“Remember Lot’s wife.”
We all have heard about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah at some point in our lives. In fact, this is probably where the phrase “fire and brimstone” originated.
The beginning of this story starts out with angels visiting Abraham and Sarai, and telling them that they would have a baby. [Isaac] After imparting this incredulous news, the angels look down towards Sodom and Gomorrah and God tells Abraham that they are going there next. They will see “if they are as wicked as I heard…and if not, I will find out.” Abraham begs God to spare the city if there are at least “10 righteous men.” God agrees. Unfortunately, there aren’t any righteous men there– as the angels discover. The angels grab Lot, his wife, and his two daughters and forcibly put them outside the city. When Lot and his family linger, the angels tell them to “go to the hills, and to not look back.” Lot argues that he will die in the mountains, and then the angels agree that he can go to a little nearby city, called Zoar. As Lot is entering Zoar, his wife–who is behind him, looks back. She instantly turns into a pillar of salt. Then the Lord rains down “sulfur and fire” out of heaven and Sodom and Gomorrah are completely annihilated.
Jesus, in Luke chapter 17, told us to “Remember Lot’s wife.” It is a sobering reminder that Jesus will come back to Earth- suddenly- and that He will destroy it. He warns us to not look back.
Why did Lot’s wife look back?
Her heart was still there.
Perhaps she was even contemplating returning. She was almost saved. She just had to step through the gates of Zoar, but she did not.
I think this story vividly illustrates that we all have the power of choice. God shows (or in Lot’s case, drags) us to the path of salvation; but only we can choose to walk forward and accept it.
Some interesting facts about Sodom and Gomorrah : (links posted below)
- Sodom and Gomorrah and Zoar were located next to the Dead Sea–the lowest point geographically on the Earth. It was once a well watered plain. (Gen 13:10)
- The Dead Sea (also called the Salt Sea) is unusual in its composition and also is known for producing globs of asphalt. This asphalt (or pitch) was in much demand and was used to coat idols, or baskets, or other items so that they could be waterproof. (Gen 14:10)
- The entire plain region is now covered in salt deposits and salt domes. There is even today a pillar of salt called “Lot’s wife.” (Deut. 29:23)
- Encapsulated in the salt deposits are pieces of brimstone-found nowhere else in the world. (Gen 19:24)
- Sulfur naturally occurs in the salt domes, and when heated, melts to a dark red blood-like liquid. Forms of sulfur are in gunpowder and matches, and consider sulfuric acid.