Remember Lot's Wife

Why of all the people in the Bible, did Jesus caution his disciples to "Remember Lot's Wife"? She was foolish, unbelieving, and disobedient--not exactly someone to emulate, but she did give us an example of a sin to avoid. Jesus gave this admonition after being questioned by the Pharisees about when the Kingdom of God would come. He told them that it wouldn't come as a result of their calculations and observations. He said it was already among them. He was that kingdom in the flesh having come to save all men from sin and death so they could inherit that kingdom.

God sent messengers to Lot's family to warn them that their "world" was ending. They finally had to drag Lot, his wife, and two daughters out of the city even as fire was falling out of the sky. Peter tells us that Lot was "distressed" and "tormented" by the evil around him. He had moved his family into this area because he wanted the prosperity made possible by its lush resources. They had that prosperous life and probably a high social position that comes with wealth. Lot was sitting in the gateway of Sodom when the angels arrived. He may have been a member of the ruling elders of Sodom since the gateways of ancient cities were administrative and judicial centers. Lot and his family were quite comfortable. There was nothing happening to indicate this could ever change. When they heard the message of God's judgment, they didn't believe it; they didn't want to believe it.

The Pharisees also didn't want their comfortable life disturbed by the presence of a real Messiah come to claim his kingdom. In spite of miracles, fulfilled prophecy, and the strong rebuke and plain speaking of Jesus, they refused to believe. If Sodom and Gomorrah had received the same warning, they would have repented.

Lot's wife wanted to save her way of life by going back to it. In trying to save her way of life, she lost her physical life. Some Pharisees by trying to save their way of life lost out on a chance for real life, eternal life in Christ. Jesus warned his disciples that going back to and trying to save their old familiar way of life would cost them eternal life. The writer of Hebrews reiterates this warning in different words. Those who have "shared in the Holy Spirit" and fall away or fall back to a former way of life devoid of producing the fruit of the Spirit cannot be brought back to repentance. This is not referring to the "stumbling" we all do in our efforts to walk in The Way, but is a deliberate choice to reject God and His way of life. If you can repent of it, itís not too late.

Paul wrote about his fellow worker Demas who had grown weary with the difficulties of living in a world hostile to the gospel. Since he "loved this world", he deserted Paul. We are warned by John, "Do not love the world or anything in the world." Lot's wife serves as a warning to all that once God rescues us from the coming fiery judgment we must continue to eagerly anticipate the new heaven and earth that God promises the righteous. We are counseled to "live holy and godly lives" and "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." We must not go back to seeking the things the world values. We need to seek God's kingdom daily by seeking God daily. God promises to provide our physical and spiritual needs.

For the scripture reference list and the related bible study, go to Bible Study.

Scarlett Stough

For the scripture reference list and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Perseverance or standing firm to the end.