Lot’s story begins in
the place of Ur where both he and Abram were from. Abram had a brother, Haran
who was Lot’s father.
When God called Abram to go to a new place, as
any good uncle would, Abram takes his nephew on the journey. Lot's father died so Abram may have included Lot as a son since he didn't have one and took him with him.
They set out and traveled all the way to Egypt. After leaving Egypt, they settled in Bethel and Ai region. Both men had become wealthy along the way. But things got complicated between the Abram and Lot’s herdsman so they decided it was time to separate. Abram gave Lot the first choice of choosing where he wanted to live. He chose the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley, which was like a well-watered garden (Genesis 13:10). This was where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were located. Looks can be deceiving as beautiful as this area was, it is noted in the Bible the people were wicked (Genesis 13:13). This is a case of “the grass ISN’T always greener.”
Eventually a war broke out between the kings of the region and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah lost the battle and the people of these two cities were captured. This is interesting as Sodom was a great city with 15-foot thick walls of protection. A place where people felt safe and secure. It was a center for arts which brought wealth. Abram got word and set out to rescue Lot. Abram not only freed Lot, but the women and other captives which is why it’s possible this is when Lot met his wife (Genesis 14:16).
Lot’s wife was possibly a Sodomite. According to some Jewish rabbis, her name may have been Idit (Edith). They may have had 4 daughters as the scripture says they had sons-in-law. We know 2 of the daughters were virgins. It is possible that she was a worldly woman. Especially having grown up in the midst of wickedness. God’s law had not been given yet, so people once again were living without restraint. As some women would respond with unexpected company, she may not have been happy about having the two angelic visitors. It is thought that she only had enough food preparations for her family. It’s also thought that salt was an ingredient she lacked and she went to neighbors asking for some.
As we know God gave Abram, now known as Abraham, a head’s up as to the destruction that was to come to the two cities. This just may be the original story of “A Tale of Two Cities.” Scripture tells us that there were no righteous men. Abraham couldn’t believe this was possible, especially since his nephew was living there. Lot and his family had favor because of Abraham. God said He would bless anyone who blessed Abraham (Genesis 12:3). He pleaded with God not to destroy all the people, so God said we would not destroy it for the sake of 10. Could this have been the number of people in Lot’s family? (Lot, Idit, 4 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, and 2 betrothed sons-in-law).
The night before God was about to reign fire down on these two wicked cities, He sent two angelic visitors to warn Lot. This is where our story takes a sad turn. We see how evil these people were as they tried to beat the door of Lot’s house down to sexually violate these visitors. Lot knew better and tried to reason with these men, so instead he offered his two virgin daughters. What? Thankfully, the angelic visitors intervened. They told Lot to evacuate and get out as many family members as they could. Lot’s wife was probably shaken at hearing all of this, especially as she didn’t have time to pack. Unlike Noah’s wife who had time to plan, Lot’s wife did not. They were commanded to flee to the mountains and to not to look back!
Lot did not do his family justice because he didn’t obey the Angels instructions to go all the way to the mountains. As we read these Old Testament stories we find God takes men to the mountain top. He wants to bring us higher. Instead, Lot cut a deal to go half way. This caused Lot’s wife to stumble. We don’t know exactly what she was thinking, but if it was only Lot, the two virgin daughters, and her, that means her other daughters and family members were left behind and destroyed. Her disobedience by looking back not only caused her death, it created more long term and lifetime trouble for God’s people. Upon her death the two virgin girls thought it was a good idea to conceive children with their father so they could keep the family line going which is how the Moabites and Ammonites were born. They were enemies of God’s people and fought them on their way to the Promised Land. If the condition of Lot’s wife’s heart was bitter, it’s no wonder she turned to salt. As much as salt flavors with small amounts, too much can ruin a good dish. The decisions and disobedience of Lot and his wife changed what God for them - SALVATION.
The impact this story makes on our lives today is clear, God hates sin. God made a way for us to be free without having to drown or burn. All of us are subject to sin whether it’s of our own doing and/or someone else’s leading. We can become captives without even knowing it. All of us have experienced trauma of some kind at some point and when we bond to that we then filter everything through it. Our culture today wants to tell us it’s okay, that it’s our truth and that’s just who we are. God’s desire is for us to find healing, be set free, to look up and move forward. We can become secure in our bondage and God wants to save us from that. Lot’s wife’s only making it half way because of her husband’s choice and looking back in her own rebellion caused more trauma to her family legacy. Because of Jesus, we have the opportunity to change our own legacy by forgetting the past and looking forward to what God has for us in the future. He wants us to keep moving forward, leaving what we think is secure to the abundant living of salvation.
In closing, we can learn so much from Noah’s story and Lot’s. Even Jesus uses both Noah (Matthew 24:37-39) and Lot’s wife’s (Luke 17:28-32) stories as an example of the times we are living in. As we connect these two stories in God’s big story, it’s not a coincidence they were our first to study. We see God’s aversion to sin and His desire to eradicate it. In Noah’s story, God uses rain to destroy the whole earth. In this story God uses fire to destroy two cities. We can see God was trying to purify His creation. It takes water and fire to do that. After Jesus came, these two elements are used in our redemption story. We are baptized in water as a sign of new birth and we are baptized with fire, which represents the power of the Holy Spirit who now dwells in us and begins our transformation process, burning away the old ways. This is a sign and a wonder for sure! Let’s keep pressing forward and not look back so we can see the great things God has for us ahead.
Scriptures in the event of an evacuation:
Ecclesiastes 7:10 (NLT)- Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise.
Luke 9:62 (NIV) - Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV) - Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)- For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Proverbs 14:12 (NLT) - There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV) - “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Psalm 39:7 (NIV) - “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
Psalm 42:5 (NIV) - Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Matthew 6:34 (NLT) - “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Psalm 28:9 (NLT) - Save your people! Bless Israel, your special possession. Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever.
Colossians 3:2 (NLT) - Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
Romans 12:2 (NIV) - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
*This information is a summary of the study and observation the "Anonymous Women of the Bible Study" by the anonymous women of an online group out of Hills Church in Laguna Hills, CA. There are also women from other states in the U.S. who are participating that attend other churches. This is why we are called the body of Christ.