Faith Chapel

Remember Lot's Wife

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Gordon Kainer


Series Code: FC

Program Code: FC000325

00:01 Welcome to Faith Chapel. I'm Gordon Kainer,
00:33 retired academy Bible teacher living in Santa
00:38 Rosa, California. The title of my
00:41 presentation today is Remember
00:44 Lot's Wife. I invite you to pray
00:48 with me. Dear heavenly Father, we thank you for your
00:51 love and for your kindness and for your
00:54 amazing grace. I pray today that you will
00:57 give us wisdom understanding as we
00:59 open your word in Jesus name, Amen.
01:02 One of Jesus' favorite topics was his second
01:08 coming. In Luke's Gospel, Jesus
01:12 mentions that the days before the second
01:16 coming are very much like the days before
01:18 the flood and before the destruction of
01:21 Sodom and Gomorrah and then Jesus leaves
01:24 us with these rather intriguing, but
01:27 definite warning that we find in Luke 17, verse 32
01:32 "Remember Lot's Wife" and most
01:37 of us have heard about Lot's wife and
01:39 yet we hardly know anything about her.
01:41 We have no Biblical record of her name.
01:44 Tradition has it that her name was Ildeth,
01:47 but there is no evidence for that. We
01:51 don't know where she was from. We don't
01:53 know when she met Lot, when or where
01:56 they got married. We know next to nothing
01:59 about her, yet we are told Remember Lot's
02:03 Wife. I think it is highly significant that
02:07 the only thing we know about her is her
02:09 attempt to get out of Sodom. Lot is first
02:13 mentioned when Abraham leaves Ur
02:16 and Lot, his nephew goes with him since
02:20 his father already passed away and he
02:24 decides to follow his uncle. We know that
02:32 after reaching Canaan they settled down and
02:33 after a few years passed by Lot and
02:35 Abraham decided to separate and go their
02:38 own way. The reason for this is because
02:42 they both have great wealth and there was
02:46 friction going on between their herds
02:50 now. Now you recall that Abraham gave
02:51 Lot the first opportunity to choose
02:54 as to where he wanted to live. The Bible says
02:58 that Lot lifted up his eyes and he saw the
03:01 plain of Jordan. Unfortunately, he
03:04 didn't lift up his eyes high enough to God in
03:07 prayer to ask him for guidance in this very
03:10 crucial decision. Very few choices in life are
03:16 as important as the choice of where we're
03:19 going to live. Now the Jordan Valley was
03:22 lush, it was lavish, it was called in fact in
03:26 the Bible as the garden of the Lord,
03:27 but it was near the cities of Sodom and
03:31 Gomorrah, which seems to indicate that
03:34 Lot was more influenced by what he
03:38 saw then by his spiritual perspectives.
03:41 Now sometime later, we find Lot and his
03:45 family are living in Sodom and the city's
03:49 attacked, it's looted and everyone is taken
03:52 hostage. Now whenever we
03:54 hear of someone having a misfortune
03:57 or a painful experience, we
03:59 always think that it's bad news, but the
04:03 truth is that in these kind of situations,
04:05 these painful experience sometimes
04:09 are our most valuable lessons. It's been
04:13 rightly observed that people do not
04:15 generally make significant changes in
04:17 their life until they are motivated by some
04:20 kind of pain, as you know the official
04:23 colors of the school of experience is black
04:26 and blue. Nevertheless conflict
04:29 and hardship can provide God an
04:32 opportunity to make himself known.
