Remember Lot’s wife.” Luke 17:32
This may seem like a strange verse to pick as a foundational verse but there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Those 3 words couched in the middle of a talk about Jesus’ 2nd coming have a lot of meat to them when you take the time to think about them. So what is it that we are supposed to remember when we remember Lot’s wife…
We should remember…
1) …That the things of this world are like “skubala” – Yes, you read that right. Skubala is a word that Paul uses in Philippians 3:8 to describe how he felt about everything in comparison to knowing Christ. It is often translated dung – but it really has a more profane connotation if you smell what I’m saying. Lot’s wife was having a hard time letting go of all the stuff that she was leaving behind as she fled Sodom (see Genesis 19) with her family. We need to remember that as much as we like our “stuff”, it is still just stuff – and if it gets in the way of our relationship with God then perhaps it is better to get rid of it.
2) …That disobedience is costly – Lot’s wife was clearly told, “Don’t look back!” (Genesis 19:17). Her disobedience cost her her life. I’m sure she was thinking “what harm can a little look back do.” Or perhaps, “God won’t notice if I just steal a quick peak back at my home for the last 25 years.” She did exactly what most of us tend to do – justify our disobedience. She did not understand how costly disobedience can be – and neither do we.
3) …That “God takes us out to bring us in” – There are times in our lives when we are called upon to leave a person, place or thing that we have grown to love. It might be a relationship, it might be a job, or a church, or a city. It might be a house or any number of things. This much I know: if God calls us to leave, He has a purpose behind it and a future planned for us. But to get to where He wants us to be we have to go through the difficult part of letting go, saying goodbye, and leaving behind. Lot’s wife tried to hang on to what she had – she had a hard time believing that the future God had in store for her was going to be better than the past she was leaving behind.
4) …Not to forget! -So when Lot’s wife looked back she was turned into a pillar of salt. There is a rock formation near the Dead Sea that is called “Lot’s Wife.” It is a monument of remembrance. We have these all over the place. The Holocaust Museum. The Vietnam Memorial. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum. Gettysburg. The Empty Tomb. Jesus adjures us to “Remember Lot’s wife!” Why? So that we never forget. Never forget that we were made for eternity. Never forget that our hearts will be restless until we find our rest in God. Never forget that that the consequences of disobedience are brutal. Never forget that the purposes of God are glorious and so much greater than the purposes of man. Never forget that we have been bought with a price. Never forget that the joy of the Lord is ever and always our strength.
Never forget…. to remember!
“Remember Lot’s wife!” There’s a lot there to remember – pun intended.