Lesson from Lot’s wife – the Pillar of Salt

For those who are familiar with the Bible, the story of Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt, when she disobeyed and looked back at the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, is not unknown (Genesis 19:26).

Since the Bible is not explicit on the details of this transformation, there are quite a few questions left unanswered. What is this pillar of salt? Was Lot’s wife’s body tissue calcified from within or was she covered with the residue of the brimstone poured out of heaven? Was she punished because of the allegiance of her heart to the wickedness of the city she lived in or was it because of her disobedience in looking back? Why did the angels not ask Lot about his wife, but asked his sons, daughters and even his sons-in-law? (Genesis 19:12). Did they already know that this unnamed wife of Lot would look back even after she had the knowledge of her salvation, and is that why they warned the family to not look back? There are so many questions that the natural mind warrants answers for and it would be mere speculation and futile of man to even attempt to answer these. However, the answers to the spiritual mind are more evident than the natural ones.

From this account, we can learn a few hidden truths that is well substantiated by the Bible.

  1. The consequences of disobeying God willfully after the foreknowledge of salvation is death (Hebrews 10:26) as the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
  2. To look back is to consider the ways of the past – our lives before we come to know of the saving grace of Jesus Christ – a life that is sinful and contrary to the will and ways of God. But anyone who is in Christ Jesus is a new creature; the old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). The new can have nothing to do with the old for the new shall burst out the old as new wine bursts out the old wineskin if put in it (Matthew 9:17). Instead of looking back at our wicked pasts and be drawn to it, we must look on forward unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
  3. A pillar is usually erected to hold something on top of it or as a monument of remembrance. Lot’s wife was one who had lost her saltiness (Luke 14:34) only to find out that she would serve as a monumental reminder to the truth that friendship with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4).

Points to ponder:
Where are you looking at and more importantly who are you looking at? To look behind and be drawn to a wicked lifestyle after having seen the Salvation of the Lord bears the consequences of death – Look not behind at the world but unto Jesus. Are you a friend of the world (James 4:4) or are you a Friend of God (James 2:23)?

Genesis 19:23-26 (KJV)
23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;
25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Hebrews 10:26-27 (KJV)
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Romans 6:22-23 (KJV)
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

James 4:4 (KJV)
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

James 2:23 (KJV)
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

When God says “I cannot do anything till …”

When one thinks of God they are not usually expected to think of God saying “I cannot do anything till …” and yet here, as Lot is commanded to escape from the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Lord God tarries his punishment until Lot is in a safe place, where he won’t come under the indignation and judgment of God. God is willing to wait until Lot and his family are safe.

Points to ponder:
God does not want anyone to perish, especially the righteous who have put their faith and trust in Jesus, accepting him as their Lord and Savior and King. God cannot do anything till the righteous are safe, for he is a Just God and won’t punish the righteous with the wicked.

The Bible teaches us that while the return of the Lord as Judge and King may seem like it is not near, let us be careful to not take the longsuffering (patient) nature of God as one of slackness (2 Peter 3:9). He tarries to bring punishment so that the wheat is not burnt up with the weeds and God is not willing that any should perish (just as he did not want Lot and his family to perish), but he wills that all come to repentance.

Genesis 19:22 (KJV)
22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do anything till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

2 Peter 3:9 (KJV)
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Asking for the Zoar in our life

When the two angelic visitors commanded Lot to not stay in the plain, but to escape to the mountains, before they brought down God’s judgment on the wicked people of Sodom and Gomorrah, we see Lot asking the angels if he could instead got to the city that is near by, a city that is a little one (small and insignificant) – a city name Zoar – his reason was , and it was agreed so. Zoar was spared on account of Lot, but what is of importance to note, is that many a times like Lot, instead of running to escape to the mountains, we focus on our own abilities and ask for the insignificant and small things that we feel are accessible.

Points to ponder:
When God commands us to go to the mountain tops (the zenith of our life for him), let us not ask for the small and insignificant (Zoar) in our life.

Genesis 19:18-21 (KJV)
18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:
19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:
20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.
21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.

Escape to The mountain

Maryann Mott, writes in the January 4th, 2005 issue of National Geographic News that the animals (God’s creature) sought higher ground just before the Tsunami hit the shores of India and Srilanka and relatively few animals were found to be dead – in other words, more animals that escaped to the mountains escaped death.

Of the four things that the angelic visitors in the house of Lot, told Lot and his family who were with him, when they had led them by their hand, outside the wicked city of Sodom, the fourth was “escape to the mountain”

Did you notice that this command was first and foremost specific. It was not “escape to any mountain”, it was to “escape to the mountain”. Although, we are not exactly told as to which mountain, it was that, Lot and his family were commanded to go, we know that, they were not to stay in the plain but go to higher ground. The Psalmist makes it clear the we ought to look up to the hills (mountains) from where our help comes from (Psalm 121:1) and no evil shall befall those who make the Lord, even the Most High, their shelter (habitation/dwelling place) (Psalm 91:9-10).

