Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"What's the Scoop on........Lot's Wife"

In today’s bible study Annie taught on Lot’s wife. For those of you who are familiar with the story, it is a tragic tale.  As I sat down to write this post, 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (NLT) came to mind “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work”.  As we study this passage we want to keep in mind that God wants to show us what is wrong so we can learn to do right because it is what is best for us.  He does this out of his unfailing love.

The story of Lot’s wife cannot be told apart from the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.   We meet Lot’s wife in Genesis 19 but as far back as Genesis 13 the bible speaks of the wickedness of those places, going back to the time that Lot actually settled in Sodom after he and Abraham went their separate ways.

Genesis 19 recounts the events that led up to the the destruction of these cities by the Lord and then their actual annihilation.  The chapter opens as Lot is sitting at the city gates of Sodom and two angels, in the form of men, enter the city. As was the custom of the times, Lot opened his home to the travelers. Because of the wickedness of the people of the city these ‘men’ would need safe shelter for the night.  In the late evening the men of the city besiege Lot’s home, demanding that Lot turn out the angels so that the men of Sodom could have sexual relations with them. Immediately following this the angels tell Lot “Get them (Lot’s family) out of here,  because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it" (Genesis 19:12b-13, emphasis mine). “When he (Lot) hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them” (Genesis 19:16, emphasis mine).

Even though Lot hesitated, God was merciful.  Jumping ahead to 2 Peter, God gives us insight into Lot’s spiritual standing…if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)” (2 Peter 2:6-8, emphasis mine).

Things turned out very differently for Lot’s wife.  Going back to the account in Genesis 19,  God rained sulfur down on Sodom and Gomorrah, annihilating all that was there.  “But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26).   In verse 17 the angels had told the family ‘don’t look back’.  The Hebrew word for ‘look’ in this passage means to gaze at or consider.  Based on what we know of God’s mercy and  character, it seems that Lot’s wife did not simply glance back at the destruction of the cities but she looked at them longingly…something God clearly told her not to do. 

This brings me back to 2 Tim. 3:16-17. God wants to teach us to live right. Looking at the example of Lot’s wife, we can learn to live as God wants us to. Annie gave us Luke 17:32-33 “Remember Lot's wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it”. Annie encouraged us to put our trust fully in the Lord. Our identity and security need to be in Him, not in the things of this world.

We can speculate on some of the things Lot’s wife may have looked back upon…..a time of affluence, a position of prestige in her community, or even the family she had lost because they had mocked the warning of the Lord.  This is something we can apply to our lives now.  Some of the things that we may look back upon longingly  in our own lives…when our children were young, when we were unencumbered by the responsibilities of life,  our lives before we really knew Jesus, when we were single (if we are married),  when we were married  or in a relationship (if we are now single),  or even a closed door in ministry.

Whatever our personal ‘Sodom and Gomorrahs’  are, God does not want us to look back.  Not that what we are looking back upon is necessarily evil, but it is not what is best for us at this season of our lives. Annie reminded us of a point that Kelly Minter had made in our summer bible study, “No Other Gods”.  Kelly taught that if God is asking us to give up something dear to us it is because He wants to replace it with something so much better.  Tragically, Lot’s wife never found out what the ‘so much better’ the Lord had meant for her was.   My prayer is that we would all learn from her example.

I know there are times
your dreams turn to dust
you wonder as you cry
why it has to hurt so much
give Me all your sadness
someday you will know the reason why
with a child-like heart
simply put your hope in Me

Take My hand and walk where I lead

keep your eyes on Me alone
don't you say why were the old days' better
just because you're scared of the unknown
take My hand and walk”

From “Take My Hand” by the Kry

1 comment:

  1. A frightening reality! God means business! I loved what you said when you reminded us that our identity and security rests with God himself.
    I'm overwhelmed in knowing that the very creator of the universe shields me.
    Thank you sister Annie.
    Continued blessings...