The sun had risen over the land when Lot reached Zoar. Then out of the sky the Lord rained burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah from the Lord. He demolished these cities, the entire plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and whatever grew on the ground. But his wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. Gen. 19:23-26
We don’t know much about Lot’s wife. She lived in a place and among a people described by words like evil and wicked. The outcry from those victimized in Sodom and by it was so great that God decided to destroy the whole place. There’s pretty good evidence that Sodom’s culture had rubbed off on Lot and his family, too (Gen. 19:8,14,16.)
I’ve read the whole story (Gen. 18:16-19:29), and I understand the burning sulfur down on Sodom part. The place was depraved; I get it. But all Lot’s wife did was look back at it, and God turned her into a pillar of salt.
I feel bad for Lot’s wife. Maybe that’s because, in some ways, I’m like her. I find myself holding on to letting go.
For whatever reason, Lot’s wife didn’t want to leave. It wasn’t necessarily that she was immoral herself; she may have even thought she could do some good in that place. She wasn’t very different from her husband or kids, either. They all hesitated to the point that the angels had to physically drag them out-of-town. The problem was that her heart was tightly tethered to something or someone else, and so she continued to resist God’s call to follow Him with abandon.
The thing is, I can feel bad for Lot’s wife all I want, but I can’t deny the implications of her story on my own life. In Luke 9:62, Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” That’s because those who look back have hearts bound to earth, not heaven.
There are lots of ways we do it, too. The three guys Jesus was talking to in Luke 9 weren’t depraved Sodomites. They were more like a lot of church going folks today, knowing Jesus is the way, but far more comfortable with their own.
When we fix our eyes on the world and what we know, instead of on God and what He promises, we are monumentally useless in God’s kingdom work – stuck between where we never should have been and where we need to go.
Is there something God wants you to leave behind – a hurt, a pursuit, a situation, a sin? Are you looking back? Have you gotten yourself stuck, because you keep holding on to letting go?