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.

Biblical Oxymoron :: Enemy Friend

The well known Arabian proverb  “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is used to conceptualize that when two parties have a common enemy, then one can use the other to advance their goals. We see that this was essentially the case during the time of Jesus. The Pharisees and the Herodians who hated each other united to try to entangle the very Son of God, Jesus Christ (Matthew 22:15-16). We also see that a Roman (Pilate) and a Jew (Herod) who were usually at loggerheads became friends, when trying Jesus for no crime that He had committed (Luke 23:12). Sadly in both of the referenced cases, weak men of the world banded together against a powerful God. Now think of the situation as to how powerful we would be in advancing the apostleship granted to each one of us, if Jesus and us had a common enemy. We do. It is called the world.

Jesus himself said, that the world was his enemy, that it hated him when He exclaimed, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” (John 7:7). He also said that we will be hated of all men for His name’s sake (Luke 21:17) and when He prays for His disciples, He tells God, the Father that the world hates us (John 17:14). All of these verses affirm that the world hated/hates Jesus and the world hates/will hate us, Jesus’ true followers. This means that the world is at enmity with God and at enmity with us. In fact, we are to marvel not (or be surprised) that the world hates us (1 John 3:13). We can be assured of God’s promise that if the world hates us, they are not really in enmity with us, but in enmity with God and God will be the enemy of those who are our enemies and the adversary of those who are our adversaries (Exodus 23:22).

An identical proverb to the Arabian proverb, but of Chinese origin is “it is good to strike the serpent’s head with your enemy’s hand.” We are to strike the Satan’s (serpent’s) head with the hand of the world (our enemy), i.e., not fall prey to evil in the world. Satan uses the world and its lusts to lure us away from God. When we devalue the world and its offerings, we give him no power, symbolically striking a blow to his head. If our allegiance is with the world over that of with the Word of God that became flesh and tabernacled among and in us, then we cannot be in spiritual battle with Satan (which means adversary) or his forces in heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:10-18).

To oxymoronic aspect here is this:
To be a friend of this world is to an enemy with God;
To be an enemy of the world is to be the Friend of God

With the world (and its evil) as our common enemy, we can work hand in hand with God and advance the goals of apostleship that He has entrusted to us, being assured that He will be the enemy of our enemy (the world), meaning that He will be our friend. What a friend we have in Jesus!

John 17:14 (KJV)
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

James 4:4 (KJV)
4 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.