Remember Lot’s wife! (Luke 17:32 NIV)
Lot and his family had settled into the culture and society of Sodom and when warned by the angels to flee because of its imminent destruction they seemed reticent at first
(Genesis 19:16-19). Nevertheless the angels insisted that they get out as soon as possible and as they went they were not to look back to the burning cities
Sadly Lot’s wife does look back and perishes as a result
When we are finding it difficult to come out of the bondage of wrong desires and actions there is always the temptation to look back with regret at what we are in the process of leaving behind. But, for example, an alcoholic, a gambler, or someone addicted to drugs, who are attempting to move away from these habits, cannot risk looking back, but must rather keep their eyes fixed on the goal of leaving them behind. To look back is to put in jeopardy their freedom from these addictions and risk ruin.
This story of Lot’s wife still speaks to us today by showing that there is a time when we have to cut ourselves off totally from whatever it is that is pulling us down spiritually and physically. We have to turn our back on it, go away and not even glance behind at it lest we fall back into the same trap, the same addictions all over again.
To do so is to turn into a pillar of salt spiritually. If you were to fill your garden with salt nothing is going to grow there, and there will be no spiritual growth in our lives if we allow ourselves to turn into a pillar of spiritual salt.
The way Lot and his family could avoid looking back to Sodom was to look to the city of Zoar
(v.20); and for Christians the way to avoid looking back to the areas of our life we need to leave behind is to look to Jesus. We will only be able to throw off the wrong habits that weigh us down and run the Christian race if our eyes are fixed upon him
In the words of the old hymn: *
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
As Jesus fills our vision more and more, the things we have left behind will fade and
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!
Father, as we keep our eyes on Jesus we pray the prayer of St Patrick: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Have a good week keep in your eyes on Jesus.
* Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Helen H. Lemmel, 1922.