THE PILLAR OF SALT
Approximately 1,400 years after the events described in Genesis 19:26 took place, Jesus insisted to all His listeners to “remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32).
If we look at our background in Genesis 19, Lot and his wife and two unmarried daughters were specifically given the instruction to flee and not look back. Lot’s wife disobeyed: she looked behind as they fled and judgment came upon her and she became a pillar of salt.
Josephus, a Jewish historian in the first century confirms that he saw in his day the pillar of salt. Irenaeus, an early Church Father in the 2nd century likewise affirms the existence of such matter and so is Clement of Rome.
Without a doubt, Lot’s wife is one of the few privileged persons at that time: she is married to a man (Lot) whose family is the only family on earth who is serving the one, true God. She knew her husband’s uncle – Abraham – and heard stories about him and his incredible faith. Her husband, despite of his many failures and compromises, is considered as a righteous man in the Bible (2Peter 2:6-8).
You see it’s not your failures that defines you; it’s how you fought back and make things right after the initial set-back.
Even though she is connected to Abraham in a sense, this does not save her. Your connections do not save you; your riches and your friends cannot save you. Only faith in Jesus saves you.
Although she learned about God from her husband and from her husband’s uncle, it did not benefitted her. Just like many people today; they claim that they are believers, they claim that they know God, and yet failed to act on that knowledge.
Knowing the Word of God is one thing; obeying what the Word of God says is another.
As she has been briefed hastily about Sodom and Gomorrah’s impending destruction, she knew that judgment will soon come (2Corinthians 5:10). She was given every available opportunity to repent and change and be saved; and yet, she wasted those chances. She thought God was bluffing. So she looked back; perhaps God will not do what He said He will do to Sodom and Gomorrah. Moreover, she was focused on all the wrong things. This I believe is the reason why each one of us, at certain times, find it difficult to overcome and move on: we are looking back at what we’ve lost, at what we’ve miss when in fact God is putting something better before us. In the case of Lot’s wife, she was looking back at a lost way of life, lost income, lost opportunities, and lost relationships.
Just like many believers today, she is only a believer in words (lip service) but not in the heart. Yes, she was out of Sodom but her heart is still there. God knows our hearts and will judge us accordingly.
However, God’s grace is available today if you will come to Jesus. There is hope if you will only respond to His call in the right way. There is salvation for all who will come to Him by faith.