Welcome to the Best of Breath Week
I’ve heard it said that people hear God’s message of salvation an average of seven times before responding. Curiously enough, Lot, Mrs. Lot, and the two Lot girls, were given a clear choice seven times.
Here’s what the angels did for Lot and family in Genesis 19:
- Pulled Lot back into the house when the men of Sodom threatened him (verse 10)
- Blinded the men of Sodom, so Lot could not be found (verse 11)
- Allowed Lot a chance to warn his future sons-in-law (verse 12)
- Prompted Lot to “Hurry” and flee from the city at dawn (verse 15)
- Insistently took Lot by the hand and led him out of Sodom (verse 16)
- Warned Lot to flee to the mountains (verse 17)
- Allowed Lot to instead seek shelter in a nearby town (verse 22)
Seven! Seven times they were warned.
An angel even took her hand and led her away from the sins of her past; pointing her toward a brand new future. (verse 16)
This way. Go, and sin no more.
When Jesus said, “Go and sin no more,” to the woman caught in the act of adultery, He was not suggesting sinless perfection. He was warning against a return to sinful lifestyle choices. This story points to a very similar caution for Mrs. Lot.
In the middle of chapter eighteen of Genesis we find Abraham bargaining with the Lord to spare sinful Sodom and Gomorrah, if a mere ten righteous could be found there. By nightfall two angelic messengers arrived in Sodom and it seemed the only man worth saving was Abraham’s nephew, Lot.
I believe Lot to be the most “ME” centered person spoken of thus far in the book of Genesis. When he and Uncle Abe couldn’t get along he chose the fertile green land towards Sodom and Gomorrah leaving the mountains for his uncle and herds. By the time we catch backup with the favored Lot in chapter 19, he is an elder serving as a judge at the city gates of Sodom.
All this considered, I would never have saved Lot. But God would… And did.
“Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah” (Genesis 19:24).
Lot and daughters are spared but, because she ignored so great a salvation, Mrs. Lot was not. This is the single verse that says it all.
But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26
Yep. She looked back and became a pillar of salt.
“Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! (verse 17)
Did she stop? The angel warned her not to stop or look back. We don’t know, maybe she simply glanced over her shoulder and kept walking. Either way… a little sin or a lot of sin, it was still sin.
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10).
“Not much grace in this story.” One might say? Oh, but there was. Seven times. Seven times she was told. 7 Times.
How about us? How many times has God told us something and we continue to do it anyway?
Nine years ago we left behind everything we had known all our lives and moved to Birmingham, Alabama. Ours was a move for a better job. And along with leaving behind people, we also left behind many regrets and started over.
Ours wasn’t a ‘don’t look back’ but it was a “Go, I have great things for you to do.” It has been fun and exciting, yet scary and trying. But God has lead us and it has been good.
What would be the hardest person, place, or thing for you to walk away from? If God asked you to do so, for your own good, how would you respond?
Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is nine years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 37 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice.