The Gospel in Genesis: The First Statue

Don’t look at me that way” is a familiar statement. It’s often heard when a parent is scolding their child and the child responds with a disrespectful look. So, both what you look at and how you look at it, may be problematic. This was certainly the case in Genesis 19, when a woman took a longing look at something God had strictly forbidden.

Early in Genesis we are introduced to the city of Sodom, a city blessed with wonderful natural resources. Despite these blessings from God, the people of Sodom had turned far from Him, as they “were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly” (Gen 13:13, KJV) and their sin was “very grievous” (Gen 18:20, KJV). Their moral corruption brought them under the wrath of God, resulting in the cities’ destruction by fire and brimstone.

God sent two angels to Sodom to warn everyone of coming judgment. They were, however, only able to escort Lot, his wife, and two daughters out of the city. The angels told Lot and his family to flee to the hills and to “not look back.” Lot and his family fled to the city of Zoar for safety. Then God rained down fire and brimstone destroying Sodom, Gomorrah and all the inhabitants. At that point, Lot’s wife paused and looked back at the destruction of Sodom. Instantly, she was turned into a pillar (or statue) of salt. God’s judgment fell on her because of her disobedience to His simple command to “not look back.” Many years later, Jesus told us more when He used this story to warn people to have the right priorities in view of coming judgment. Jesus said their sole focus should be on fleeing to safety, not being consumed with anything else. Lot’s wife not only looked back, but she looked back longingly for the things she had left behind in Sodom. Jesus ended his warning to the people of His day, with a command to “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32, KJV). So, when you see a statue or pile of salt, you should think of the lessons from Lot’s wife. The Bible says that “all have sinned” and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 3, KJV). God will judge sin! Given the warning of coming judgment what will be your priority? Will you flee to safety or linger with wrong priorities and face judgment?

God’s mercy always provides a way of escape before judgment falls. He sent two angels to Sodom to warn Lot’s family of imminent destruction and to provide an escape. While Lot’s family was delivered by two angels, we have a greater deliverer. “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law” (Gal 4:4-5, KJV). God’s Son became a man and lived on earth proving His holiness. His purpose in coming was to go to the cross and take the punishment for our sin, as He, Himself, “bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (1Peter 2:24, KJV). The question remains, will you accept the Lord Jesus as your personal deliverer from the coming judgment of your sins?  Will you “Remember Lot’s wife” and make sure your eternal safety is your sole priority?