Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26
Jesus said we should remember Lot’s wife. It would be helpful if we first remembered Lot, Abraham’s nephew. He was a prosperous cattleman on “the whole plain of the Jordan” (Genesis 13:11), who retired to Sodom. There, when two angels came to visit him, he was sitting by the gate, in an area where legal and commercial business was transacted. Lot was an active man in an active city. Jesus said its “people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building” (Luke 17:28). Lot, very likely, had a spacious home, with extra rooms where guests could be accommodated.
Lot’s wife was involved in the busy life of a busy city, especially in social affairs, perhaps a matronly type. She had two virgin daughters engaged to men in Sodom. Entrenched in a favorable position and blessed with the things money could buy, she would be extremely reluctant to leave the city and flee to the primitive hills.
The context in which Jesus tells us to “remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32) shows that her motive for looking back on the burning city was not curiosity to see a spectacular sight. It was the faint hope to go back to recover something from her house. It cost her life. We remember Lot’s wife for the wrong choice she made.
The Bible tells us of other wives well worth remembering. In the Old Testament we read of a wealthy woman in Shunem called “the Shunammite,” who showed hospitality to the prophet Elisha as he came by that way. In the New Testament we come across Salome, the mother of James and John, who was among the last to leave Christ’s cross on Mount Calvary and among the first to come to the empty tomb. We also remember Pilate’s wife, who interceded with her husband for Jesus. Most of all, there was Mary, the mother of Jesus; her faith shines through in her Magnificat.
Remember Lot’s wife for her folly and the other wives for their faith? Yes, but most of all, we go with what Saint Paul writes, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8), who was “delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to be more like the faithful wives and mothers in the Bible, and not like Lot’s wife who is remembered for her foolishness. Amen.
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