“And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” – GENESIS 19:17, 26 (KJV)
Just a couple of days before the events in the above passage unfolded, God was angry with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their many grievous iniquities and he had decided to wipe out the entire city with fire and brimstone.
God had made his intention known to his faithful servant Abraham, who then pleaded with God to spare the entire city if there were ten righteous men within. God made a promise to Abraham that he would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if he could find up to ten righteous people within the city. It was quite a hilarious dialogue Between God and Abraham – a truly faithful servant I must tell you, but in the end they both came to that agreement.
But why was Abraham so concerned about the city of Sodom and Gomorrah? After all, he wasn’t living in the City.
The reason was because he had relatives there.
Lot was Abraham’s Nephew. He initially followed Abraham on his journey when God called Abraham to leave his father’s town and go to a place that has been prepared for him and his descendants. Along the way though, Lot and Abraham were separated after tension began to escalate between both of their workmen.
Lot and his family relocated to the city of Sodom and it turned out that the city was a very corrupt one. So evil were the people of Sodom and Gomorrah that God decided to destroy the whole city.
Meanwhile Lot was a man that had the fear of God in him, and Abraham obviously concerned about the safety of his Nephew and his family, succeeded in his plea for God to spare the entire city of Sodom and Gomorrah if he could find just ten good people in the city. He was pretty much convinced that in a city as large as Sodom and Gomorrah, surely there would be at least ten people who had the fear of God in them.
God sent two Angels to Sodom, and on getting there, they discovered that with the exception of Lot (Abraham’s Nephew), there was not a single person in the whole city that had the fear of God, so God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah after all.
However, the angels of the Lord were going to save Lot and his family from the destruction. They instructed Lot to take his wife and two daughters to a particular place called ZOAR.
Lot and his family were guaranteed safety there. All they were required to do was to obey a simple instruction given to them by the angels – “Do not look back”.
Sounds like a really easy thing to do right? But guess what… Someone disobeyed.
As Lot and his family were moving – already safe from the the fire and brimstone raining behind them, his wife looked back and she instantly became a pillar of salt.
(Deep Breath)… Why did Lot’s wife look back?
The first few times I read this story, I kept asking myself the same question over and over again, and I just couldn’t fathom or understand her decision to disobey an instruction given to them by angels of the Lord.
I mean, if the angels had given them a very difficult instruction – say like, “make sure you walk on only one foot.”, It would be easier for me to understand but it wasn’t anything like that, rather It was a clear and simple instruction not to look back.
Many who have read or just heard about this story are often quick to point a judgemental finger at Lot’s wife, tagging her “the disobedient woman”. Some would say, “that serves her right, she got what she deserved for disobeying the Lord’s command”.
The truth of the matter remains that only her really knew for sure why she decided to look back but I have a few theories of mine.
She was either distracted by the loud noise from the Chaos that was unfolding behind them or She had probably became very fond of the City that she wanted to picture it for one last time. Obviously, it is not that easy to leave a place you have called home for a very long time, where you have found Comfort, you have made so many friends and you are probably enjoying every single bit of your time there. Change can indeed be difficult after all.
But are all of these good enough reasons for someone to risk her life over? I don’t think so. My personal conclusion is that she didn’t think the punishment for disobedience would be very severe if there was going to be any but unfortunately for her, it was.
Also it is important the readers know that Lot was the only one who had the fear of God in him here. His wife and Daughters didn’t necessarily fear God. They have lived in Sodom for a very long time, his two daughters were probably born there and it was very likely that they were influenced by the sinful culture of Sodom. They were just being saved because of Lot in the same way the men who were engaged to marry Lot’s daughters would have been saved, had they taken Lot’s warning seriously. So there is a very high chance that Lot’s wife was an unbeliever like the many others who perished on that day, so i see why most readers might be tempted to say she deserved what she got.
But hold on a second, if we are to be honest with ourselves and read a deeper meaning into this story, especially as it could relate to us and our salvation, we would realize that many of us are exactly like Lot’s wife.
Yes! How many times have we confessed our sins to God and promised not to go back to doing those things which we know are wrong before him, and yet we went back?
How many times have we repented, went back to sin, repented again, and went back to sin again? The circle never seems to end really.
The other day, i watched a 30 seconds video clip of a young man who was lamenting that he doesn’t know why he keeps falling back to sin even after he had become born again.
There are many people who have been born again 50 times, and have fallen back 50 times. Being born again (accepting Christ) is actually the easy part, staying born again is the hard part.
I remember a long time ago, I went to a particular Church after being invited by a friend, and the sermon that day was a very powerful one that really moved me.
Later on, when prayer was going on, the Pastor made an announcement that whoever wanted to be born again should come out, so he’d pray for them and they shall receive the Holy Ghost.
Well, I came out and was directed to another Pastor, a lady who laid hands on me and was praying for me. I was praying along because sincerely within me, I truly wanted to be born again.
