The above scripture found in Luke 17: 32 caught my eye in a recent personal Bible study. Prior to then, I had always known about the story of Lot’s wife from the Old Testament, in the Book of Genesis 29: 26. It came somewhat as a surprise to see this scripture in the New Testament and most importantly the fact that it was spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ as a reminder of the errors of Lot’s wife. It then hit me that the Old Testament is truly a foreshadow of the New Testament.
The Lord Jesus reminded us that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the end of times (Matthew 24: 37-39). The question now is what could probably be the reason that Lot’s wife looked back and how can believers of this generation avoid this kind of disaster? It was a disaster for Lot’s wife because when she looked back she became a pillar of salt. She lost her place in the new beginnings that the Lord promised her family.
As I meditated deeply on this admonition of ‘Remember Lot’s wife’ by our Lord Jesus Christ, I asked myself what exactly could have held Lot’s wife in the fascination of a town that God himself had passed a judgement of destruction on? This led me to identify the things that could be hindrances or a setback to our escaping the destruction coming to the disobedient as declared by the Lord. All the reasons for missing one’s destiny in Christ are summarized in the love of the world which includes the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life (1 John 2: 15-17).
The examples of these vices are not limited to the following:-
- Ungodly attachment to material things: The material things we have are to help us make life easier and we should never ever hold them more closely to heart than our relationship with the Lord, otherwise it becomes an idol. Lot’s wife thought about all her stuff – the cooking equipment, the household items, her gold and silver, her jewellery, her lands and all her possession. She was sad that the angel was whisking them out of the land in such a hurry and there was no opportunity to pack her stuff hence her turning back to look at the land with longing despite the severe warning by the angel that they should not dare to look back. Her attachment to her material possession made her disobey that instruction. As believers, we must be ready to walk away from all our acquisition at the drop of the heart. We must never value the things of the world more than the grace and mercy of the Lord. We must truly love the Lord not just in words but in our actions and choices when it comes to being ready to give up on the temporal things of this world in exchange for eternal glories. Abraham was willing to give up his most prized possession, Isaac, for God.
- Attachment to ungodly and unprofitable relationships: This is a major snare in the life of every believer (1 Corinthians 15: 33). The Bible is very clear as to the kind of people we should keep company with. We are admonished to stay away from ungodly people who do not share our values and our reverence for God. It is shocking that Lot’s wife looked back to a land as terrible as Sodom. What or who was there to miss in such a place? The people of the land were so morally bankrupt, which was the reason for God’s decision to destroy the land. As believers, we must make a conscious effort to severe links with people that are injurious to our walk with Christ. Those that will deliberately try to water down our beliefs in the Lord and His word. Those that will not add spiritual value to our lives but rather constantly mock and devalue the things of God. We must not look back longingly to them when the Lord has taken us out of their midst as Lots wife did. We must look forward and unto Jesus only the author and perfecter of our faith trusting him to take us to safe landings (Hebrew 12: 2).
- Pride in ourselves by reason of our achievements or material acquisitions: The worst thing a believer can do is to be proud. He sets himself/herself up for failure automatically because the Lord resists the proud (James 4: 6). One of the reasons Lot’s wife looked back was as a result of pride. When the angel announced their immediate evacuation from Sodom to a new land, that meant they had to start afresh. Lot was doing very well materially from what we can infer from the scriptures. He grew so much in cattle that his herdsmen and Abraham’s own started having squabbles hence the need for their separation (Genesis 13: 5-6). Lot’s wife allowed pride in the ownership of many possessions cost her a glorious destiny. She looked back because she was sad about leaving Sodom and starting from ground zero. The pride in the fact that she was a wealthy man’s spouse, having to go and begin life in a humble way was too much sacrifice for her.
In summary, we believers today may easily say, ‘Lord, I can never be like Lots wife”, but let’s sincerely ask ourselves whether we can we let go of everything we have for the kingdom’s sake? We must live with the realisation that every material thing we own, the relationships we tend to value more than the Lord and the pride in who we are or our qualifications or achievements are of no value in the event of death or the rapture of the saints (Job 1: 21, 1 Tim 6: 7, and Mark 13: 32).
May the Lord have mercy on us all and help us to look up to Him and Him alone and press on towards perfection in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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