And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:17, 24, 26
Lot’s wife didn’t take God all that seriously. She believed Him enough to know that she should flee the city but not enough to believe the consequences of looking back. Is Lot responsible for that? Perhaps she lived by example.
Not everything a wife does is her husband’s fault or vice versa. We are each responsible for our own choices. However, the faith or faithlessness of those near to us do affect us. Parents who mock God will usually raise children who do the same. Parents who live a religious life, void of the power of the Gospel, will probably see their family spurn religion, preferring alternate paths.
Lot had faith, but for the most part it was second-hand faith. He had tagged along with Abraham, seen that God was real, but only followed God when it was convenient for him and his family. His last major choice had been to choose the land of Sodom for his home. He conformed to fit in a godless society, so much so that he became popular enough to rise to the status of mayor. What do these kinds of choices communicate to Lot’s family?
As the entire family fled Sodom, no doubt they heard the roaring fire and the screams of terror behind them. They felt the heat on their backs. They could see the glow of the flames out of their peripheral vision. The temptation to look back was strong but because she’d never seen her husband pay a steep price for disobedience, she didn’t think turning around would result in the loss of her life. It cost her everything in the end.
Will I be struck dead if I repeatedly disobey God? Not likely. But it will appear to those around me that I’ve gotten away with rebellion and disrespect. There will be unwelcome fruit in other places and that might begin with my family. Their eyes are always watching.
Am I flirting with what You asked me to avoid? It’s hard to even ask the question. Amen