This is a command, "Remember Lot's wife." Remember - be mindful of, keep in mind, recall - and so I did and I will.
Background is found in Gen 19. Lot and his family are fleeing judgement and destruction in Sodom. They are COMMANDED not to look back. Mrs. Lot can't help herself and glances back. She becomes a pillar of salt. Both Josephus and Irenaeus, a Jewish historian and a theologian, from back in the day, write about SEEING this pillar of salt in the area during their lives. There IS something called "Sodom Salt" which is said to be harder than most salts, mined in bricks as if from a rock quarry. There is also "Mount Sodom" which is a mountain of salt outside of the city of ancient Sodom.
So Mrs. Lot was fleeing from her known life, her possessions, her neighbors, possibly her extended family, if Lot had married a woman from Sodom, and is commanded not to look back. She does look back, and becomes a tower of salt. BTW Jewish tradition gives Mrs. Lot the name of Adith or Irith.
Luke is retelling Jesus' teaching on the coming judgment in chapter 17. He is telling readers to be alert. To be ready to flee when judgment comes. There is the sense we are to remain unattached from material possessions - don't take the time to get the scrapbooks - just get out.
Remember Lot's wife.
|Sodom Salt Cave @ Mt Sodom - via Google images|
WHY does Jesus want us to remember this? WHY does it matter? These stories are written for examples for me (2 Cor10:6-12). I am commanded not to shrink back to destruction in Hebrews 10:38 - 39 - and Mrs. Lot did shrink back.
WHAT is he trying to show me? He wants wholehearted obedience - not grudging acceptance of His plans. Verse 33 gives another key. Jesus says, "Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it." If Mrs. Lot had surrendered her life - she may well have gotten it refined and returned. It's in the nature of our God to restore.
Is it wrong to remember the past? Is it wrong to look back? No....not if we cherish those memories while wholeheartedly following Jesus in THIS season. Am I looking for what He is doing NOW - or am I clinging to what He has done in the past?
I won't look back to the way things used to be or have always been done.
I won't look back at past betrayals and let them color future interactions.
I won't Look back at sins (mine and others), but will look forward with forgiveness.
I won't cling to past places, relationships and seasons.
I won't look back at past successes and try to recreate them in a new season.
I won't glance longingly at the "financial security" the world offers.
I won't drag my feet when He leads in a new direction....
I will look for Jesus and follow him here - in a new season and a new place.
I will surrender past hurts, successes and cherished memories to Jesus.
I will trust Jesus to refine and preserve that which is valuable.
I will set my will to obey joyfully and wholeheartedly.
I will trust the Shepherd's leading.
I will endure.
What about you? What does the Holy Spirit speak to you when you obey the command to remember Mrs. Lot?
Living all of life before the face of God...