We all know the story of Lot’s Wife. She turned around to look at Sodom and Gomorrah as God was destroying it, and she turned into a pillar of salt.
Now, she didn’t look as we might look at a car wreck. We look at a wreck because we are interested to know if everyone is all right and how the accident happened.
She looked back because she missed the action happening there.
Lot and his family were also warned by God not to look back. They should have left with determination to go forward to their new life.
The men (angels) came to drag Lot and his family out of Sodom before it collapsed. He tried to warn the sons-in-law, but they didn’t believe him.
12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.
15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”
18 Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords! 19 Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. 20 See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”
21 And he said to him, “See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.”
Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
As usual, I like to consult Mr. Strong’s Bible Concordance to see the deeper meaning of words:
mock Strong’s H6711 to laugh outright, scorn mock, make sport
linger Strong’s H4102 hesitate, be reluctant
look Strong’s H5027 to scan, to regard with pleasure, favor or care, behold, consider
Zoar Strong’s H6820 small
pillar Strong’s H5333 something stationary, statue
salt Strong’s H4417 powder, something that is pulverized and dissolved
Even though Lot, the wife, and daughters hesitated, because of Uncle Abraham’s faith in God, Lot was dragged out of Sodom with his family. BUT they did not take the sons-in-law. They left them behind.
Lot’s wife looked back because she was going to miss the place.
Instead of escaping to the mountain, Lot asked that he could rather stay in Zoar. I am not sure why they granted this compromise.
Here’s a similar theme in the new testament:
Surrounded then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off everything that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith. For he himself endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame because of the joy he knew would follow his suffering; and he is now seated at the right hand of God’s throne. Think constantly of him enduring all that sinful men could say against him and you will not lose your purpose or your courage.
Things in the past need to be left in the past. God can use our mistakes to work out for good. There’s no sense re-analyzing all the things we did wrong. We are redeemed, and all things work together for the good of them that love God.
Here’s an old Keith Green song, making fun of wanting to go backwards!