In Genesis 19 we find the annihilation from God himself on two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah. Most of the towns were the original Sin Cities and there is nothing like a divine intervention in the form of raining sulfur.
But Lot was hanging out at the city gates where a lot of the financial and business dealings took place. I imagine it was very similar to the stock exchange floor. Lot though, he was a good dude and didn’t do the whole “sin” partaking.
One day, two angels walked through those gates. I’m not sure they were specifically looking for Lot, but Lot found them and invited them to dinner. I’m assuming Devil’s Food Cake wasn’t on the menu, but it was a good enough time that Lot invited them to just stay the night. It was then that the angels spilled the beans to Lot about the destruction of the cities.
Lot got his wife and two daughters and tied on his running sandals, because the angels told them “Escape! Run for your life. Do NOT look behind you and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.”
No questions asked (I would have had questions, but that’s just me.) they ran from their home and all they had. Except Lot’s wife, she lagged behind.
As she saw her husband running full of faith in front of her, she looked back. She saw the flaming sulphur falling destroying all she had valued and her interest in running with faith faltered. She simply looked back at her old life and God turned her into a pillar of salt (creative if you ask me)
I’ve been looking back at my past a lot lately. It’s not that I’m obsessed with it, my therapist is actually asking me to do it. Fortunately since she is not an angel telling me to “escape” I don’t have to worry about the salt curse.
I’m starting to see (a little more clearly, but still hazy….I’m working on it one therapy visit at a time) that I have Lot’s wife tendencies. I have to look back and see the ugliness that was there when I’m being asked to move forward into a new life and not look back.
But it’s so tempting when we have to train our minds away from what was “ours.” Good or bad, it was “ours” to own. But then God comes down in what may have been seen as a vengeful act (I would have taken it that way and probably shook my fist that he wants me to run from what is familiar) but an actual act of mercy of cleansing the ugly sinful past and providing a way of escape to a more fulfilling and blessed future.
God didn’t want Lot’s wife to be a salt shaker. He loved her, but there are consequences when we refuse to follow his plan for our purpose.
So as I am painfully going through my past as a way of healing, I am doing so with the Lot’s angels’ voices in my head “Do NOT look back or you will be swept away.”
Each anguishing sentence I’m writing from my past, I am doing so with the promise from Isaiah 41:10 – FEAR NOT, for I am with you; be NOT dismayed, for I am YOUR God; I will strengthen you, I WILL help you, I WILL uphold you with my righteous hand.