No one has ever spoken like Jesus. Take all the great orators throughout history, and not one of them can come close to the power with which Jesus spoke. So if he is speaking then we should probably listen to what he is saying. When I see red letters in the Bible I pay close attention. Jesus didn’t speak randomly. Everything he said had a purpose.
Luke 17 is an easy chapter to miss realistically. It doesn’t really have any clever cliches or stories that preachers like to use. But it is a pretty important chapter because Jesus is describing his second coming and the end of the world. That’s a pretty important subject. And all the way at the end of the chapter he makes a pretty clear statement.
It’s just three words. He doesn’t use an entire paragraph or brilliant language. But he provides a chilling warning about the dangers of turning back. “Remember Lot’s wife.” This is the only person that Jesus told us to remember in his entire earthly ministry.
Why Lot’s wife? If you know the story of Lot you know that his wife is a seemingly meaningless character. She doesn’t figure much into the story at all. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to remember that Lot was even married. If the Bible didn’t make specific reference to his kids we might not even know Lot had a wife.
The lesson from her life unfortunately comes because of her death. As Lot and his wife were leaving the city of Sodom, the Bible says that she looked back. Instantly, she became a pillar of salt. She serves as a reminder that looking back is never a good thing. Years down the road, Jesus would use her as a painful example and reminder.
We don’t know exactly why she looked back. The Bible doesn’t specifically tell us. But from the context we can glean one very important lesson. Something caused her to look back, and in that one moment she was translated into eternity. Whatever was distracting her back in Sodom sealed her doom.
I don’t know what you are struggling with today, but I do know one thing: you absolutely cannot give in to it. The world can seem like a nice place to settle. Sodom always looks good for a while. The Bible even says that sin is pleasurable for a season. But it’s only for a season, and then you will end up right back in the hole out of which God brought you. Don’t look back. You have come too far.
The story of Lot’s wife is a very sad story, and it can even seem kind of harsh. After all, it doesn’t say that she started walking back toward Sodom. It just says that she looked back. But it is a serious reminder of how God feels about our obedience and commitment. You can’t turn back now. Not in this time where Jesus can literally come at any moment. Don’t give in to the pull of the world. It’s just not worth it.
Thanks to @JohnMarkArnold for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