Stop Looking Back!

Stop Looking Back!

Nancy Wolegmuth from Revive Our Hearts did a study on Lot’s wife and the second shortest verse in the Bible; “Remember Lot’s Wife” (Luke 17:32). It’s a great study and I encourage you all to listen to it! After I listened to it, I decided to do a short study on my own.

Angels came to Lot, his wife, and two daughters and told them to flee Sodom and Gomorrah before God rained fired and brimstone upon the cities and completely destroyed them and all who were in them. The angels gave them this warning so they would not “be consumed in the iniquity of the city” (Genesis 19:15). When the angels led them out of the city because they “lingered,” they were then cautioned, “Escape for thy life, look not behind thee…lest thou be consumed” (Genesis 19:17). “But his wife looked back from behind him and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26).

In Luke 17:32, we are told to “Remember Lot’s wife.” I checked out a few of the old commentaries to see what they had to say about this verse and here’s what Matthew Poole’s Commentary had to say, “God turned her into a pillar of salt. It is a dreadful caution against unbelief, disobedience, worldly mindedness, contempt of God’s threatenings, and keeping a love for the forbidden society of lewd and wicked persons.”

Lot’s wife didn’t believe God just as Eve didn’t believe God. They both disobeyed Him and suffered terrible consequences. They had their minds on the things of this world instead of on the Lord and His ways. Many Christians today have one step on this earth and one step in eternity. They say they love the Lord but they don’t want to give up their worldly ways. They are seekers of pleasure rather than seekers of God. They continue to be entertained by what the world is entertained by instead of dwelling on the good and the lovely (Philippians 4:8). They only care about the here and now and whether or not they are happy or not. They keep looking back. They don’t remember Lot’s wife.

Many don’t take God’s threatenings seriously. Wives don’t think that Satan may tempt their husbands towards sexually immorality if they deprive their husbands sexually (1 Corinthians 7:5). Many young people don’t believe that they will reap the consequences of their fornication in their own body (1 Corinthians 6:18). Most egregious of all is that most don’t believe in God’s wrath and eternal damnation if they don’t repent and believe in Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:8).

As believers in Jesus Christ, we are not this way. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:2-4). We live with eternity in our vision. We desire more than anything to please the Lord in everything even if it means suffering. 

We live our lives in loving and serving others. We know in this way that we are storing our treasure in heaven. We know that the “mundane” things that we do in the home (housework, cooking, shopping, caring for children and husband, hospitality, and many other things) are pleasing to the Lord and what He has called us to do. We know that when we are loving and serving others, we are loving and serving Him. It’s the least we can do for all He has done for us.

Unlike Lot’s wife, we believe in Him and obey His commands, we have eternity on our minds (we look forward), we believe that God means what He says so we trust that His threatenings will happen if we disobey, and we have no pleasure in the society of lewd and wicked persons. We walk with the wise instead and we want to be “wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil” (Romans 16:19). We will have “no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11); for we want all to come to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

12 thoughts on “Stop Looking Back!

  1. Wonderful exhortation as usual, thank you! BTW, the shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept” John 11:35

  2. Great message. Learned this in my life. Looking back, doubting, unbelief, and fear have no good outcomes.

    Came across a great poem, and it’s on a sundial at Wellesley College. One of the few wise and profound ideas that once great colleges still have to say today.

    ‘The shadow by my finger cast,
    Divides the future from the past,
    Before it sleeps the unborn hour,
    In shadows and beyond thine power,

    Behind it’s unreturning line,
    The vanished hour no longer thine,
    One hour alone is in thine hands,
    The now on which the shadow stands.’

    Henry Van Dyke

    Indeed, looking back, doubt, lack of resolve, irresolution, and fearfulness only impair one’s performance of our duty today, and as Stonewall Jackson said, ‘Duty is ours, the consequences are God’s’. While he died, one of the most brilliant generals in world history, though fighting for a less than worthy cause, still, his last words were beautiful. ‘Let us cross over the river, and rest under the trees’, were his last words before he breathed no more, spoken after he won a brilliant battle at Chancellorsville, and was tragically killed by friendly fire.

