Lot, against Abraham’s wishes, had settled near the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. It wasn’t long before God visited Abraham and told him of His intention to destroy the cities of the plain because their sin had become “very grievious” (Genesis 18:20). As He had done at the time of the Flood, God knew that His only just and merciful approach was to destroy them. Abraham pleaded for the lives of Lot and his family, and God mercifully agreed to spare Sodom if even ten righteous people were discovered in the cities. (verse 32).
God sent some angels to go along with Abraham to warn the people, but instead of listening to the warning, the people of the city wanted to have perverted sex with the angels.
Then the angels warned Lot to take his entire family out of the city. “For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it” (verse 13). Even though Lot tried to convince them otherwise, his sons-in-law thought he was joking and refused to leave (verse 14).
Even though he had seen the evil first-hand, Lot failed to understand the urgency of his situation, and the angels literally had to drag him, his wife and two daughters out of the city by hand (verse 16)!
Still uncertain, Lot talked the angels into allowing them to flee to Zoar rather than the nearby mountains because he was afraid “some evil” would befall him (verses 19-22). One of the angels gave Lot a stern warning: “Do not look behind you” and ..... “do not stay anywhere in the plain.” (verse 17).
When Lot entered Zoar, “the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens” (verse 24). All the cities of the plain were destroyed except Zoar (verse 25), maybe because of Lot’s faithless request. But just before she reached a place of safety during the escape, Lot’s wife disobeyed the angel’s command and looked back. “She became a pillar of salt.” (verse 26).
Why did she disobey the angels and look back? Maybe she just loved the things of this world more than God. John writes: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
Perhaps she had an obsession for the things of this world and the material things she had in Sodom. Obviously, Lot was a wealthy man who had enough livestock and servants to cause a problem while he lived with Abraham (Genesis 13:5-7). He and his wife may have had a beautiful house with many fine furnishings, servants to do her bidding, fine clothes, gourmet foods and frequent entertainment.
Also, Lot had a higher status among the citizens of Sodom beyond his wealth. Genesis 19:1 shows him sitting in the gate of the city, a place usually reserved for the elders and judges. Lot’s wife may have had second thoughts about her decision to give up the privileges of her high muckety-muck social status. In her case, the outcome of her doubts was disastrous.
So many claiming to be “Christians” today try to have it both ways, they “straddle the fence,” they want God, but they also keep one foot in the world.
As I close my article today, Jesus reinforces His warning, in Mark 8:36... “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”