04:35 Sodom's capture was indeed a blessing in
04:39 disguise, in fact it allowed the God of
04:41 Abraham, who specializes in rescue
04:44 to intervene. When Abraham hears what
04:47 has happened to Sodom, what's his
04:49 response. He could have said it serves
04:52 them right that's what they did for a living in
04:55 sin city. But that would have prevented
04:58 God from having to get an opportunity to
05:02 step in and to help these people. So, what
05:07 does Abraham do, he calls together his 318
05:10 trained servants, attacks the invading
05:13 armies at night, he rescues Lot and his
05:17 family and the whole city and we read
05:20 about it in Genesis chapter 14, verses 21
05:24 to 23. Now, the King of
05:27 Abraham said to Abraham, excuse me,
05:29 the King of Sodom said to Abraham,
05:31 "Give me the persons, and take the goods for
05:33 yourself." But Abraham said to the
05:36 King of Sodom, "I have raised my hand
05:38 to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of
05:41 heaven and earth, that I will take nothing,
05:44 from a thread to a sandal strap, and that
05:47 I will not take anything that is yours,
05:49 lest you should say, 'I have made Abraham
05:53 rich.' Imagine the disbelief
05:56 of the people when they hear that all of
06:00 their belongings were going to be returned
06:02 to them. Well in those days, the whole city
06:06 was, I mean they were surprised that as a
06:09 result of their capture that they were gonna
06:12 get everything back to them, but that was
06:14 evidence to the people, that was first
06:17 kind evidence to the people of the kind of
06:19 man Abraham really was, but more
06:22 important it was a powerful
06:24 demonstration as to the kind of God
06:27 Abraham served, a God that was
06:30 powerful and gracious and faithful. It was
06:34 important for the people of Sodom to
06:37 remember that truth, but unfortunately they
06:40 soon forgot it. I believe that the most
06:43 important thing a person will ever learn
06:46 is to discover what God is really like. If
06:50 the people of Sodom were like the rest of
06:52 the Canaanites, they worshiped many
06:54 different Gods, they have a God for every
06:57 aspect of life, prosperity, fertility for
07:01 large families, essential pleasures,
07:04 victory in battle. Their rescue made it
07:08 obvious that the God of Abraham was more
07:10 powerful then their Canaanite Gods, but
07:14 their lust and selfish lifestyle impelled
07:18 them to hang on to their Gods, what a
07:21 tragic mistake. Several years passed
07:25 by and one day three angels, well actually
07:29 the Lord and two angels stopped to visit
07:33 Abraham's home and informed him that
07:36 Sodom and Gomorrah were going to be
07:37 destroyed because of their wickedness.
07:39 Once again Abraham's response is
07:43 positive for these people. He says look,
07:47 if there are 50 righteous people there
07:49 will the city be spared, well when he
07:53 actually comes back there won't be 50
07:55 there, he says well how about 40, 30, 20?
08:00 He finally goes down to 10, because that's
08:03 probably the extended number of people in
08:05 Lot's family, but we know that was not the
08:09 case, but to me it's interesting and
08:12 important that the ten people responded in a
08:15 positive way, that city would have been
08:17 spared. Of course the reverse is also true
08:20 when God's people are not faithful they
08:23 may take others down with them.
08:26 I'm reminded of Revelation 7 where
08:28 we're told that God withholds the wind's
08:32 strive and holds them in check because of
08:36 the faithful followers of God. Well the next
08:40 day, two angels enter Sodom. Lot is sitting
08:45 at the city gate and that suggests
08:47 something important because it indicates
08:50 that he was an important official. He
08:52 might have been the mayor of the town.
08:54 These two messengers now serve as God's
08:58 witnesses. Their primary purpose was
09:01 to save the residents of Sodom. These two
09:07 messengers that God sends out at this
09:10 particular time were not the first time that
09:13 God sent them out. When God rescued
09:17 Israel from Egypt, he sent Moses and Aaron
09:21 and before the city of Jericho was attacked,
09:24 he sent two spies in the land. It seems to
09:28 me that if the people of Canaan would have
09:32 responded, in fact if the residents of
09:34 Jericho would have responded in a
09:35 positive way none of them would have
09:37 been destroyed. In fact, I think that's true
09:39 of all the cities of Canaan had they
09:41 responded as Rehab did, their lives would
09:44 have been spared. God still uses these
09:51 two messengers today and they're called in
09:55 Revelation the two witnesses. We call
09:59 them the Old and the New Testament.
10:02 These two messengers continue to proclaim
10:05 the good news of salvation that all
10:07 might escape the destruction that is
10:10 coming upon the world. Yes, it is God's
10:13 desire for us to keep, to keep us from evil.
10:17 Yet, he sent us right back into the world as
10:21 his spokesman. You know, there is a time
10:24 to go into Sodom. If we're going to rescue
10:28 and save people and then there is a time to
10:31 get out and we need to be wise enough to
10:34 know the difference. Well, let's get back to
10:37 Sodom, to Lot and his wife and children.
