REMEMBERING LOT’S WIFE (Genesis 19:1-26 Luke 17:32)
Genesis 19:1-26 (NKJV)
1 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. 2 And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”
And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”
3 But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
4 Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house.
5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”
6 So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! 8 See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”
9 And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.
Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed
12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”
14 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.
15 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.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he[a] said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”
18 Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords! 19 Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. 20 See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”
21 And he said to him, “See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.”
Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
Luke 17:32 (NKJV) Jesus said – 32 Remember Lot’s wife.
In the Luke 17 passage, Jesus has just been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God will come. His answer is to warn them to be ready for the coming of the kingdom is like the flash of lightning that instantly lights the sky. It is compared to the coming of the flood in Noah’s day, and to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot’s day. Those who hear are warned to be ready to go when the Lord comes, and they are warned against turning back for anything. Then, in the midst of His teaching, the Lord tells those listening to Him that they should “remember Lot’s wife.”
Nowhere in the Bible are we told to remember Abraham, Isaac or Jacob. We are not commanded to remember Ruth or Rahab, David or Joshua, but we are commanded to remember Lot’s wife!
We are told to awaken our sluggish memories and look back to the death of one soul who passed through this world, lived in sin and died in sin. We are told to remember Lot’s wife. What is there to remember? She was married to Lot and she lived in Sodom. Before God’s judgment came on Sodom and Gomorrah she, along with her husband and two unmarried daughters were forced from the city. They were all commanded not to look behind them as they fled, but she disobeyed and was instantly judged, killed and transformed into a pillar of salt. That is what we know, but when we study her story, we can learn even more about her, how she lived and why she died like she did.
Evidently, there are some lessons that can be learned from Lot’s wife. Our assignment from the Lord is that we remember her. Therefore, in keeping with the Lord’s command, I want to preach for a while this morning on the thought, Remembering Lot’s Wife.
Let me just say that there is a message here for both saint and sinners. There is a word here for both the saved and the lost. There is a word from God for your heart in Remembering Lot’s Wife.
I want to consider Lot’s Wife and her spiritual condition this morning. There are three areas of her spiritual life that need to be remembered this morning.
I. CONSIDER HER SPIRITUAL PRIVILEGES
A. She Was Privileged In Her Relationships – She was privileged to be married into the only family on the earth that was serving the one true God.
1. She Saw The Clear Faith Of Abraham – This man Abraham, who was called “the Friend of God”, James 2:23, was her husbands uncle! She had witnessed his dedication to the Lord. She had seen his altars and his worship. She had seen him operate in the power of God and deliver her husband from sure death in Gen. 14. She was privileged to be associated with one of the greatest godly men who ever walked this planet!
2. She Saw The Cloudy Faith Of Lot – Ill. Lot was a man of many spiritual failures. His story is found in Genesis 13:9-13; 14:12. He traded his tent for a townhouse! In spite of his failures, the Bible calls Lot a righteous man, 2 Pet. 2:6-8. His wife could have benefitted from his faith, but she failed to do so!
(Ill. One’s relationships do not save. Faith in Jesus Christ alone saves souls!)
(Ill. The responsibility of parents, especially fathers to set the right example.)
B. She Was Privileged In Her Revelations – Because of her relationship with Lot and Abraham, she learned a few things about God.
1. She Was Acquainted With Deity – She certainly knew who God was and how one approaches Him. She had learned this from her husband and his uncle Abraham. Yet, she never followed through with it.
(Ill. How many sit in church and know Who God is and how to come to Him, but they fail to act on what they know?
Friends, it has to move from the head to the heart before it can save your soul. Knowing John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9; 10:13 is one thing. Acting on them is what saves the soul!)
2. She Was Aware Of The Destruction – God had even graced her by sending angels to warn her and her family of the impending doom and destruction, Gen. 19:1-13. Still, she refused to flee from the wrath of God, Gen. 19:16. Ill. 19:26, “from behind him” carries the idea that she was lagging far behind the others. She knew, but it didn’t phase her!
(Ill. How many here today know of the judgment that is coming and still they do not flee to Jesus for refuge? Everyone know, how many have run to Him for shelter? Only a fool walks into Hell with his eyes open to its reality and closed to God’s proximity!)
C. She Was Privileged In Her Responsibility – Here is a woman who knew the facts and was given every opportunity to act upon them. She was given the chance to change, the chance to believe, the change to be saved. Yet, she squandered those chances and died without God.
(Ill. The privilege of conviction! When God calls, it isn’t to harm you, but it is to remind you that He loves you and wants to save you by His grace, John 6:44; John 6:65 Hallelujah!)
II. CONSIDER HER SPIRITUAL PROBLEMS
(Ill. For thousands of years men have wondered why this woman looked back. There are three spiritual problems that Lot’s wife had in here life. These are revealed in this passage and they answer this answer this question.)
A. A Problem With Her Faith – Disbelief – She looked back because she did not believe that God would do what He said He would do! She thought He was bluffing!
