But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt
The verse above comes from a very familiar passage of scripture. It is
part of the Bible story about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and of course, what
happened to Lot's wife as she looked back at the city after being warned not to.
You may wonder, as I did, why she was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back. I
really don't know the answer to that one. I know God commanded Lot's family not to look
back and when she did she suffered the consequences. But as to why He told them not to
look back still remains a mystery which yields much speculation on the part of Bible
student and theologian alike.
Although I don't know the exact "whys" and "what fors" of what
happened to Lot's wife, I believe there is a very powerful lesson very well illustrated
within this familiar passage. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were doomed. God had not
found even ten righteous people within them. The cities were full of wickedness which
means that spiritually they were already dead (For the wages of sin is death. . .Rom.
6:23). But God chose to save out from the city one family. He sent angels to rescue them
from the death that the cities had brought upon themselves. Lot's family was to quickly
leave before they were sucked into the death of these cities as well. As mentioned
already, they were instructed not to look back. Looking back would take their eyes off of
their salvation which lay ahead, and would place their eyes on their death which was to be
left behind. Lot's wife no doubt looked back with a longing for her home in the city, for
what she was leaving behind. Doing so kept her from being able to concentrate on her
future. What she would in essence experience would be lifelessness.
This is not uncommon to us in our Christian walk. We are children of God, called out of
lifelessness and into life (Jn.10:10). We are not to be guided by our past endearments but
by our present salvation. Too many times we find ourselves in a situation that is
difficult or uncomfortable (much like Lot's wife, leaving her home), and we begin to
remember an easier time and wish it could be like that again. In so doing we can't see
where God is wanting to take us because our hearts are stuck in the past.
A good example is when as Christians we remember the passion we had for God when we first
came to know His salvation, then we find ourselves frustrated by our current state and
wishing we could be like we once were. Though the intention is good, this can be very
self-defeating. What we in turn end up doing is sitting around wanting things to be like
they were, when God is wanting to move in our lives where we are.
God never promised that we would remain on our spiritual peaks. He never instructed that
once we have come down, that we are to do everything we can to get back up on top of those
same peaks. Those are the peaks of the past and as such, to dream for something that
cannot be is lifelessness. Because as long as we do, we cannot move forward. There are new
peaks, as well as valleys, for each of us to encounter. We need to stop being the child of
Christian past, and be the child of Christian present because that is where God is at