10:41 Just before Sodom and Gomorrah are
10:43 destroyed, the two angels lead them out
10:47 of the city telling them to hurry up and
10:49 to not look back. We read about this in
10:52 Genesis chapter 19, verses 24 to 26. Then
10:57 the Lord rained brimstone and fire on
10:59 Sodom and Gomorrah, from the
11:01 Lord out of the heavens. So he
11:03 overthrew those cities, all the plain, all
11:06 the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew
11:08 on the ground. But his, that is Lot's wife
11:11 looked back behind him, and she became
11:14 a pillar of salt. Now many see Lot's wife
11:19 as an exception, I mean after all how
11:21 many people die in this unusual way, but
11:24 as we take a closer look at this story we
11:27 will discover that she was a very typical
11:29 person living in a society in a culture
11:32 very typical to ours. So, let's do some
11:36 Biblical surveillance, let's do a background
11:38 check if you please and get a more
11:40 complete picture of what was really
11:42 taking place and to see some of the
11:46 reasons for what happened there and
11:49 we are going to use our primary source an
11:52 ancient document that we call the Book of
11:55 Leviticus. The destruction of Sodom
11:58 had taken place about 200 years before
12:02 Leviticus was written, but the people that is
12:06 Israel people never forgot what had
12:08 happened to Sodom, but what they might
12:11 not have known was that the wickedness
12:14 that had engulfed Sodom now had
12:17 pervaded over the entire land of Canaan
12:20 in which they were about to enter. Let's
12:23 notice of Leviticus chapter 18, verses 1
12:27 through 4. Then the Lord spoke
12:30 to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children
12:33 of Israel, and say to them: 'I am the Lord
12:36 your God. According to the doings of the
12:39 land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall
12:41 not do; and according to the doings of the
12:44 land of Canaan, where I am bringing you,
12:46 you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their
12:49 ordinances. You shall observe my
12:51 judgments and keep my ordinances, to
12:54 walk in them: I am the Lord your God."
12:57 Now these verses are telling us something
13:01 very important. While Egypt represents the
13:05 old way of life, the life in slavery. Canaan
13:09 represents the new life, a new life lived
13:12 in relationship to God and for that reason
13:15 when we, when God finds a trace of sin in
13:21 Canaan he wants it eliminated, he wants
13:23 to do away with it, now once we
13:26 understand how totally different or
13:29 how, what a different perspective we have
13:32 when we understand that God's
13:34 annihilation decrees have indeed a deep
13:37 significance and meaning. Now the
13:41 same principle holds through today, when
13:44 we leave Egypt and become residents of
13:47 God's kingdom, we will face the same
13:49 conflicts that Israel did and God
13:52 empowered them to conquer as he powers
13:56 us to conquer overcome evil, but
14:00 within these boundaries, within
14:02 our own personal kingdom, keep in
14:06 mind that God's desire is to destroy sin and if
14:11 we hang on to it we are destroyed with it.
14:14 So what were the sins of Canaan that God
14:18 warns Israel about. In the Book of Leviticus,
14:21 God condemns a whole number of
14:23 immoral practices such as sensual
14:26 nakedness, adultery, homosexuality,
14:29 worship of idols, anger, resentment,
14:33 seeking after familiar spirits, not taking care
14:36 of the poor and the needy. That list
14:39 reminds me of society today doesn't it and
14:42 they were the very sins for which Sodom
14:45 was destroyed. Let's read it about that in
14:48 Ezekiel chapter 16, verses 49 to 50.
14:51 Look, this was the iniquity of your sister
14:54 Sodom: She and her daughter had pride,
14:57 fullness of food, and abundance of
14:59 idleness; neither did she strengthen the
15:02 hand of the poor and needy. And they were
15:04 haughty and committed
15:06 abomination before Me; therefore I took
15:08 them away as I saw fit. It is not enough
15:13 just to say no to sin, we must say no,
15:15 excuse me, yes to a new life. In Leviticus,
15:21 God did more then simply warn the
15:24 people regarding certain practices.
