wanted to get IN those things. They wanted IN Sodom, and after God got them out, she wanted back in again. Maybe she truly doubted God’s word, and I suspect this is true as well, because she looked back probably expecting to see the city still there and be like… why on earth are we leaving the good life for this? God wants you separated from sin… but right now it looks like, when you look back, that sin has a pretty good payoff. People sin and get by and have fun in it, meanwhile you have a crummy existence for obeying God. I’m sure Lot’s wife thought that the moment before she became a pillar of salt. Is it really worth prostituting a walk with God for this world. Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt. You should read her story today and not repeat her mistakes, as this world we are in today very much resembles the days of Lot… and we know that the Lord’s return is imminent. Sodom’s cry was great against God, that was the fact, what on earth was Lot and his family doing in the city? You can go to the same site thousands of years later, and still see it was not worth it being there, and definitely not worth looking back at.