What is this mountain that we ought to escape to? Interestingly, the Bible speaks of several mountains where you would find Jesus, during his life on earth as man.
1. Mount of Temptation – from which Jesus demonstrated that “It is written,” how the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, needs to be used in spiritual warfare (Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 6:10-18)
2. Mount of Beatitudes – from which he taught about what it meant to be “Blessed” (Matthew 5:1-12)
3. Mount of Transfiguration – where you see Jesus glorified in great splendor, bright shining as the sun and in white raiment of undefiled righteousness (Matthew 17:1-3).
4. Mount of Olives – from which he gave the Olivet’s discourse, speaking of signs and warning of the end times (Matthew 24)
5. Mount Calvary (Golgotha) – where you will see Jesus on a Cross (in our stead), bolding declaring that the work of God’s salvation and redemption of mankind back to himself was now complete, and his work of fulfilling the will and work of God was now finished (Matthew 27:33). Interestingly, it is speculated (along with some archaeological evidence) that the place on mount Moriah, where Abraham offered Isaac his son, is about where Calvary/Golgotha is, where God offered Jesus, his only begotten Son, as a sacrifice for mankind.
6. Mount in Galilee – where you find Jesus after his resurrection from the dead, meeting with his disciples (Matthew 28:7,16) and where he is worshipped by his true disciples. It is here that Jesus gave the charge of the great commission to all of his disciples and the promise of being with them forever.
7. Mount Zion – where you will see Jesus, the Lamb of God, standing with his saints, who had sacrificed their lives for him, marked with the name of God the Father (Revelation 14:1).

Points to ponder: 
We need to run to the mountain to
– learn about how we ought to be spiritual gladiators (prizefighters), fighting with the weapons of God against temptations, the good fight of faith laying hold on eternal life,
– learn about the beatitudes and what it means to be truly blessed, by, and in the Lord.
– see Jesus transfigured before our eyes as the undefiled, unblemished, sinless, High Priest with robes of righteousness and the bright Sun giving Light to this dark world.
– hear his discourse of the warnings in the end times to come.
– see him be the perfect Sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, shedding his blood for our sakes, without which there is no remission of sin or hope for mankind.
– be given and to take charge in the great commission as his disciples.
– stand alongside Jesus the Lamb of God, marked as ones belonging to God the Father, as his saints, laying down our very lives as living sacrifices.

We ought to run to the mountain to escape. Which mountain are you on? The important thing is not to stay in the plain, but to escape to the mountain. Have you met with Jesus on The mountain, without whom, there is no escape. Escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

Genesis 19:17 (KJV)
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

Stay not in the plain

Of the four things that the angelic visitors in the house of Lot, told Lot and his family who were with him, when they had led them by their hand, outside the wicked city of Sodom, the third was “neither stay thou in all the plain”

It is quite obvious that the angelic visitors did not want Lot or his family to be in the area where the Lord’s judgment was going to fall – on the cities of the plain, of which Sodom and Gomorrah were part of (Genesis 13:10; Genesis 14:1-3; Genesis 19:28). In other words, God did not want Lot to be associated with anything wicked, especially in a zone (plain) of danger.

Points to ponder:
Unlike the hills, the plains are susceptible to relatively more disasters – natural disasters, such as twisters etc., since there are no obstructions to protect against these natural calamities. In like manner, when we live in the plains – a plateaued lifestyle without fervor and service to the Lord God – the onslaughts of the twister (deceiver and liar who twists the truth – John 8:44, ) is brought on us. We must not stay in the plain but run to the hills, from where our help comes from (Psalm 121:1). Are you in the plains? Stay not in the plains, says the Lord.

Genesis 19:17 (KJV)
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.


Look not behind thee

Of the four things that the angelic visitors in the house of Lot, told Lot and his family who were with him, when they had led them by their hand, outside the wicked city of Sodom, the second was “look not behind thee”

God was going to destroy the worldly wicked city of Sodom and Gomorrah for their sin was grievous before God and Lot and his wife and two daughters were asked to leave the city and escape to the mountains. In other words, they were to sever any tied they had with the city so much so as to not even look back.  They were to give up their old habitation and have no more allegiance to the wicked world they were living in.

Points to ponder:
Those who are followers of Jesus Christ, must not look back at the wicked world we live in. Jesus’ words were very clear and explicit to illustrate this profound truth – for he said, No man, who has put his hand to the plough, if he looks back, is not fit for the kingdom of God. i.e., Anyone who has committed their lives to Jesus Christ, and who have put their hand in the service of God i.e., to the plough for the harvest (Matthew 9:37-38), must not look back. For if you do so, you are not fit for the kingdom of God. So the question is “Are you fit for the kingdom of God?”

