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Lessons from Lot's Wife


Abram and his nephew Lot left Ur after God told them. Gen. 12:1~4 Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

Abram and Lot parted ways and Lot moved on to Sodom. Gen. 13: 1~13 (6) Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. Note Gen. 13:13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.

God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, Gen. 17:5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.

Gen. 18: 20~33 we see that Abraham intercedes for the righteous in Sodom.
Gen. 18:23~24 And Abraham came near and said, "Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? "Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?
Gen_18:33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

Abraham started out interceding for 50 and went down to 10. Abraham did not consider there could be less than 10 righteous persons in the city, he did not think it necessary to urge his supplication further; he therefore left off his requests, and the Lord departed from him.

Genesis 19 Destruction of Sodom
Lot, the nephew of Abraham lived in Sodom with his wife and daughters. Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom, when two angels came, and Lot invited them to stay with his family. The mob wanted the two men (angels) but Lot tells the mob outside his house in Sodom that he has “two daughters who have not known a man” Gen. 19:8.

The angels warned Lot that God would destroy these cities for its wickedness and that he and his family had to escape. These angels had the commission to take care of Lot and his family; and even the Divine justice of God would not be accomplished till this righteous man and his family had escaped from this place. Gen. 19:22 "Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there." Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

This answers the question in Gen. 18:25. "Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

The two angels warned Lot to leave the city because it was going to be destroyed. The text says: Gen. 19: 14~15 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, "Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!" But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, "Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city."
NOTE: Either Lot had more than two daughters (which the text allows), or Lot’s two virgin daughters were betrothed to men who were called Lot’s sons-in-law before the marriage was consummated.

God’s protection:
The ruin of Sodom was suspended till he was secure. God, bound by His own righteousness and honor, would not bring judgment on Sodom until the righteous people were delivered. What care God does take of His people.

As they fled, the angels warned them, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away” Gen. 19:17.
More examples of God’s protection:

1/ Lord brought flood after evil was so bad – He protected Noah & family
2/ Lord protected Rahab when Jericho fell
3/ Rev. 7:2,3 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."


How is this relevant to us today?

Lot's entire family was double-minded for the angels had to practically drag them out of the cities.
In the same way, we have difficulty leaving and severing ties with the past. We find all kinds of excuses like Felix (Acts 24:22~25) (25) Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you."; to prevent from us from following Jesus Christ and making a break with the past.
Lot and his daughters ran, but his wife lagged behind, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Gen. 19:26). She watched the sulfur fall from the sky, consuming everything she valued, and then it consumed her. The Scriptures don’t say the reason for her death but we can surmise it was a punishment for the value and reluctance to leave her old life.

Lot's wife was taken almost by force out of Sodom. It was not just that Lot’s wife looked back; but in her heart she wanted to go back. She was barely past the city limits and already missing what Sodom and Gomorrah had offered her. As Elder Maxwell once said, such people know they should have their primary residence in Zion, but they still hope to keep a summer cottage in Babylon. Lot’s wife could not tear herself away from the world. When the time came for decision, she betrayed her true character.

We are to hold the world with a loose hand and always be ready to leave it all. The world will be taken by surprise with the sudden judgment of God, and therefore the faithful ought to continually watch.

Consider Christ’s exhortation! “Remember Lot’s wife.” Luke 17:26~36
Luke 17:26, 27 The Lord taught that the days immediately preceding that glorious event would be like the days of Noah. People ate, they drank, they married, and were given in marriage. These things are not wrong; they are normal, legitimate human activities. The evil was that men lived for these things and had no thought or time for God.

17:28-30 Again, the Lord said that the days would be similar to those of Lot. Civilization was more advanced; men not only ate and drank, but they bought, sold, planted and built. It was man's effort to bring in an era of peace and prosperity without God. Those who concentrate on pleasure, self-gratification, and commerce will be destroyed.

17:31,32 God destroyed Lot's wife because her heart remained in the city; though she was out of Sodom, Sodom was not out of her.