    And Solomon truly said that giving our all to today is a noble and beautiful thing.

    “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

    James truly says that our life is ephemeral, transient, temporal, and as Paul said that the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

    James’s words will ever be true, and if we lived our lives by them, would spare us much worry and unease.

    ‘Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.’

    Longfellow wonderfully gave the attitude to have in his lofty and inspiring ‘Psalm of Life’ from which two stanzas will conclude these remarks.

    ‘Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time;’

    ‘Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.’

    Having an Iron Will, as the amazing book by Orison Swett Marsden speaks of,, will lead to conquering all difficulties, for it was truly said, ‘If God be for us, who can be against us’?

    1. I just love that poem by Henry Van Dyke. I added it to the next page I’ll print of my ‘Encouragement’ section in my Housewife Notebook. Thank you for that.

  3. A very good encouragement, Lori, to hold fast to the truth rather than to the temporal pleasures of this world. It’s not easy. I need God’s help every day. Stepping out of the generally accepted way of being a woman today (self first) and humbling myself before God to grow in submission to my husband and to be a keeper at home instead of cultivating a lucrative career has naturally cost me old school friends, colleagues and a great income and I would be a liar if I said that I never wish I could spend without concern for our budget but like that hymn says, “All I once held dear, built my life upon, all the world reveres and wars to own, all I once thought gain, I have counted loss. Spent and worthless now compared to this – knowing you, Jesus. There is no greater thing.” To know Christ is to obey Christ. Praise be to our Lord, who changed this sinner’s heart and who still gives me the desire to please Him every day.

  4. I never looked at the verse that way before Lori, but it certainly speaks to our dueling feet in both worlds.

    One of my favorite church songs says, “Find me ready Lord, not standing still. Find me working, and loving, and doing your will….” I keep thinking I want to make that into a sampler.

  5. Such a good teaching as always! I needed this today. Struggling with doublemindedness and yes we should not look back, have doubt or unbelief. Also being lukewarm and still desiring the things of the world is not honouring to the Lord. I will meditate on this message.

  6. One of your best! Filled with excellent wisdom and guidance. I thank God for using you to reach me and deepen my faith and obedience. Bless you.

  7. Very sobering thoughts. This whole story is sad. Lot …the man who was supposed to be righteous, sitting as an elder in the gates of a wicked city …the man who offered his own virgin daughters instead of the angels to the men clamoring at his door (trying to fix sin by committing another sin)… the man whose sons in law laughed at when he told them of the coming judgment (his married daughters died with their husbands there in Sodom and Gomorrah – choose righteous husbands, ladies) … the man and his family who wanted to linger until the angels had to nearly drag them away…. the man who still wanted to escape to a nearby city instead of going to the mountain like the angels commanded (thought his plan was better)… the man who lost his wife as she was turned to a pillar of salt (this was not the good salt that we as Christians should be, but the salt that had lost its savor)… the man whose remaining virgin daughters got him drunk and committed incest with him. (Yet we see God’s grace generations later as Ruth the Moabitess was redeemed and part of Jesus lineage)

    God’s mercy extended to righteous Lot on behalf of Abraham’s intercession, but Lot’s choice of living with one foot in the world had devastating effects on his entire family. He failed to take care of his family. His wife yearned more for the things of the world and paid with her life. His married daughters perished with their unbelieving husbands. His virgin daughters relied on their own twisted logic to have children, doing what was right in their own eyes.
    -Sin takes you farther than you could ever imagine and keeps you there longer than you had intended. -Anonymous

      1. It’s amazing because I actually started reading this blog when I did a Google search of “discontentment in women” several months back. (I was disturbed by the fact that so many women get caught up in multi-level marketing schemes and these companies’ lure of ‘empowerment’ because as master marketers know, women always ‘want more’).

        Discontentment is something we have to continually fight against. As Lot’s story shows us, the refusal to make a decision for God’s ways does not just have consequences in our own lives, but disastrous ones in those who come after us. The Word constantly talks about the generations and how our sins will be visited upon our offspring and their offspring… Our sin does not end with us. Everyday is a decision-making day. Every moment is a decision-making moment. What’s passed is past and that’s where it needs to stay. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in TODAY.

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