Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Remember Lot's Wife
Three sobering words found in the middle of Jesus' teaching about His return.
Today we looked at the story of the demise of Lot's wife. She doesn't play a huge role in the Sodom and Gomorrah story. We don't see her making dinner for the angels. Neither do we see her pleading with her husband to spare her daughters lives when he offered the girls to the ravenous crowd to save the lives of his guests. Rather we only see one action on her part - one short verse tells her whole story: "But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt." (Genesis 19:26)
Fast forward to the final week of Jesus' ministry here before His death, and we find the disciples asking Jesus what to look for that will signal His return is near. After a lengthy discussion filled with signs and teaching, Jesus compares the state of the world with society at the time of Noah and Lot. Life will be going on as usual, people eating, drinking and getting...well, you know the list. But Christ's return is going to bring sudden destruction to the world. In both Noah and Lot's case, they were pulled to safety just before the judgment came.
But then Jesus says, "Remember Lot's wife." He goes on to say, "Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it." This is a sober warning because I link these words to something Jesus said in Matthew 24:10 and 12: "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another...most people's love will grow cold." These verses are talking about within the walls of the church. We know that the church is filled with wheat and tares - true believers and look-alike believers, and as the persecution of the church increases, MANY will fall away and MOST will have their heart grow cold.
God doesn't use words like "many" and "most" lightly. He knows what's going to happen and here He warns us that the true colors of men will show through in the last days. His words, "Remember Lot's wife," is a warning to us. A day is coming that if we seek to save our lives, we will be forced to make choices that place us against God. But if we lose our life because of our love for God, we will certainly save it. This is a warning and it is a promise. When we see the events unfolding that Jesus talked about in Luke 17 and in Matthew 24, we must remember that at the same time most of those around us are going to succumb to the pressure of persecution and seek to save themselves. This will only add to the suffering and sorrow of those days.
Lot's wife couldn't bear the thought of leaving her home, her children and her life, and when instructed to set her eyes to the hills, all she could do was ache for her home. So she turned her head. Perhaps the noise was deafening. Or maybe she didn't believe it was real. But she made a choice to follow her heart rather than God and she paid a great price for it.
Jesus has warned us not to look back. He is not going to surprise us with anything - He has given us plenty to understand and follow. The next questions are then, are you prepared to lose your life for Him? Do you believe that a time is coming where you will have to choose between God and your life?
"Not here in America, Kristen - you must be thinking of China or North Korea."
Oh, yes, I do mean here in America, ladies. It's coming and the reason I can say it with confidence is because I have a credible source that tells me it's coming - the Word ofGod.
Gals, remember Lot's wife. Learn from her lesson and resign in your heart today to prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
By the way, thanks for a great study today - it's wonderful to be back in the swing of things!
(This second picture is one of the salt formations I told you about today. It is found along the Dead Sea and the locals refer to these formations as "Lot's Wife.")