Friday, September 23, 2016

Lot's Wife

Women of the Dawn
Lot's Wife

 Key Scriptures: Genesis 19:26; Luke 17:28-33

Her Name Means: Lot's Wife isn't given a name in scripture. She is called "Ado" or "Edith" in some Jewish traditions.

Her Character: She was a prosperous woman who may have been more attached to the good life. Though there is no indication she participated in the sin of Sodom, her story implies she had learned to tolerate it.

Her Lifestyle: We know very little about Lots wife, but we do know that she was a very wealthy woman. She was a woman who ate drank and lived for the things of this world.

Her Sorrow: She is remembered less for who she was, wife, mother, daughter, sister, than for what she became--a pillar of salt. There are few warnings in Scripture more solemn than this. The Lord Jesus Christ says to us, "Remember Lot's wife."

Pre-Story: Lot's wife was probably from Egypt where Abraham and Sarah had sojourned during their long journey to Hebron. She married Lot (Abraham's nephew) in Egypt and journeyed with Abraham and Sarah to where Lot settled in Sodom. Fifteen words in the Old Testament tell the story of Lot's Wife. This one brief, dramatic record has placed her among the well-known women of the world. The fifteen words are: "But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." Genesis 19:26

Her Story: Years earlier she had married Abraham's nephew (Lot) and the two had amassed a fortune in land and livestock. There was a quarrel between the men of Lot and Abrahams's men over grazing field's for their sheep. Abraham suggested to Lot to pick whichever side of the valley which seemed best to him. Lot chose the part of the plain which had Sodom and Abraham took the other. Eventually, they settled in Sodom, Lot was good, but there was not one more of the same character in the city. All the people of Sodom were very wicked and vile. Sodom was a city so wicked that heaven dispatched angels to investigate all the allegations against it. Lot, so it happened, was at the city gate at the very moment the angels arrived. Greeting the strangers, he quickly implored them to spend the night in his home, anxious about what might happen to them once night had fallen.

Lot's wife must have welcomed the strangers warmly too, for hospitality was a sacred trust in the ancient world. Then, just before bedtime, she would have heard the voices. Rough voices shouted for her husband to open the door and surrender his guests to their pleasure. "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing!" Lot screamed back. But the crowd was furious for their own way. Then he attempted an appalling bargain. "Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me brig them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof." But the men of Sodom would not be thwarted, and rushed the door to force their way in.

Suddenly the angels reached out, pulled Lot back into the house, and struck the men at the door blind. Then they turned to Lot, urging him, "Do you have anyone else here. son-in-law’s, sons, daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place!" But Lot's son-in-law’s thought he was joking and refused to leave. At dawn the angels again urged Lot to hurry lest he and his wife and daughters perish with the rest of the city. Still, the family hesitated until the angels finally grabbed their hands and dragged them out, urging "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.

By the time the family reached the city of Zoar, the sun had risen over the land and everything in Sodom was engulfed in burning sulfur. Men, women, and children, and livestock, were all obliterated. A terrible judgment for a terrible sin. But the judgment was much worse than either Lot or his daughters first realized. Safe at last, they must have turned to each other in relief at their escape and then turned again in shock, realizing their mother was missing. They would have searched against all hope, until they finally caught sight of at the white salt pillar, silhouetted against the sky, a lonely monument in the shape of a women turning around toward Sodom.

Post Thoughts: When God rained down fire and brimstone upon Sodom, their sons-in-laws and friends perished with the rest of the city's populace. What a poignant and tragic test of their faith! Thus, when Lot's wife fled for little Zoar, her wealth, her house and her social circle were not the only things on her mind. Perhaps she did not believe that God would follow through on His threat. As a loving mother, her emotions for her doomed family in the city clouded her ability to make proper decisions. Though it goes against our human nature, God requires us to have more allegiance to Him than to the members of our own families. This is all that the Bible has to say about this unfortunate woman whose heart remained in Sodom even as her feet were carrying her away.

*The word "Salt" is used only six times in the New Testament, all of them symbolic. Jesus told us to remember that as believers we are the "Salt of the Earth."

Her Challenges Along the Way: Imagine Lot's Wife's helplessness, as this decision was made by her husband, and yet she had to live with the choices he made. Her heart choices led to judgement rather than mercy, and that she ultimately refused God's attempt to save her. Although, she had only hours to live, she was unaware of the tragedy about to overtake her.

Her Place in God's Divine Plan: The disobedience of Lot's Wife can serve as an example for us today in a couple of different areas. First of all, how often have we looked back at past mistakes and then made decisions that took you out of the will of God that ended up being disastrous? We are to obey God's commands and when we don't, there are consequences that often affect those close to us. And, secondly, don't look back! Don't dwell on what used to be, or on past mistakes. Just press forward and do the best we can right now, and in the future. Like Eve, who broke God’s single decree, “Don’t eat,” Lot's wife broke the one command given her, “Don’t look.”

Lesson We Can Learn from Her Legacy: The lesson isn't so much about who Lot's Wife was or even what she did, rather it is about the lesson in her story. Jesus urged His followers to remember Lot's Wife "It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot's Wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it." (Luke 17:30-33) Sobering words recalling a sobering story. Words meant to lead us away from the compelling illusions of wickedness and safe into the arms of mercy! She stands as a permanent symbol of the women who looks back and refuses to move forward, the woman who, faced toward salvation, still turns to look longingly on material things she has left behind.

Family Tree:
Husband: Lot 
Children: Ben-Ammi (Elder Daughter) Raitsa (Younger Daughter)
Death: The image of Lot’s wife standing watch over the Dead Sea at Mount Sodom in Israel stands today.

*Side Story:
Since the daughters were left alone with their father....and were probably grieving along with Lot, at the loss of their mother...they took matters into their own hands (big mistake) and decided that the only way they would ever have children was if their own father got them pregnant. So....they got Lot drunk and slept with him, carrying out their plan. The descendants of the sons they bore, Moab and Ammon, were enemies of God's chosen people, the Israelites. As for Lot's daughters, they can serve as an example of what sometimes happens when we take matters into our own hands!!!

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