15:27 He gave Israel certain specific guidelines as
15:31 to how to worship God and how to relate
15:33 to others and to each other. They were
15:35 asked to live very differently from the
15:38 people that would now occupy the land
15:41 of Canaan. Israel had lived as uneducated
15:47 slaves for 200 years in Egypt. It was essential
15:50 that God teach them not just a better way
15:52 to live, but a holy way. They had to be
15:55 instructed on loving relationships and how
15:59 to live with one another and with the
16:01 people in their new land and we read
16:05 about this in Leviticus chapter 19, verses 17
16:09 and 18. You shall not hate
16:13 your brother in your heart. You shall
16:15 surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear
16:17 sin because of him. You shall not take
16:20 vengeance, nor bear any grudge against
16:22 the children of your people, but you shall
16:25 love your neighbor as yourself: I am the
16:28 Lord. Now in that same
16:31 chapter, God goes on to tell them that they
16:34 were to love the strangers in the midst
16:36 of their land even as I have loved you
16:39 because he said I loved you when you
16:42 were strangers in the land of Egypt. Now
16:45 sometimes, God gives us commandments or
16:49 gave them commandments
16:50 excuse me that involved the health
16:52 principles, ceremonial laws, some dealt with
16:55 culture issues and there were also moral
16:58 commands. There were different kinds
17:00 of laws, but they were all inspired of God.
17:02 They were all important for his
17:06 people. Now these instructions were
17:09 given several times with slight variations.
17:12 In some of these lists, God gave warnings
17:16 that appear rather strange, for example
17:19 he said to them do not boil a young goat in
17:24 its mother's milk. Well the common
17:26 response would be, well what does that
17:27 have to do with life, what's that have to do
17:30 with spiritual things. Let me illustrate, let's
17:35 imagine that in a few hundred years
17:36 someone is digging through the rubble of
17:41 major cities in United States and this is of
17:45 course a couple of hundred years from
17:46 now if time would last that long and as they
17:48 are reminiscing through they find
17:50 fragments of old books and newspapers
17:53 and computer printouts and they
17:55 discover there was a whole number of laws
17:57 and ordinances in at that time. A law that
18:02 deal with things such as poverty and
18:03 hunger, homelessness, of street violence,
18:06 HIV, pollution, gangs, and as they are going
18:11 through these rules, they come across this
18:14 one. Do not wear black sneakers with
18:17 either blue or red shoelaces. Well of
18:20 course they're surprised and what
18:22 does that have to do with life during the
18:24 later part of the 20th century, but you know
18:28 having lived in Southern California
18:29 during this time period. I remember
18:33 telling the students that they will have to
18:36 be very careful not to dress with some of
18:39 these garbs in this particular case shoes,
18:43 because they were being worn by gangs.
18:46 They identify themselves with the
18:51 kind of clothes they wore or didn't wear.
18:52 In other words, whether it was boiling
18:54 a young goat in its mother's milk or
18:57 wearing black sneakers with blue or
18:59 red shoe laces both deal with practice that
19:03 represented some of the worst evils in their
19:06 respective cultures. Sometimes God gives
19:11 to us instructions that do not seem
19:13 important. There is a temptation to pick and
19:16 chose what we think is relevant. We must
19:19 not put something down or minimize its
19:22 value just because we don't understand it's
19:25 significance. Well let's take a final look
19:29 at Lot's wife. After talking about Noah's
19:32 Day, Jesus made this observation in Luke
19:35 chapter 17, verses 28 to 32. Likewise as it
19:40 was also in the days of Lot: they ate and
19:42 they drank, they bought, they sold,
19:44 they planted and they built; but on the day
19:47 that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire
19:49 and brimstone from heaven and destroyed
19:51 them all. Even so it will be in the day
19:53 when the Son of Man is revealed. "In that
19:56 day, he who is on the housetop, and his
19:59 goods are in the house, let him not
20:01 come down to take it away. And likewise
20:03 the one who is in the field, let him not turn
20:06 back. Remember Lot's wife. You will note
20:10 that Jesus doesn't say, I don't look back. He
20:16 said don't turn back, this suggests I believe
20:20 that Lot's wife looked back, but more than
20:24 that she wanted to turn back. Why would
20:29 Lot's wife want to turn back, well we
20:32 know that she was leaving behind a
20:33 family, a lush home, she was leaving
20:38 behind some of her treasures no doubt, I
20:41 think that Lot's own indecisiveness,
20:44 indecisiveness allowed his wife to be
20:47 a little bit prone to not want to leave. In
20:51 Patriarchs and Prophets, page 161,
20:53 Ellen White observes that Lot's wife felt
20:56 that she was being treated severely and
20:58 resented the fact that the wealth that taken
21:00 years to accumulate would be left to
21:03 destruction. Though she was running from
21:08 Sodom, her heart was where her treasure
21:12 was in Sodom. Jesus says for where your
21:16 treasure is there will your heart be also.