Genesis 19:17 (KJV)
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

Luke 9:62 (KJV)
62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Escape (Run) for thy life

Of the four things that the angelic visitors in the house of Lot, told Lot and his family who were with him, when they had led them by their hand, outside the wicked city of Sodom, the first was “Escape (run) for thy life”

Sodom was known for its sexual sins and its pride, arrogance, inhospitality and defiance against the ways of God. It is from such a place like this that God is warning Lot and counseling him to run for his life and escape the impending judgment of God.

Points to ponder:
In these words, “Escape for thy life”, there is a message for each one of us today, just as it was relevant to Lot and his family. The world we live in is similar to the wicked city of Sodom. We live in a world that boast arrogantly and in defiance to the ways of God, rife with sexual sins. The Bible counsels us to flee / run (escape) from sexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:18) for in the end it brings death (Proverbs 5:3-5) and this applies to any kind of adulterous relationship, including one with the world (James 4:4). We are in this world, but we are not of it (John 17:16) and so we ought not to be conformed to the patterns of this world, but instead escape for our life, by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2), as that of Christ (Philippians 2:5). Escape for thy life.

Genesis 19:17 (KJV)
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

Led by the hand

The angelic visitors in the house of Lot said to Lot, “Arise, take your wife, your two daughters, who were in his place and leave, lest they also be consumed along with the wicked on whom God was going to pour his judgment upon” The Bible records that Lot did not necessary heed immediately for he lingered on. As Lot lingered, the Bible says that the men (angelic visitors) laid hold of his hand and of his wife and his two daughters and led them out of the city, declaring that the Lord be merciful unto Lot. In other words, Lot was led by the hand to safety.

Points to ponder:
Many a times, like Lot, we also linger on, instead of immediately heeding to God’s voice, but because of the great mercy of who, we do not get what we deserve and find the hand of the Lord leading us by hand, out of the dangers of sin, into safety and salvation. Jesus declared as his final saying from the Cross, “Into thy hands, I commend my spirit” as his own hands were pierced by nails to a wooden cross. Only in the hands of the Lord God is true safety and Salvation and so let us pray that the hand of the Lord leads us by taking hold of our own hands. Are you being led by the hand of the Lord?

Genesis 19:15-16 (KJV)
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

Up and Out

Genesis 19:12-14 records how the angelic visitors, who were sent to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, told Lot that if he had anyone besides himself (his sons in law, his sons, his daughters and anyone else) in the city who would need to be saved, from the impending doom, he would need to make haste and have them come to his place. Lot goes out to speak to his sons in law, and said, “Up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city.” Instead of heeding to the voice of God through Lot, his sons in law mocked him and refused to listen. From this account we can learn at least two things:
1. God’s offer of salvation extends to the family of the righteous.
2. Refusing to heed to God’s warnings, (especially when it comes from those who love us), can have deadly consequences.

Points to ponder:
Before we jump into pointing our fingers on the foolish sons in law of Lot, let us recognize that God’s offer of salvation is to each one of us and sometimes we act a lot like Lot’s sons in law, refusing to heed to God’s warnings through his people. We ought to get ‘Up’ from the miry pity of sin and get ‘Out’ of the place of sin in our lives. Blessed is the man who sits not (meaning who gets Up) in the seat of the scornful, nor stands (meaning he/she gets Out from) in the way of the sinner (Psalm 1:1). Let our motto be “Up” and “Out”.

Genesis 19:12-14 (KJV)
12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:
13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.
14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

Jesus Christ – The President of all presidents

Presidents day is celebrated on the third Monday in February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States of America and the term “Presidents Day” was informally coined in order to remember and honor all the presidents, not just Washington.

The term President has come to refer to the head of an elected nation – someone in authority over all in that nation, but did you know that the word President has its root in the Latin word praesident which meant “sitting before“.

The Bible says that God has put all things under the feet of Jesus and has made him head (ruler, authority) over all things to the church – God’s elected holy nation (Ephesians 1:22; Romans 11:7; 1 Peter 2:9). Jesus is the head over every ruler (principality) and authority (power) (Colossians 2:10). Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame and who sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus is the President over all presidents, sitting before every ruler and authority, reigning Sovereignly over all.

Points to ponder:
While we remember and honor the various presidents of this world, let us not forget to remember and honor Jesus Christ – The President; The President of all presidents to whom all the earthly presidents bow and will bow. Is Jesus your President?

Ephesians 1:19-23 (KJV)
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Colossians 2:8-10 (KJV)
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: