We don’t know much about this woman. We don’t even know her name. She is only known as “Lot’s wife.” There are only a couple of verses in the Bible about her — but while her story is in Genesis, the New Testament has a reference to her. Luke 17 tells of judgement that is coming in the last days. Verse 32 says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Since God told us to remember her, I think a lesson on her life is in order!
We first hear of her husband, Lot. Lot followed his uncle Abraham to the land God had promised him.
We know that God blessed him and that he was rich. He and Abraham had so many sheep that the pasture wasn’t enough for both of them. Abraham gave Lot first choice of the land — and Lot picked out what looked like the best choice. He picked a green, fertile plain near the city of Sodom.
Now God had promised this land to Abraham — and he showed great graciousness in offering first choice of the land to his nephew, Lot. He could have said, “We have too many sheep for us to live together. You’ll have to go somewhere else — some place I’m not using.”
But he didn’t. He said, “You pick the land you want.”
If Lot had been respectful, he would have said, “No, you pick and I’ll take what is left over. But instead he looked for the best for himself. He chose the well-watered plains near Sodom.
That’s the trouble — it was near a wicked place. I’m sure Lot never intended to become a part of wicked Sodom or the sister-city Gomorrah. He was just picking out what looked good to him, what would be best for his family. But he forgot that God wants us to be separate from sin.
First he was just in the plain near the city. The next time we hear of him, he is living IN the wicked city. And here is something we can learn from Lot. When we compromise and get close to sinful ways, the next thing we know we are involved! We may not INTEND to gossip, but just tell some information. The next thing we know we are talking about a brother or sister in a way that isn’t pleasing to God at all!
We, as mothers, have responsibilities to teach our children that it is important not to have best friends who are not Christians. They will lead the children astray. If we don’t want our children to marry lost people, we must teach them that they shouldn’t flirt with other young people who don’t love our God.
It is dangerous to get too close to sin. Even if you don’t intend to get involved, you may, like Lot, find yourself sucked in.
We know that Lot was caught up in the affairs of the wicked city. Scripture said he was a righteous man and that his soul was vexed every day. (I Peter 2:7-8) Yet, he stayed in that a dangerous place. While he wasn’t involved in homosexuality and idolatry like the people of Sodom, we see his family was left unprotected.
Destruction was coming to Sodom, and God gave Lot warning to run before it came. Lot tried to warn his grown children, but they thought he was joking. What a sad thing to so lose your testimony that people think you are kidding when you warn them of God’s judgement!
What about Lot’s wife? We know that she didn’t have a godly influence on her children. If they wouldn’t believe Lot, they surely would have believed her if she had raised them up to fear God.
Make no mistake — we can’t save our children by being good enough mothers. We are saved by grace, not works, not our own works or the works of our parents. We can teach them and train them, though, so when we give them warnings, they will at least know we are serious and mean what we are saying!
We know something else about Lot’s wife. She didn’t want to follow Lot. When the grown children and their husbands refused to leave, she dithered around. Perhaps she was trying to figure out what to take. The passage in Luke warns not to worry about getting your things — but to flee when judgement comes. Evidently she was reluctant to leave at all. Finally, because God is merciful, the angels He sent with the warning, took them by the hand and got them out of the city.
“Go to the wilderness and don’t look back,” the angel told Lot.
But Lot’s wife looked back. She probably didn’t just “look” but she lingered and fell back behind the others. The fire and brimstone that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah fell on her, too, and she became a statue of salt.
God calls us to follow. We have a special assurance from God that where our husbands lead us is where He wants us to be. It doesn’t matter that it looks like a mistake, because God can use even the mistakes of others to lead us. It doesn’t matter if he had a wrong attitude, because God can use the bad attitudes of others for our good.
We can prevent our husbands from following God by complaining and hanging behind. I’ve known of men who were called to preach, but held back because their wives were afraid — afraid of not having enough income. Afraid they wouldn’t like the position. Afraid their relationship would change.
Others saw sins they would have to give up. There are things that are okay for other people, but are not okay for a preacher and his family. The wives must dress more modestly to be an example. They must walk more carefully.
One woman I know really did want her husband to serve the Lord in the church and was disappointed when he decided to go back to his job building houses. She didn’t realize that because she was always worrying about having enough money and wanting more “things” she was sending him a message — “I want you to go back to your job and earn more money for me.” Because he loved his wife, he turned his back on God’s direction and left his ministry. We need to be careful that we don’t give that message, even unintentionally.
As a wife, you have the ability to encourage your husband to do right, just by your attitude. If you are excited and enthusiastic about church, about Bible reading, about prayer — he will be encouraged, too. If you let him know that you aren’t worried, that you know God will take care of you — he will be encouraged to have faith, too.
But Lot’s wife didn’t give that message. She didn’t want to leave wicked Sodom and delayed starting as long as possible. When the angel led her out, she still lingered behind and looked back.
Perhaps she looked back because she didn’t want to leave. Maybe she was thinking of her married daughters who were left behind. Maybe she was thinking of her friends, or her position as an important person in society. Maybe she was thinking of her house and her furniture — her clothes and jewelry. Or maybe she just didn’t believe anything was going to happen at all.
But it happened. Fire and brimstone fell on Sodom and Gomorrah, burning them up. And it fell on Lot’s wife, turning her into a statue made of salt. One moment, she was a living, breathing human woman. The next moment she was lifeless and worthless — judged by God.
We are told to remember her — because we need to pay attention to God’s warnings. Don’t get too near sin, because sin will enslave you. Be faithful to protect your children from the influence of evil, because there is a danger to them of being lost to sin. Be careful not to encourage your husband in the wrong way — toward disobedience to God and a focus on earthly goods. And remember to heed God’s warnings. When he says judgement is coming, make sure you get your heart right — right away!