Don’t Look Back: A view on Sodom and Gomorrah

Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and Lot’s wife

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Lot and his family fleeing

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Lot’s wife looking back

Genesis 19:21- 25 21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of.22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar.[f])

23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.(NKJV)

Many of us as we read about Lot and the things that happened in Sodom and Gomorrah only look at the sin and God’s punishment for the many sins of these cities. We think about the Hell’s fire and brimstone that rained from the sky, destroying the cities and everyone who lived there. Perhaps, we think about God’s mercy by allowing Lot and his family to escape His wrath.

But, we don’t think about Lot’s wife, other than that she didn’t obey God to not look back. Think about this for moment. Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt due to looking back on the past. She longed for the things she once knew. Whether that was the sin in the city, or just her love for her home being gone forever. She looked back on the past and longed for it.

I think each one of us has done this. Maybe we long for a time with a loved one that we can no longer see, or the relationship that is over. Maybe we wish we could turn back time and change things we’ve done. Sometimes, we dwell on the sins of our past and think, “Why did I do that?” or “I deserve to be punished for that sin”. Perhaps, we can relate to the Psalmist in Psalm 44:15 when he says my disgrace is before me all the day long.

Guess what? God doesn’t want us to look back at our past. Jesus dying on the cross covered our sins and after we ask for forgiveness, they are gone, wiped clean. We cannot return to our past, nor can we change it, so why dwell on it? When we do, we lose ourselves, we stop striving for our goals and we become negative people. In other words, we become pillars of salt. We are easily blown away by any wind, we lose our flavor, and we forget who called us.

Take God’s word for it… don’t look back!

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