Name: Name unknown, but she was Lot’s wife
Her Character: Lot’s wife is believed to have been a woman who enjoyed the luxuries and pleasures having a rich husband afforded her.
Her Sorrow: Lot’s wife did not want to leave her home. When she looked back, she was turned into a pillar of salt.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 19:26; Luke 17:32
Sharing the story of Lot’s wife seemed fitting with this issue’s theme of staying focused and pressing on. The instinct and impulse to look back is human, but we see from her story the negative impact looking back can have.
The story picks up after Lot separated from his extended family and settled his immediate family in Sodom, where Lot became a city official. The family was wealthy, so Lot’s wife had a luxurious and gay life. According to scripture, Lot was visited by two angels who warned him to flee the city or be destroyed. When Lot and part of his family (wife and two unmarried daughters) reluctantly (the angels had to lead them out) left the town, they were told to not look back. Lot’s wife, however, looked back and became a pillar of salt.
The story of Lot’s wife is often told as a cautionary tale on the dangers of looking back. In Luke 17:32, Lot’s wife is mentioned by Christ. Christ told His disciples to, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Prior to these words, He had been speaking of Sodom and how they (the inhabitants) ate, drank, bought, sold, and planted, but fire and brimstone were rained upon the city destroying all.
We do not know much about Lot’s wife. We do not know her name. We do not know where she came from. We do not know her family, her race, or her character. We can get a glimpse of her nature through her story in the Bible. Her story is one of the most well-known and taught stories. Quite simply, she is known as the woman who looked back.
Do we know why Lot’s wife looked back? Did she look back remembering the luxuries and gaiety of her life there? Did she look back thinking about her two married daughters (who stayed with their husbands) still in the city? Did she look back because it was home? We simply don’t know.
But, as Christians, we can easily understand Lot’s wife’s impulse to look back. Even though she was living in a city of sin, it was what she knew. It is natural to want to cling to the familiar rather than face an unknown future. It’s easy to look back on the past and remember luxury and glamour, but we often forget the painful aspects of it. Luckily for us, when we do look back, we are not turned into pillars of salt.
Truly, whatever is before is greater than anything we left behind when we started this journey. As we enter the summer months, we challenge you to look toward the future God is leading you to. Do not be a woman who looks back at where God has brought you from with longing. Be a woman who looks toward where God is taking you. In the end, our gift of salvation is more valuable than any material or earthly possessions we have left behind.
Now is the time to stay focused and press toward the mark.