17:33 Those caring only for their physical safety, but not caring for his soul, will lose it. On the other hand anyone who loses his life because of faithfulness to the Lord will actually preserve it for all eternity.

17:34-36 The Lord's coming will be a time of separation. One will be taken away in judgment. The other, a believer, will be spared to enter Christ's kingdom.
Two men will be sleeping (night) in one bed. Two women will be grinding (day) together. NOTE: The fact that it will be night in one part of the earth and day in another, as indicated in these verses, displays knowledge unknown to mankind in this time period. As with Lot's wife we often get caught up in the world and all it has to offer. We turn back to look instead of looking to the Saviour.

Principle of behaviour of Lot’s wife.

Principle of Replacement - This process of change is described by the terms Put-Off, Renew, and Put-On. Christians are to Put Off the old sinful way of life, renew their mind with Biblical truth, and Put On the new godly way of life, in this order.

Eph. 4:22-24 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Lot’s wife showed no evidence that she was putting off anything of her former conduct, renewing her mind and putting on new Godly desires. There is not even evidence to support she even had any relationship with the Lord.

Principles of Christian behavior.

A/ Identify the Put-Offs: sinful habits, patterns and tendencies that God wants to change.
Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
Matthew 12:35 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
Colossians 3:9 So putting off the old person is more than putting off old practices.
Colossians 3:8 mentions things that lie beneath and behind practices—like anger and wrath.

B/ Renewal : Rom. 12:1,2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The Scriptures teach that sin begins in the heart and works outward. A change in behavior begins with a change in the heart. It is the heart which rules our actions and behavior.
Each time we choose to replace a sinful desire, motive, attitude or thought with a more biblical one, we are being renewed. God intends for Christians to pursue the Putting On of the biblical alternatives to whatever they are trying to Put Off. These sinful tendencies are patterns of learned ways of living and must be unlearned and replaced with new biblical habits, patterns and tendencies.

This is a process that takes time and the exercise of our will in the power of the Holy Spirit
C/ Identify the Put-Ons: habits and patterns that God wants you to be, do or become.
Change that lasts will not take place until one replaces the bad habit with a godly habit.
Col. 3: 12~17 – list of put ons..
Col. 3:2–3 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
It is not easy to change sinful patterns and habits that have been practiced for years. As we persevere with a desire to please God, eventually the old ways will fade and become less and less dominant in our life.
James 1:21-22 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

- She Was Married To A Righteous Man
Paul warned us about the power of association, saying, "Do not be deceived: 'Evil company corrupts good habits.' (1 Cor. 15:33). Lot's wife went out of the city with him, but only so far.

- She Was Warned Of The Danger

Consider her spiritual punishment:
A. It Was Sudden - When judgement came, it was swift and sure.
B. It Was Serious - The Bible says that she became a pillar of salt. Instantly, the judgement of God fell on her and she perished
C. It Was Settled - For Lot's wife there would be no pardons, no second chances and no hope.
God himself warned Lot and his wife to "Escape for your life" (Gen. 19:17).
Christ also warns us of the danger before us. The apostle Paul foretold the day when the "...when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thess. 1:7b-8).

- She Made An Effort To Be Saved

She nearly escaped. She was lost because her heart was still in Sodom. She was convinced, but not converted. We must all strive to get to heaven. Jesus told a man to "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able" ( Luke 13:23-30).
- She Committed But One Sin
In our day, we have a tendency to minimize and downplay sin and its consequences. Lot's wife may have had a better moral life than others in Sodom. Picture that day of destruction in Sodom. The sun rose as it had before, she had an attractive house, she had friends, and there were no visible signs of danger. Yet, she is told by angels of God that she must leave at once -- even though she had daughters in the city -- she paused, and the pause was a pause of death. She was guilty of the sin of unbelief.

Our continued salvation lies not in the past, but in the present. Lot's wife perished, not because she went back, but because she looked back -- it was a sign of where her real interests were.

Learn a lesson from Lot's wife, but don't learn it the hard way! Let us not look back, but look unto Jesus.

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