Lot’s wife personifies the classic wisdom “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). Jesus used her as an example of someone who started the right way, but looked back, because she was not completely willing to give up her old ways to follow God in obedience – Luke 17:31-33 “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”
Okay, we read in God’s Word that Lot was a rich and very influential man, but nowhere does it say much about his wife. We see no mention of her name, nor her family or even her race. However, it is indicated that she was a worldly, materialistic woman. She definitely failed in the spiritual nurturing of her children – her daughters married men of Sodom, and then committed incest with their own father – Genesis 19:30-35 “And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.”
This also speaks to us about the effects of alcohol on our minds, and why God’s Word warns us against even looking at it – Proverbs 23:29-35 “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. LOOK NOT thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.”
SIDE NOTE: Way too many Christians fail to understand that most places the Bible mentions wine, like when Jesus turned water into wine, that it is not speaking of alcohol. This Scripture in Proverbs explains about the wine that has turned to alcohol and why we are to not even look upon it. What Jesus made for the wedding was grape juice. Jesus is pure and holy, He would never make something that is unholy and corrupts men’s minds. When grape juice turns to alcohol, it becomes something rotten. Wine in the Bible when used in the right sense speaks of “the pure blood of the grape.” Our Saviour who, throughout the Bible, urges people not to drink would certainly not create something to contradict His own word and to ruin the men He came to save! I spent many years of my life letting the enemy deceive me into thinking that because the Bible says not to be ‘drunk’ with wine, it was okay in moderation. Jesus has revealed His truth to me that even in moderation, it is not what He and His Word are telling us at all. He tells us to be filled with His Holy Spirit. If we consume even one sip of alcohol, or any substance that affects our minds, it grieves the Holy Spirit to the point that we are not Spirit-filled. He is there, but he is numbed. And I have learned by experience that the joy that comes with being Spirit-filled far surpasses any temporary high that this sinful world has to offer. AND, there is no convicting guilt!
Lot’s wife did not have to die. She was offered a choice–obedience and life or disobedience and death in pursuit of the pleasures of the world. We do not know where Lot met his wife, nor when they were married, but we do know that they had two daughters (Genesis 19:16). The kidnapping of Lot and his family (Genesis 14) would have included his wife, and she would have been among the company that was rescued by Abraham since Abraham “brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people” (Genesis 14:16) This means that she may well have heard Melchizedek’s witness for God (Genesis 14:19, 20). In other words, she was well aware of the Lord and His dealings with Abraham. BUT the lifestyle of Sodom had a strong hold on her.
Sodom was a sophisticated town, offering a wide variety of cultural opportunities. The immorality had degenerated to the lowest point of sexual perversion so much that our term “sodomy” comes from the name of this city. (Today, Sodomites have twisted and changed the word to describe their lifestyle as gay and homosexual, so in their minds it does not sound so bad, and more people will accept their sin.)
Lot, though called a “righteous man,” seemed also to be entangled in the grip of Sodom’s influence – 2 Peter 2:7, 8 – “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)”
Unfortunately, Lot chose to raise his family in Sodom, even though it’s reputation for depravity was well known. Still, the Lord sent messengers to rescue this family from their own destructive choices.
God wanted to save Lot’s wife. He sent angels to warn, to escort, and finally they had to physically pull her out of harm’s way. Whether she understood exactly what would happen is uncertain, but being escorted by angels in this fashion surely had to alert her to something supernatural.
The destruction most likely began with a violent earthquake, which set fire to the gases and sulphur. Firebrands were falling around her. Though she had followed her husband into the wilderness, she had the same problem the Israelites did in the wilderness as they “in their hearts turned back again into Egypt” (Acts 7:39). Just like the Israelites, she was destroyed. But she did not have to be.
This can be an example to us that once we are saved, we must never let ourselves look back and yearn for Egypt (our past sinful ways). We must stay the course until we see Him face to face!