Looking Back at a Poverty Stricken Past
"And as they brought them out, one said, 'Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley...But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt."
Genesis 19:17a, 26
We've all heard the saying, "You never have seen a hearse pulling a u-haul." Meaning, that even though we know life is short and that the past is literally the past, and our possessions can never define us, we still try and hold on to things and think that we can find our worth in them. This is what we see in Lot's wife.
The Backdrop to Lot and His Family
Lot was the nephew of Abraham. He had traveled with his brother from their homeland as Abraham was following the call of God to go and possess the promised land. Along the way God had so blessed Abraham and his family that they had an abundance of possessions and the land could not support all of them. So Lot and his wife and people separated from Abraham and his wife and people. Lot went to a place called Sodom and Gomorrah where the land was beautiful, but the people wicked. And God's judgment was sent out on the people of the land for their evil deeds. But God in His infinite mercy rescued Lot and his family before he destroyed the city. And placed them on the outskirts of the city with one condition. He said, "Escape and do not look back." Pretty simple, but oh so difficult.
One of the most stark warnings Jesus ever gave His disciples is also one of His shortest commands. We find it in Luke 17 where Jesus was explaining the judgement of God and the Son of Man being revealed at the end of age. He talks about how men and women will be like in the days of Noah, "drinking and marrying and being given in marriage" and he also goes on to explain it will like the days of Lot where they were "eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building." And then He shares how we must be prepared and not be concerned about "goods" or "fields" that are left behind when the Son of Man comes. But here is the warning, He says very bluntly with no other description, "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32) What is Jesus trying to say us about His return and where we should be looking through this statement of Lot's wife?
Why did Lot's wife turn around and look back, when God had specifically said not to? If anything, I think that Lot's wife is an example of how we can get so caught up in who we used to be, or what we had to give up to follow Jesus, that it becomes our identity and actually drives us further from Him. In every heart, just like Lot's wife, there is regret. And sometimes all it takes is one simple look to get stuck gazing in the wrong direction.
Now I don't know exactly if Lot's wife was dealing with regret as she was running from her hometown of Sodom, but what we do know is that she was compelled to stop looking from where God was wanting to take her. This is what regret does. It takes our eyes off of where Jesus is taking us and puts it on ourselves and our efforts, which ultimately fail us. Regret makes us dwell in moments of pain as we then deal with being unworthy and undesireable. We start to say things like, "God could never forgive me." or "Is it He really worth it?" The fact is that if you are trapped in regret it becomes a prison that is incredibly hard to get out of. Yet God is able.
When we run after Jesus and follow His leading there will be no regrets. And there is no time for regret. He satisfies every desire of the human heart. Ralph Wald Emerson said, "What lies behind us, and what lies ahead of us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." How profound! Yet sometimes we want to look back. It certainly is a temptation, but thankfully when you begin to follow Him, you find, that there is nothing to look back to. He has filled every space and satisfied every want of our heart. The God of the universe is at work inside of you if you believe in Jesus and trust by faith in His sacrifice.
If you don't know Him and His love that He has showed us in Jesus through his death on a cross and are still suffering regret and doubt please reach out to us. We are here to help and show you the way to a new life that has joy and peace with God. 910-892-5772
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