At one point during the prayer, she started speaking in tongues and asked me to join her (in speaking in tongues)… I just looked at her like; “SAY WHAT NOW?”
Any ways, I supposedly became ‘born again’ that day, but after one or two weeks I was fully back to my sin filled lifestyle. This was a very long time ago by the way, during my days in the ‘wilderness’ of confusion.
You can make whatever you want out of my story, However the truth of the matter is that, it is not easy to stay faithful to God’s word. Sin has a strong aura (especially if you have been rooted in it for a very long time) we become comfortable in it and it takes the spirit of God to overcome the temptation and urge to fall back to sin. Believe me when i tell you that we simply cannot get rid of our sinful habits on our own.
There are many Christians who struggle with the temptation of sin daily. Matter of fact, we all do – even your Pastors, Priests and Church Leaders do. Anybody who tells you otherwise is a systematic lair. The difference is that at a point, some overcome, while others fall.
Sometimes I imagine what it would have been like if every time we commit sin, it would show on our faces like a projection. I mean, just imagine walking down the road and everyone around is able to see the evil things you do in secret.
Man! that would be crazily awkward for many “born again” Christians. Even some so-called men and women of God won’t be spared. I am telling you, a lot of Churches would close down.
What keeps us from falling most times is the root we have in the word of God (Scriptures) and the Holy Spirit who directs us. However, we know that not everybody possesses these and even if we all possess them, they don’t exactly change the sinful nature of mankind, do they?
In the end, we all need the grace of God.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)
Do not get a wrong impression out of the above verse though. Anyone who depends solely on grace is deceiving himself. Surely, you can’t just continue wallowing in sin and expect grace to save you, otherwise what is the point of even bothering to live right as the core of the scripture teaches? The grace of God is needed because of our sinful nature as human beings – we are all born into sin.
Life in sin can be so luxurious and we can get so used to it that living any other way would appear like a really difficult task. As illustrated by the story of Lot’s wife, even when we are moving forward on the road to salvation, we can still be tempted to LOOK BACK.
According to scripture, “Resist the Devil and he shall flee from thee”, but from both personal and general experiences, I have seen that what the Devil actually does is that he flees for a while and then waits for us to lower our guard, at which point, he returns again with even more intensity.
This is the reason why we need to be alert at all times. The Devil is the most stubborn creature that has ever existed and resisting him is not a one day job, it is something we should be ready to do every day.
There have been quite a good number of people who started out as devout followers of Christ, but today they will tell you they no longer believe in God, not to talk of identifying as Christians.
I had already been led to write this piece when I came across a man who had been a Pastor for years, then ‘out of the blues’, he just decided that he no longer believes in the existence of God. According to him, He now identifies as an Atheist. He wrote an article giving his reasons why he went from being a Pastor to being an Atheist, obviously with the aim of convincing other Christians’ to follow in his footsteps.
Think about this; if a Pastor can wake up one morning and decide that he no longer believes in God, what about his congregation?
The truth is, we always have a choice as humans. God has given us the gift of freewill, so even after we have heard the word of God, accepted Christ and we are saved, we can still be influenced by the standard of the world and choose to fall back into the world. It has happened to so many.
However, you should bear in mind that just like Lot’s wife got to find out much later, there will be consequences for going against God.
Therefore beloved in Christ, no matter the trials, the temptation and the allure of sin, do not compromise your faith.
During your time of weakness, go on your kneels and ask God for strength. Acknowledge before God that you cannot do it on your own, because the truth is, we can’t do it on our own. We need the Spirit to always give us that extra push.
Also try and be part of a strong Christian community – It could be a Bible study group or a prayer group.
It does help to be around like minds who have burning passion for Christ.
Open up to one another, discuss your challenges, help each other grow in faith because as the body of Christ, we are a family. This is very important because It is easier for the Devil to entrap us when we are isolated.
Jesus already paid the price for our sins and as long as we believe in him with all our heart, thus accepting that payment, we have been saved. All he requires from us now is to continue to move forward spreading his love and ministry until the day we shall cross the finish line – The day we step into eternal glory.
If you have manage to make it to this point on this writeup and you are yet to find Jesus, he is calling on you to seek him with all your heart, for the scripture says, “seek and ye shall find” – (Matthew 7:7) and once you have found him, embark on your journey to salvation with him. I promise you that every step would be worth it.
As for the many around the world who are already on this journey with Christ, i say keep moving forward, you have come this far, Please do not LOOK BACK.
Almighty father, we consider ourselves privileged to be covered by your love, that you sent your only begotten son to come into this world and die for the sins of all mankind, even though we keep proving ourselves to be undeserving.
Lord, we pray for all your disciples around the world, may they continue in decimating the good news to every nook and cranny of the earth. Strengthen us so that we will continue to resist any urge to sin against you. As we have made up our mind to embark on this journey to salvation, Lord may we never look back.
We pray in the name of Jesus, AMEN!
Please do feel free to drop your comments and let us interact. God bless you.