Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. (Luke 17:28-32)
Remember Lot’s Wife
The Pharisees were a religious sect of the Jews that constantly sought to trap Jesus in His words. Preaching the message of the coming kingdom, Jesus confronted the leaders of Israel with His authoritative rebuke of their hypocrisy, unrighteousness and narrow view of scripture. They in turn tried to find ways to turn the hearts of the people away from Jesus for they feared they would lose their place among the people and the Romans. Jesus was not to be swayed by their selfish tactics and was unafraid to boldly challenge them. After healing ten men of leprosy, the Pharisees came to Jesus and asked when the kingdom of God would come. The Lord knew their purpose and boldly proclaimed the truth that had long been known among men that the day of the Lord does not come with warning and there would be no signs of the impending doom. Many will not be ready when the Lord brings judgment. Jesus uses two powerful stories from the Old Testament to illustrate the condition of unprepared men and through these stories warn those who feel justified in themselves. The first story comes from the days of Noah when God destroyed all mankind save eight in the terrible flood. It is in the second story that Jesus offers an insight into the soul of man that every opportunity is given for men to know the truth and they turn away from God and His blessings.
Abraham was one of the great men of faith in the Old Testament. He became the father of the nation of Israel and symbol of all the blessings of God. In the family of Abraham there was a nephew named Lot that traveled with Abraham when he left his home in Ur. Every place that Abraham journeyed the family of Lot went. Lot was married and would have two daughters. As the tribe of Abraham settled in the land of Bethel trouble arose between the herdsmen of Lot and his uncle. There was not enough land to support them because their possessions were so great. Abraham allowed Lot to choose the best land for his flocks while he dwelt in the land of Canaan. The trouble for Lot came when he pitched his tent toward the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah where he time he moved his family and began dwelling among the unrighteous. Then the day came when the Lord would destroy the cities and came to rescue the nephew of Abraham. It was not an easy task to get Lot and his family to leave Sodom. Finally after much urging, the angels took Lot and his wife along with two daughters by the hand and led them out of the city. They were instructed to flee to the mountains and not to look back. As the family fled away it was the wife of Lot that could not bear to turn away from her home and disregarding the clear command of the Lord turned back. God struck her dead turning her into a pillar of salt. Lot and his daughters fled to the mountains. Jesus uses this one act by Lot’s wife to warn the Pharisees their wicked hearts would not save them when judgment came.
Lot’s wife was blessed among women to be in the company of Abraham and Sarah. Spending time with these great people of faith should have impacted her in many positive ways but somewhere Lot’s wife failed to appreciate the value of her family. She was married to a righteous man. It vexed the soul of Lot daily for the wickedness of Sodom. She was blessed to be in the company of good and righteous people much of her life but seemed to gravitate toward the trappings of Sodom. The providence of God was clearly evident in the two men who came to visit them in Sodom. They were the messengers of God who blinded all those who sought to storm the house of Lot. She saw the love of God in sending the angels to deliver them and this should have spurned her heart to greater devotion. The angels told her what would happen to Sodom and she should have known the righteous judgment of the Lord upon those wicked cities was the right thing to do. The destruction of the cities did not come as a surprise to her. After a long night of disagreement she was taken out of the city and was running away when she disobeyed God. She was leaving but turned around. How sad. It was but a short distance to safety but she was lost because her obedience did not find itself in keeping the commands of the Lord. There may have been good reasons for this woman to look back at her home but the Lord had prohibited it and would not tolerate disobedience. She lost her life because of selfish reasons. What is the greater tragedy is that she disobeyed one time and turned into a pillar of salt. Her heart was evil and her life was taken. Finally, she was going in the right direction and still lost her life. Obedience is not a partial responsibility that one can almost accomplish. True obedience is always full obedience. Half-hearted religion is no religion at all. Lot’s wife is a powerful testimony to the grace, mercy, love, wrath and punishment of God among those people who do not obey His word. Remember Lot’s wife.