(Ill. Lost people still make the same gamble today! Friends, He isn’t bluffing! Just ask the Rich Man of Luke 16:19-31. Just ask Judas Iscariot! There is a Hell and you will go there if you do not come to Jesus Christ for salvation! There is chastisement for the child of God who chooses sin over the will of God, Heb. 12:6-11. God isn’t bluffing! Sin is a hard taskmaster, Pro. 13:15.)
B. A Problem With Her Face – Disobedience – She, along with all the others, had been commanded not (NOT) to look back. But, there was something within her that caused her to turn back toward Sodom. The problem with Lot’s wife was that she had her eyes on all the wrong things. She was looking back at a lost life, a lost lifestyle and a lost city.
(Ill. Wherever your gaze is fixed this morning will determine the path taken by your feet.)
(Ill. The Prodigal Son – Luke 15:1-24 – His gaze was on the world and his feet followed.)
That is why some of you won’t get saved! That is why some of you can’t live right! Your gaze is fixed on the wrong things! What a dangerous way to live! God’s plan, as it is laid out in His Word, is a perfect plan! Those who follow God’s plan enjoy God’s blessings and His peace. Those who reject God’s plan for living find their path strewn with disaster and trouble. What are you looking at this morning?)
C. A Problem With Her Focus – Deception – She probably had everyone in the family fooled! They probably thought that she was saved. She had everyone fooled but God! The problem with Lot’s wife is the problem with many people today, they have merely made a profession of faith, but they have never truly been born again! She proved what she was when she looked back to Sodom! You see, her body was out of Sodom, but her heart was still there.
(Ill. This is a picture of that religious person, that church member who has turned over a new leaf, but who has never been converted in his being! There is a difference in claiming to be a Christian than in being saved! When you are truly saved, you will not be able to enjoy the pleasures and allurements of the world as you did before! Why? Because you have been made a new creature, 2 Cor. 5:17. If you are just pretending to be saved, please be aware that you are not fooling the Lord! He knows your heart and will judge you accordingly!)
(Ill. By the way, it is possible for those who have been converted to find themselves looking back longingly at the old life they lived in Sodom. This was condemned by Jesus, Luke 9:62. You see this trend in the church today. Everywhere there are professing Christians that want to dress, act, walk and talk like the world. People who say they know Jesus, but act like the unsaved around them. What they are doing is playing around with sin and treating sin too lightly! My friends, sin is a deceiver, it is a killer and it is dangerous! It must be dealt with early and radically. Do not let it get a foothold in your life, but root it out, whatever the cost or the pain, Eph. 4:27; Matt. 5:27-30. We must get radical with our sins!
That is a travesty! That is a tragedy! Some people in this world live, dress and act in such a fashion that I would just as soon you not tell anyone where you went to church! It brings a reproach upon every saint of God who does try to live for Jesus in this place. Yet, I thank God that there is a place of repentance for those who are guilty of the backward look this morning.)
III. CONSIDER HER SPIRITUAL PUNISHMENT
A. It Was Sudden – When judgement same, it was swift and sure. Ill. Prov. 29:1. You may walk in sin for years, but one day judgement will surely come. One day, time will run out! There will be no more opportunities and no more calls to repentance, Gen. 6:3. There will be nothing but judgement swift and sure! Friends, I challenge you to flee the wrath of God! There is but one shelter for the soul, Romans 5:6-9.
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 and was swallowed up in the wrath of God. Her judgement came in spite of her unbelief! Friends, it won’t be a pillar of salt for you, but it will be an eternity in Hell, Psa. 9:17. If you die without Jesus, your judgement will be swift and sure! Instantly, at the moment of death, you will find yourself in Hell!
C. It Was Settled – For Lot’s wife there would be no pardons, no second chances and no hope. She was gone and lost forever and nothing could be done about it! My friends, the time to prepare for the next world is today, 2 Cor. 6:2. When time runs out on you, there will be no opportunities after death. There will be no pardons and no paroles. There will be nothing for you but justice and judgement. Your sentence will be settled forever.
However, there is GRACE today if you will come to Jesus, Eph. 2:1-10. There is hope if you will respond to His call. There is salvation for all who will come to Him by faith, Rom. 10:13; Rev. 22:17. Wouldn’t you rather have hope than Hell? Would you rather have the joy of salvation rather than the judgement of sin? You can, but you have to come to Jesus Christ! Will you do that today?
We need to remember Lot’s Wife this morning! Not so that we can revive an ages old, painful story, but so that we can be reminded that this precious life we are living is fleeting. It doesn’t last very long.
As you pass through this world, you can do no better than to come to faith in Jesus and be saved. The lesson from Lot’s Wife is this: Take God at His Word! If He says it, then it will come to pass, and men need to be ready to meet Him some day.
With that in mind let me say this: Hell is real! Judgement is real! Death is real! The only way to safely navigate your way past these stark realities is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Here is the invitation: if you are lost, like Lot’s wife and you want to be saved, then you come to Jesus, He will save you.
If you are saved, but you are guilty of looking back at the world, and of living like the world, He has forgiveness and restoration for your soul.
Whatever the need of your heart, there is help in Jesus. But, you will only get the help you need if you come to HIM!