21 May 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Remember Lot’s wife. 33Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” (Luke 17:32-33: all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
We read of Lot’s wife in Genesis 19, and Jesus found cause to warn us – just as the angels warned Lot’s wife – to turn from a fascination on the things of this world and look to God and His Word for direction. But Lot’s wife looked back to her world among the wicked sinners of Sodom and forgot the counsel of God. Jesus used Lot’s wife as a warning to us. “Remember Lot’s wife!” Do we take that warning any more seriously than did Lot’s wife?
God often cautions us to ‘Remember’ in His Word. It stresses the point of the thing to remember. He stresses us to remember something that we may be prone to forget or fail to heed. “Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth….” (Ecclesiastes 12:1) The fire of youth burns brightly but may get out of control if we do not remember it is God who hath made us and not we ourselves.
Let us examine the account of Lot’s wife in view of its meaning to us today. The quote in our text is the language of our Savior in pointing out the wickedness of the world at His second coming and cites Lot’s wife as a warning to the heedless.
We know the very minimum about Lot’s wife. She had no known family on her own side. She is not named in Scripture (those whose names are not written in the Book of Life have no need of a name.) The rich man before whose gate the beggar Lazarus was laid had no name – none needed in Hell. There is not a single complimentary word recorded about her. She was fascinated with her status in Sodom, her stylish apparel, her wealth, her social life, etc. She could scarcely brood leaving all of that behind even for the salvation of her mortal soul.
Our Lord had good reason to issue the warning to us to remember Lot’s wife.
In looking back in disobedience to God, Lot’s wife yearned for the streets of wickedness in which she had made her home. In doing so, she forfeited fellowship with the righteous in favor of that of the wicked.
Her future course of depravity was sealed when Lot chose the fertile plains over against Sodom and pitched his tent toward that wicked city. She had made her bed among the wicked – and cherished it.
The heart of Lot’s wife was fixed on the things of this world and not on those things above.
She despised the counsel of God. She could not resist the inclination to turn back to look upon the ruination of Sodom in contradiction to the warning of the angels of God.
The monuments of a nation call to the attention of her citizens some hero of greatness who perhaps sacrificed his all for the liberty of the people. But there are also monuments of shame and ruin. That is what Lot’s wife became in looking back to the sins of the past – she became a column of salt. There is some evidence of that very column of salt in the southern edge of the Dead Sea today. For at least two thousand years, the Bedouins and others of Jordan refer to that column as Lot’s wife. She is a monument to the sinful rejection of the counsel of God.
The warning was of no benefit for Lot’s wife for she had made her choice over three thousand years ago. The warning is to you and me. Once we have known the salvation of God, how can we return to the filth of our sins in the past and even long to return to them.
The warning is to all of us. Warnings that are not heeded hardens the heart in the same way that Pharoah’s heart was hardened by the ten plagues of God.
The way of the Lord is ALWAYS the best way, and, in the end, the Way less difficult. Heed the
invitation of our Lord Jesus Christ:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
The Righteousness bears no burden, but sin weighs heavy on the soul. Christ is our Burden-Bearer.