Many years ago, before we were Christian, we obtained a holiday facility on the Berg River near Velddrift in the then Boland, now Western Cape. It was a lovely, restful place for a break-away … which at that time was almost every weekend. Then we became Christian and weekend activities changed from being down at the river to being with the Lord’s people in Church. Because the “river” was related to the “before Christ” days, we sold up. We did not need to, but because our focus changed we made the change.
About 20 or 25 years ago I looked back on what we had and thought it would have been nice if we kept our holiday place. At that time I was going through the Book of Luke and came across …
Lk 17:28 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
30 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”
It was as if the Lord was speaking to me alone … “Remember Lot’s wife” … immediately the Lord convicted me of my sin to reflect upon what we had “lost” (the holiday place) and refocus on what we had gained (Jesus and heaven). Now we are still dealing with Lot and come to …
Ge 19:26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
The reason I was convicted as I looked back was the fact that the holiday place at the river was not a healthy place for a Christian to be. The attractions and offering there were decidedly not conducive to Christian morals and ethics. Looking back is like lusting after the past life. That was Mrs Lot! Listen to the angels:
Gen 19:17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain!”
“Don’t look back! … Remember Lot’s wife!” She looked back … at her beloved Sodom. That was her life. Her friends, her entertainment, her joy, her happiness … yes … her life. She was totally part of Sodom and its debauched ways. I’m not saying she was as sexually immoral as the rest were … I’m saying the secular, materialistic, entertaining ways of Sodom were her ways. She lived for that. That was her.
As they were fleeing, she heard the noise of the burning sulfur falling from heaven, hitting the city, the houses, the people … she heard the screaming and cursing and pleading. It was agonizing … her life was being destroyed. She would never be part of that again. Even if she thought she’d visit once these men (angels) have gone … it would not happened. “Lot’s wife looked back”! She disobeyed and she was punished on the spot!
“She became a pillar of salt.” I know it does not say it specifically … but how did Lot’s wife turn into a pillar of salt? Is there more to “Lot’s wife looked back”? After the burning sulfur engulfed and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, what did they become? Perhaps boulders of salt? Did Mrs Lot perhaps slow down, turning around, turning back as she looked back? Did the rivers of burning sulfur reach her, burn her, turning her into a pillar of salt? The Bible is quiet and one could only speculate, but her sin caught her out and wrath fell immediately! How devastating for Lot and his daughters. One cannot dismiss our Lord’s Words in Luke 17.
Remember before these angels visited Sodom there were three persons visiting Abram. One identified Himself as the Lord (see Genesis 18:22). This would have been the Pre-Incarnate Christ. This means our Lord Jesus knew and understood the complete account of the Lot family and wrath falling and destroying those cities and the plain.
So when He said, “It was the same in the days of Lot” (Lk 17:28), He spoke with absolute knowledge, and when He said, “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed” (Lk 17:30), speaking about His Second Coming and the Day of Judgment, He is issuing a serious warning because as with Sodom, so it will be for this planet. Total destruction with only those in the security of the Lord’s Blood covering secured for eternity with Him.
In between Luke 17 verse 31 … no time to collect possessions from the house and the field … and verses 33-35 … no time to reconsider your life’s choices about eternity for only the saved will enter Glory … Jesus warns in verse 32 … Remember Lot’s wife! Surely, as all Scripture is God’s Word for His people, we need to lift our ears giving solemn attention for Jesus is speaking to all of us! Only what you do in the flesh before Jesus returns will hold value for eternity. Thereafter, it is too late to make changes.
Some teach that there will be a second opportunity to change your mind after death and follow Jesus. No! It’s too late. Others teach there will be a purification period in what they call “purgatory” before heaven. No! The Bible never says that. Still others teach that God is loving and will never send anyone to hell. No! If that were so, there would be no reason for Jesus’ coming to this planet. Where the Gospel net’s intention is to catch many, the Gospel call is personal and individual. Consider the urgency of the writer to the Hebrews:
Heb 3:15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
Heb 4:7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Don’t leave your soul’s fate until tomorrow when you can obtain security for it today through repentance and faith. If …
Heb 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”
… what He did to Sodom and Gomorrah and the plains he will do to this planet as He promised. There is no time to wait or to look back. Remember Lot’s wife? Today is the day of salvation.
O Lord our God, help us to be totally certain we have surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus through confession of sin, repentance and faith so that we will not be caught off guard when that Dreadful Day of the Lord arrives. Give us an evangelistic heart and urgency to tell others to … remember Lot’s wife. We pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.