In Genesis 19:26, we are introduced to yet another unnamed woman in the Bible. Remember Lot’s Wife: Don’t Look Back is what I tagged this week’s article in the series Unnamed Women in the Bible.
This female character in the bible is introduced to us as Lot’s wife, a woman whose life comes to a tragic end just as quickly as we get to know her. Interestingly, many of us are more familiar with the story of her death than anything else about her as a person.
Who was Lot’s Wife?
Lot’s wife was married to Abraham’s nephew Lot. Remember that Lot went with Abraham when God called him to leave his father’s house for a place that he will show him.
We do not know if Lot was married before embarking on this journey with his uncle. Or that he got married when he settled in his new city, it is not stated in the bible.
It may also be that Lot’s wife was present when the angels showed up in their home and told Lot about the impending destruction of the city. However, her voice remains silent even when the men of the city try to attack their home and the angels save Lot. But she is introduced to us for the very first time when the angel urges Lot to leave the city quickly.
“With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” – Genesis 19:15
What we do see is that she is a wife, mother to two daughters and part of a community. God’s judgement was upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. But God chooses to show mercy on Lot’s family by giving them a window of opportunity to leave their past behind. It is interesting to see that the angels specifically told Lot to take his wife and two daughters.
Do you know that God’s arm of mercy and love extends to you and your loved ones? He is more than willing to shield and protect you and your family from destruction and impending danger.
A few verses down the line, Lot’s wife is forever ingrained in our memory for her disobedience to the angel’s instruction. Her person and life is captured in this one verse biography.
But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt. – Genesis 19:26 NLT
In an instant, one woman’s future vanished into thin air and remains frozen forever in the annals of history. And all we will always remember is a woman who looked back and became a pillar of salt.
Remember Lot’s wife – A Call to Surrender
Remember Lot’s wife! – Luke 17:32 NIV
Jesus cites Lot’s wife in Luke 17 as he spoke to his disciples and the Pharisees about future events.
He said, when the son of man is revealed, even he who is on the housetop and has possessions inside his house should leave them behind. The man on the field should forget about going back to get anything. Jesus shows us here that material possessions are valueless and not priority when it comes to matters of the kingdom of God.
And then he references Lot’s wife who was a clear example of one whose focus was still on material possessions, worldliness and the past. Jesus goes on to say this in Luke 17: 33
If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. – Luke 17: 33 NLT
All who are obsessed with being secure in life will lose it all – including their lives. But those who let go of their lives and surrender them to me will discover true life. – Luke 17: 33 TPT
If you grasp and cling to life on your own terms, you will lose it, but if you let that life go, you will get life on God’s terms. – Luke 17: 33 MSG
Remember Lot’s wife. She is that woman who refused to let go and trust God for a better future. Lot’s wife failed to let go of her life and surrender her future to God. In surrendering the entirety of our lives to God, we will find true meaning and purpose for our lives. The bible says in Ephesians 1:11 MSG – “It is in Christ that we find out who and what we are living for.”
What are you clinging on to in your life right now? Material possessions, worldly passions and pleasures, the culture and systems of the world, or a broken past. Stop clinging to life on your own terms. Jesus is calling you today to a life of surrender on God’s terms.
What Lessons Can we Learn from Lot’s Wife?
There is so much we can learn from this unnamed woman in the bible. Her life’s story is not captured in the most inspiring way but there are some lessons we can learn from Lot’s wife.
1. Let go and let God
We will always remember Lot’s wife for looking back at a city she once called home as it was being destroyed. I can imagine how attached and safe she had felt living in that city and being amongst the people. She was leaving behind all of her possessions, family and friends forever. It was hard but God had given the instruction to leave or be destroyed alongside the city. Lot’s wife chose the path of disobedience and instantly became a pillar of salt.
‘Don’t look back’ was a simple instruction with the choice to obey or disobey in her hands. She was well on her way to safety already when she suddenly turned and looked back. One act of disobedience can cost you a lifetime of struggles, mistakes and even your life.
Obedience can be hard sometimes, but we choose to obey not because of us but because of God whom we have pledged our allegiance to. When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac, it was not an easy choice or decision to make. But Abraham trusted God and obeyed.
Will you let go and let God lead the way in your life today? Let go of your fears and inadequacies and let God hold your hands. Let go of faulty mindsets and values and let God renew your mind and change you from inside out. You can let go of the familiar (friends, family, relationships) that have left you in a broken and wounded state and let God chart a new course for your life. What are you willing to let go of in your life today?
2. God can be trusted with your Life and Future
Why did Lot’s wife look back? No one knows what she was thinking in those final moments. Was she afraid? Did she doubt that God will carry out his word to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gommorah? Was she blinded to the possibility of a better and greater future with God?
As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” – Genesis 19:17
The instruction given was very specific and three phrases seem to stand out for me. They all speak about being in motion and looking forward. God wants you to keep pressing forward and deeper in your spiritual growth and relationship with him. Let us take a look at those three phrases.
1. Flee for your lives – Fleeing from a life of sin and destruction.
2. Don’t look back – Trusting God with this new life and story.
3. Don’t stop anywhere in the whole valley. – Keep your eyes on God through his word and prayer.
God showed Lot and his family mercy by choosing to save them from the wrath of sin and destruction that was to come upon Sodom and Gomorrah. They now had the responsibility to trust God for their life and future going forward.
Not looking back to the past meant trusting God with a new life and future. Also, God does not want you stopping in the valleys of life when temptation, challenges, loss, grief and betrayal seem to hold you down. Lot’s wife fled but could not resist the temptation to look back to her past instead of trusting God for a better future.
Will you choose to look forward today and keep moving into your God ordained destiny? Abraham trusted God when he was asked leave his native home and all of his family to go to a place that God will show him. He started on this journey to nowhere specific in complete obedience to God. Abraham modelled an unparalleled display of trust in God even when it does not seem to make sense. He understood that his life and future were in God’s hands. Dear friend, God can be trusted with your life and future.
3. Embrace a life of Surrender
It is interesting to see Jesus cite Lot’s wife in the book of Luke for her actions. It is my prayer that our lives will always be cited for good and godly things and never for failure and rebellion.
Lot’s wife chose rebellion over a life of surrender to God. Her past life seemed to captivate her more than the future God was taking her into.
All who are obsessed with being secure in life will lose it all – including their lives. But those who let go of their lives and surrender them to me will discover true life.– Luke 17:32 TPT
Jesus says: let go of your life, (quit trying to figure it all out on your own), lay it before me in surrender and you will discover what true life looks like. (paraphrase)
What are you obsessed with currently in your life outside of God? Is your focus on things of the kingdom of God or things in the world? Are you hooked on materialism, conformity and worldly systems?
Where is you heart? What is God asking you to let go of so that you can experience a deeper and more intimate walk with him today?
Dear friend, God is calling you to a life of surrender. To surrender means to relinquish control of your life. It means yielding all of you to God. It is letting God take the driver’s seat of your life. Will you embrace a life of surrender today?
“Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” – Romans 6:13
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20
Dear father, today I choose to let go of my broken past and scarred emotions. Help me Lord to let go of people, places, relationships, emotions and things that have kept me stuck in a life of sin, rebellion and disobedience to you.
Lord, hold my hands and lead me away from my past and into your desired future for my life. I will trust you going forward and always keep my eyes on you.
May I always have the courage to obey the instructions you put in my heart. Give me strength to flee when temptations and distractions arise. Help me Lord to always keep my eyes on you.
I release my spirit, body and soul to you today. I surrender my body, mind and emotions to you afresh today. I embrace the God life and choose to live God’s way today. Amen!