21:19 Her heart revealed the real direction she was
21:22 going, so I ask you today what is the
21:26 direction of your life, where is your heart
21:29 focused, your minds and your affections.
21:32 I'm reminded of a song that was sung by
21:40 the Blackwood Brothers many years
21:42 ago and it opened with these lines.
21:46 Friend, how would you feel if your heart
21:51 was made with a window on each side,
21:54 so that all could see not just outward
21:57 charm, but detect the inward side. So I ask
22:02 you again if our hearts were open to others
22:06 what would they see, what would it indicate
22:09 about the direction of our lives. When I
22:15 talked about Lot and his family and this
22:19 whole experience, most students were
22:22 very puzzled over the fact that God turned
22:27 Lot's wife into a pillar of salt, but you know
22:32 what that's not what the Bible teaches.
22:37 Turn with me again to Genesis chapter 19,
22:41 verse 26, notice what it says, but his wife
22:47 looked back behind him that is Lot and
22:51 she became a pillar of salt. It doesn't say
22:56 anything does it about God. I think
22:59 sometimes that we are too prone when, when
23:03 misfortune takes place to just kind of look to
23:07 see once why did God do this, but it simply
23:11 says she looked back and she became a
23:13 pillar of salt. In this situation, the wicked
23:19 city of Sodom is a symbol of the human
23:23 heart. In Jeremiah 17:9, we are told that
23:28 the heart is deceitful above all things and
23:31 desperately wicked. In looking back Lot's
23:36 wife suffered the consequences of her
23:39 choice to turn back and looking back at
23:44 Sodom. She was turning her back on
23:48 God, the only one who could save her.
23:51 All those who go along with the
23:54 inclinations of the heart, where then the
23:59 saving imitation of a savior are chosen to
24:03 die. I think sometimes we are very prone to
24:08 see God responsible for things that
24:13 happened, for people who die and
24:15 misfortunes, and so forth, but this seems
24:20 to indicate to us that the general reason for
24:24 what happens to us is a result of our own
24:27 choice. Jesus stated when he said
24:33 remember Lot's wife, he adds this warning
24:36 whoever seeks to save his life will lose it and
24:41 whoever looses his life for my sake will
24:45 find it. It seems to be a sort of a
24:48 contradiction doesn't it and yet God is lying
24:51 down here for us a very important
24:53 principle, which I think Lot's wife
24:55 illustrates and that is that if we turn back
24:59 and reach back and get the, keep holding
25:03 on to the things that have preoccupied us,
25:07 we will lose the most important thing and
25:10 that is our hold on eternal life. In turning
25:16 into a pillar of salt, the use of the word
25:20 pillar has a very interesting meaning.
25:27 The word pillar has reference to
25:30 something that's stationary, stable,
25:33 immovable. If Lot's wife turned to a pillar
25:38 of salt, it may have depicted her attitude,
25:41 an attitude of defiance, a refusal to
25:46 continue, to moving away from Sodom.
25:50 Salt is a, has various meanings in the
25:57 Hebrew language. It can mean reference to
25:59 ashes, to dust or light fragile covering. One
26:04 theory is that when Sodom was destroyed
26:07 giant deposits of salt came out of the earth
26:12 and doused Lot's wife with burning ash and
26:17 salt. The evidence of this might be
26:20 indicated by the fact that the cities of
26:22 Sodom and Gomorrah have been found, we
26:24 believe in the southern end of the
26:27 red sea, excuse me, the dead sea, which
26:31 by the way is also called salt sea and it is
26:35 there that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
26:38 evidently were burned up and the southern
26:43 end is a very shallow end of the dead sea
26:47 only about 13 feet in depth, but it might
26:50 indicate that at that part of the sea was
26:53 dry land up until recent time. Now, we
26:59 don't really know do we, exactly how all of
27:03 this happened. We can only conjecture,
27:07 we can only study the Bible and conclude
27:12 some general things that we have talked
27:15 about here today, but being told to
27:18 remember Lot's wife, we need to remember
27:23 the whole story, we need to have the
27:27 complete picture. Let's not forget that
27:31 we are living today in the same kind of
27:34 culture, we're faced with the same kind of
27:38 wickedness, we are having to make the
27:41 same kind of choices and we are being
27:44 called by the same God to be holy, as he
27:47 is holy and that my friends is the reason
27:52 we are to remember Lot's wife.


Revised 2014-12-17