In Genesis 19, we learn more about the biblical record of Abraham’s nephew, Lot. After the death of Lot’s father, he went to live with his uncle, and Abraham loved him tremendously. Lot became prosperous just like Abraham, and when the Lord commanded Abraham to move to Bethel, Lot tagged along; but their households were too big for the one area. It was necessary for them to split. Lot ended up settling near the city of Sodom, and at first glance it seemed like a nice place. It was well-watered and the land had fertile soil, which was very suitable to maintain his crops and livestock, but as this notorious record in Genesis 19 bears out, all was not as it seemed in Sodom and its nearby city, Gomorrah. One of the greatest and most wise lessons that we must learn, particularly as single Christian women, is that you can never judge a book by its cover. This is lesson number one.
The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were filled with wickedness, so evil in fact that these cities had to be destroyed. When the Lord told Abraham this, he was distraught, because he was afraid of what would happen to Lot, his nephew, but our God will not abandon those with a righteous heart towards Him, and this is undoubtedly lesson number two.
It cannot be ignored that with the vile wickedness of these two cities, there was only one good man living among the inhabitants, and it was Lot. Genesis 19:1 tells us that when the two angels sent by God came to the entrance of Sodom, Lot was sitting there and stood up to greet them. Then he welcomed them by bowing. Lesson number three, humility is always the dominant characteristic of a good man.
These angels must have looked like men, but it isn’t too much of a stretch to assume that Lot may have discerned something angelic and divine about them. He offered to wash their feet, and extended generous hospitality. Genesis 19:4-5(NLT) says, “4 But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. 5 They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!” Lot stepped outside and pleaded with the men of Sodom to stop their wicked intentions. He even offered his own virgin daughters in exchange for the protection of these men. This willingness on the part of Lot to make such an extreme sacrifice for these messengers of God reveals the true nature of Lot’s heart. Lesson number four, acts of kindness and sacrifice will set you up for epic blessings.
The angels were surely more powerful than Lot could have imagined, but the kind intention to protect them was returned to him and his family. They told Lot, his wife, and his two daughters in Genesis 19:17(NLT), “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!” The Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah and everything was utterly destroyed, even the vegetation. As they were escaping this terrible destruction, verse 26 tells us that Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind, and turned into a pillar of salt. Lesson number five, never look back!
When we look back and focus our attention on the past instead of leaving it behind, we may not turn into a pillar of salt, but like Lot’s wife, giving in to the temptation will invite the bitterness of sin to again put a hold on our lives. We don’t want this. There are many lessons that we can learn from this record in Genesis 19, but the tragic loss of time, momentum, and stamina by trying to erect a monument to our past—to who we used to be and what we used to do, this is paralyzing to the newness of all Christ has made available to us.
In Ephesians 4:22, God tells us to put off our former way of life, and put on the newness that Christ offers, because this is the way we grow and become strong in the Lord. It’s how we stop giving the enemy opportunities to pull us down. It takes spiritual strength to live long and strong in this dark and evil world, and our responsibility and privilege is to reach towards Christ with every ounce of strength we have. We cannot give in to the temptation of doubt and unbelief as Lot’s wife did. She was closely related to righteousness, for Lot by all accounts truly was, but close is not enough. We have to walk this walk ourselves, and if we are truly sold out for Jesus Christ, we will never look back. ■
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“Lesson #5, Never Look Back!”, written for findchristianman.com©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!