Updated: Apr 5, 2022
In Luke 17, Jesus explains to His disciples about His Second Coming. He tells them that on the day that the Son of Man returns it will be like the days of Lot; He exhorts them to "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32). And this is her story (based on Genesis 19)...
She was still reeling from the encounter with the men of Sodom who had mobbed their front door. The assailants would have prevailed in their lustful demands against Lot and their visitors except that the attackers were struck blind. From Lot’s wife’s point of view, the two visitors’ arrival seemed to have set all hell loose on the family. They had been doing well as established citizens of the city. These two strangers warned Lot to take his family and get out of Sodom. When the sons-in-law heard the warning, they thought it was a prank.
Lot’s wife pondered, How could the visitor’s words be right? A coming destruction from heaven...on Sodom? Why does Lot believe the words of these visitors? Lot’s wife shot her husband a frustrated sideways glance. She was choked by her indecision regarding what to pack and what to leave behind. She wondered if she should take the ruby pendant or the new sandals. Fretting, she thought, What will happen to the silver platters and the embroidered pillows—or for that matter, the crops and the livestock that keep us prospering? What of our daughters’ future husbands, such fine respected men of Sodom?
As the sun began rising over the horizon, casting an umber light on the grazing cattle, the two visitors again pressed Lot to take his family out of the city or be swept away in its destruction. That’s when Lot’s wife saw him hesitate. She wondered if Lot was having second thoughts about leaving. After all, she reasoned, they’d carved out a life here in affluent, bustling Sodom. She thought, We have everything here. As Lot’s wife began to hope that they might not be going, the visitors suddenly seized Lot’s hand along with hers and their daughters’—snatching them from impending judgment, bringing them safely outside the city.
“Escape for your life! Do not look behind you.”
The visitors again urged Lot, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you.” Lot gratefully acknowledged the men’s lovingkindness in saving his life. He then requested and was granted to escape to a town which would later be named Zoar. The dazed family set out towards the east.
By mid-day Lot’s wife, with salty streaks running down her face, mourned what she had left behind. She said to herself, We were better off in Sodom. I had everything I needed there. Trailing behind Lot, as her feet teetered through the last stretch of rocky ground leading to the gates of Zoar, she yearned for the pleasures of Sodom. As Lot entered the city gates, smoke swirled in the sky above Sodom and Gomorrah signaling its utter destruction as Sulphur and fire rained down from heaven. In her blindness to the gracious rescue of God, Lot’s wife looked back towards Sodom and became a pillar of salt.
Clearly, when Jesus exhorted His disciples to “Remember Lot’s wife,” He was warning all who would hear to steer clear of being so focused on their life here and now that they end up losing it for eternity (Gen. 19:1-26; Luke 17:22-33). Christ, and only Christ is the way and the truth and the life for all to walk-in. Nothing can or should take the place of Christ in our lives.
"Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Women's Bible studies by Nancy Gemaehlich