You may have heard of Sodom and Gomorrah. There was so much wickedness in them that God judged them and destroyed them with fire and brimstone. It seems harsh doesn’t it, and the Bible patriarch Abraham struggled with it until he understood two things. One being that anyone considered righteous by God would be safe. Secondly, and more importantly, as Abraham himself said, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (1) There are many things we don’t understand, the actions of men let alone God. We see terrorists blowing up buildings and killing hundreds of people. We see mass murderers gunning down people. Do you remember the schoolgirl made famous by the Boomtown Rats? She went into school on a Monday morning and shot dead a number of people. When asked why, supposedly her response was, “I don’t like Mondays.” None of us will ever understand the minds of these people, and why they act as they do, and we will never understand the mind of God and some of the things we read about him. What we can be assured of, as Abraham realised, is that whatever God does it’s the right thing. We may not understand it, but it’s right.
Were there any righteous people in Sodom? There was one, a man named Lot. He was rescued before the judgement came but he had to run for his life and not look back. His wife and two daughters ran with him, but his wife looked back longingly towards what she was leaving behind, and she immediately turned into a pillar of salt. I know what you’re thinking. It’s ridiculous, people don’t turn into salt, but if God says that’s what happened, that’s what happened. I never disagree with the Bible, however strange it may sometimes appear.
You might think it was a harsh judgement on Lot’s wife. She only looked back. What’s the big deal? I’ve been helped to understand that by reading Luke 17 where Jesus was talking about his future return to earth. He actually says that at the time of his coming it will be like in the days of Lot. Life will be continuing as normal until there is a sudden judgement. Jesus then says, “Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.” (2) Jesus also said, “On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.” (3) Do you see the word possessions? That’s the problem. Lot’s wife was so attached to what she was leaving behind. Her focus should have been on the Lord who was rescuing her from destruction, but it wasn’t. She was too attached to the world she knew and wasn’t able to step out in faith.
Stepping out in faith is a big part of being a Christian. When you’re ‘saved’ you are given a new outlook and a new life, with a promise of eternal riches beyond measure. The Bible is full of people who gave up everything for the Lord. In our case, it doesn’t mean abandoning our homes or families, it doesn’t mean giving away all our possessions. It simply means that as we go through life we commit ourselves to Jesus first. Always prioritise God’s will over our own. Never look back and long for the very thing God has saved you from. There’s a verse in Psalm 73 which is very powerful. It says, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” (4) That wasn’t true of Lot’s wife. She desired her old life. Are you able to put Jesus first? Desire him above everything? Don’t forget that he died for you. I hope and pray that you will commit yourself to him and live a life for him. It’s truly a blessed life. I speak from experience.
- Genesis 18:25
- Luke 17:31
- Luke 17:32
- Psalm 73:5