Sunday, January 12, 2014

Remember Lot’s Wife

Remember Lots Wife
By Donald Macauley  [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Reading: Genesis 19:1-26; Luke 17:22-37.

“In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back.  Remember Lot’s wife...” 

Our Topic today is a call to Remember.

Remembering implies what you ought to know that which perhaps you have forgotten or are prone to forget. It also implies that forgetting carries grave consequences. We shall in the talk focus our minds on two broad aspects of this topic.

  • What are we to remember or in other words, what happened to Lot’s wife? What is spectacular about her situation that there is the need to call it to remembrance?
  • What situation warranted the Lord Jesus’ call to His hearers and indeed, all of us here today, to remember Lot’s wife?

The passage in Genesis 19:1-26 gives us the answer and the background for our thought on issue number one. 

It is a story set on the corrupt cities of Sodom and Gomorrah which have been marked for complete destruction. God in His infinite mercy decided to save a few people and chose the family of Lot. They were not being saved because they were righteous but because God was answering the prayer earlier made to Him in Chapter 18 by Abraham. Like Lot's wife, you and I are justified, not for anything we have done but because Christ has justified us. He imputed His righteousness on us. God says “when I see the blood, I shall pass over you” 

It is a story in which we see God’s grace and mercy fighting against man’s unwillingness to be saved. In verse 18 we find Lot protesting against leaving the city. But God still prevailed and thrust him out of the city. Left to you and I, we will not have been saved. We do not want to be saved. We want to be here and perish but God took the initiative came in flesh, suffered and bore all our sins and iniquities away.

It is a story in which we see that God’s word can never return to Him void and no jot of His word can ever go unfulfilled. It must accomplish the purpose for which it was sent.  Tragedy befell Lot's wife because she failed to heed a specific instruction. The Angel of God had specifically given them an instruction in verse 17: “Look not behind you”, with the consequences for disobedience : “lest you be consumed”. She looked back and was consumed.  

Now that we have an idea of what the setting is and what we are called to remember i.e. a situation where one neglected and disobeyed a specific order and faced the consequences of the disobedience, let us now look at the second aspect of our thoughts today.

Why did Jesus call us to remember this situation? Why was it necessary that we should remember Lot’s wife? Let us briefly attempt to enter into Mrs. Lot’s thinking to see what made her disobey.

Lot's wife perhaps had compassion and love for the people of Sodom. 

At least we know that her sons-in-law were still there. They had lived in the city for some years and so must have made friends – yes, friends with the wicked. I am not in any way saying that it is wrong for us to have friends who are unbelievers. No! I have lots of them. But to what extent do you enjoy their situation and companionship? Do you compromise with them so much so that your love for them beclouds your eyes and makes you disobey God? She loved them to a fault – She disobeyed God

Lot's wife may have disobeyed because she remembered her worldly possessions in Sodom

Sometimes the things we have tend to drag us behind. No doubt when they hurried out of Sodom they must have left lots of their valuable and essential possessions behind. She, being a mindful house-wife remembered them and wished she could go back to take them. What possessions do you have that tend to the extent of destroying you by disobeying God? Check your consciences.

Lot's wife may have disobeyed because she was selfish

You remember when Jesus called Peter after His resurrection and said to him “Follow Me”. The Bible records that when Peter looked behind and saw John following also, he did not mind his own business but quickly asked the Lord “What shall this man do?” But what was Jesus’ answer? “What is that to you? Follow Me” (For more on this subject, read the message on Minding your own business). Mrs Lot would perhaps have suspected that some of those wicked Sodomites were following and wanted to look behind to be sure that they were the only people saved. Beware, selfishness blinds the eyes and makes you disobey God. Many Christians behave as if the Kingdom of God is too little that saving more people would create problems of overpopulation. So they, in action and in effect are saying to God, do not save more people. It is enough. Perhaps this was the problem of Mrs. Lot.

Lot's wife may have forgotten the instruction. 

We often forget and most often we are not to be blamed for forgetting. We are independent of our wills and memories. But should we forget God’s instructions – specific orders? Perhaps that is why Jesus prefaced His statement to us here with “remember” and lastly

Perhaps Lot's wife wasn't one of those to be saved. 

She was trying to escape by hiding herself amongst God’s people. But the Bible says; “Your sins shall surely find you out”. God is not deceived; whatever you sow, that you will reap. She thought perhaps that you can gain salvation by following those who are saved. No. You have to be saved first. She perhaps was a part of the sinful Sodom but no matter how much you gather with the saved, on the day of reckoning, you shall be left behind. This was what Jesus meant when He said: “Two shall be sleeping together, one shall be taken and the other left behind or two women shall be grinding together, one shall be taken and the other left behind.” Perhaps two shall be praying together, singing choruses and perhaps worshiping together, one shall be taken and the other left behind.

So, dear brother and sister check yourself today and see if you fall in any of these five reasons why Mrs. Lot might have disobeyed God.

A few more thoughts on Luke 17: 22-37.

Jesus was talking of His Second Coming – The days when people shall desire to be saved but lo it will be too late –The days of the Son of man – must have passed. David said in one of his Psalms “there is no praising of God, no confession of sins in the grave”. (Psalm 6:5) So, when the Son of man comes, the days of grace would have been over.

Verses 23 –24: It is the days when many people shall be deceived. Lots of false prophets and teachers would arise deceiving many and themselves being deceive. Perhaps that is what Jesus was referring to when He said “When the Son of man comes, shall He find faith?” (Luke 18:8)

Verses 26-30: It shall be days of forgetfulness, days of excess pleasure seeking, days of marrying and taking many wives; days when people shall be at the top of “enjoyment” Enjoying the pleasures of this world and forgetting God’s instructions; Days when those who speak of God would be called and made fun of. So it was in the days of Noah. People were having lots of fun and pleasure. So was the days of Lot – lots of people were having fun and pleasure. It was also days of moral decadence and wickedness. Everything was wrong; Sexual perversion etc. Days of rottenness! The days of Noah and Lot! In such days, the Son of man would come.

Verse 31: Jesus now warns us – Do not in such days be tied to your worldly possessions and pleasures. Do not seek to gain them. Like Uncle Tony Wilmot once put it- “the day of the Lord is the only day, the Christian can run and forget the Bible” If you are tied to your worldly possessions, you will be tempted to turn back to collect them. Jesus says in verse 32: “Remember Lot’s wife”. What did Jesus say in Luke 9:62: “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God” It is the same thing that He warns us against in verse 33 “You cannot save your life. Any attempt to save it, you destroy it”

Verses 34-37: Jesus then warns us against thinking that we can be lost in the crowd. It is not so with God. Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and Am known of Mine” (John 10:14) So there is no going round the corner and sneaking into heaven. God knows those that are His.

So we see the need for this warning and injunction. Remember Lot’s wife! 

God bless you all.

No comments:

Post a Comment