A lesson from Lot’s wife

Obedience. Now there is a word that we all *think* we can handle, but a lot of times, that word “obedience” or “obey” makes us really think hard….if I obey, will I loose all autonomy? Surely I don’t have to obey the speed limit if I am late for work, right? If my family were in the midst of a natural disaster, surely God would forgive me if I stole something to help me survive, right? Obedience is a very strong word, and I am hopeful in this study that we can all learn that when God asks us to obey him, that we should just do it.

This week’s bible study starts with the infamous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Just this morning, I had someone mention to me that she thought the U.S. today was becoming a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. I can see where she is coming from. We are moving so far away from God in our society. There are so many things that God made sacred that as a people, we are just flat out ignoring and turning our back from, just like the people from Sodom and Gomorrah. Turn in your Bible to Genesis 19.

In this chapter, Lot is visited by two angels who stay at his house. The men in the town realize that there is someone new in town and want Lot to let them have relations with his male guests. Lot pleads with the men in town to leave the guests alone, even offers his virgin daughters to them instead, but the men of Sodom are in a wild frenzy to get inside to his visitors. The angels pull Lot inside and blind the men outdoors so they cannot find their way in. The angels warn Lot that he, his wife, and his daughters MUST get out of town fast. They have been sent to destroy the city. The next morning, Lot is told by the angels “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.’ (Gen. 19:15) And they were serious….so serious that the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (Gen. 19:16-17)

Okay, here is where the obedience comes in. What is it that the Lord’s servants told Lot’s family…. FLEE…DON’T LOOK BACK… DON’T STOP ANYWHERE… Have you ever heard the Lord speak to you? There have been times in my life when I stopped in my TRACKS where I was when I heard the Lord’s voice. I stopped immediately. Here are these very explicit instructions. Pretty simple and easy to follow, wouldn’t you say. FLEE … that word means run away as fast as you can…Just like Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife wanted him to lie with her. He RAN so fast that he left his cloak behind. DON’T LOOK BACK…. Pretty self explanatory…. Don’t turn around AT ALL. DON’T STOP ANYWHERE. That one is pretty strict. Keep going…and going and going…don’t stop ANYWHERE.  Yes, that means ANYWHERE.   These angels had told Lot that they had been sent by the Lord to destroy the cities. So Lot and his family know what is going to happen. So the angels drag them away from the city and tell them to keep on running. Don’t be a rubber-necker, staring at the accident as you go by… RUN!….Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. (Gen. 19:24-26)

NOOOOOOOOO!!! Don’t look back!!! Argh, she did anyway! Why didn’t she obey? Why didn’t she listen? Gosh, those are things I think about my kids all the time. It’s called our sin nature. Can you imagine what Lot’s wife might have been thinking while running away? “Just one peek. What could it hurt?” or maybe “Surely he didn’t mean to NOT look back at all” or how about this one “But…but … but… my home! My things! My life is all back there! And it is all GONE!”

Do you do these things, dear one? God gives us instructions through out the Bible. I am in a Hot Topics study at church right now about Fireproofing your marriage. Have you seen that movie or read the book? Awesome! But think about it… did Caleb think that porn could hurt his marriage? What was more important to him, his marriage or that boat he wanted to save all his money for? And Catherine wasn’t immune either…instead of communicating her needs to Caleb and having them fulfilled by him, she was ready to take the next step with another man. My Sunday school teacher said it best, “We feel like we have 80% of what fulfills us in our spouse at times, and we look elsewhere for the other 20%….and what happens? We leave the 80% for the 20%.” It’s so true! Ladies, we need to open our ears and listen to what our Lord has to say! Women, we are instructed to respect our husbands and submit to them. Sure sometimes they don’t deserve it, but what does God say? Just do it! Your husband has been told by God to love you like Christ loves the church…are you always loveable? Probably not, but God has told him to love you anyway. Do we always listen? Nope. If you were tempted by another man, could you flee or would you want to look back to get another glance? Both Exodus 20:14 and Deuteronomy 5:18 tell us very clearly “You shall not commit adultery”. When that 20% of a man comes your way, listen to God. Flee. Remember, he’s only 20% ladies. Only 20%. Your man is your 80%….God is your 100%.

We’re like children who love to touch that burner even though we are told not to. We like to run in the street when we’re told to STOP! Both of my kids favorite thing to tell me is “Nothing happened to me” when I tell them not to do something and they do it anyway. We take our free will as far as we can possibly go, trying not to get burned. God wants us to listen to him and just do what he tells us. Don’t be like Lot’s wife. If God tells you to flee, run as fast as you can. If God tells you to not turn around, don’t do it. What we don’t realize is that God has something much better in store for us if we only obey him.

6 Comments

  1. You know, I was right there with you until this post. I am so glad I left the Institutional church, and this is the exact reason why. And my marriage and walk with Christ has gotten better because of it.

    Lot’s wife didn’t listen to GOD. And you are teaching that women are supposed to submt to thier husbands, so therefore you’re taking God’s portion and bestowing on a husband. NOT. And you are using an old testament fear mongering story to frighten women into submission. This reckons back to all things are fallen because of Eve. The world is in turmoil because of Pandora. It’s all the woman’s fault.

    My husband and I are co heirs to the kingdom, and I am not seen as less than in the sight of God. I am a priestess, my husband a priest, one is not less than the other. We are both equal in God’s eyes, and Christ was the ultimate feminist. Go through the New Testament and see how Christ treats women. When we are both following God, we’re both walking in the same direction, someone doesn’t need to lead.

    God didn’t take Eve from Adam’s feet, he took her from his SIDE. America is filled with this leadership postion- “But SOMEONE has to lead!” We’re obsessed with it. Shelves of bookstores are filled with tomes written on it. It’s made it to the pulpit and more shelves are filled with how to be a Christian leader. (Christ lead by being a SERVANT) Someone DOES have to lead– God. What you’re preaching here is that my husband, because he is a man, can hear God better than I can. No, woman was taken from Adam’s SIDE.

    The church is PEOPLE. And Christ is found when we seek him TOGETHER. Not one following, the other leading. I have a shepherd, and more than one voice discerning his will for my life distorts the message like a bad game of telephone. Marriages are the same. My husband and I seek God TOGETHER. We serve eachother. If you are doing that, you’ll BE fireproof.

    If your eye is wandering, God doesn’t need to tell you to flee-he’s ALREADY told you. And if your eye is wandering, then you’re marriage already NEEDED work. By the time you’re looking and pondering another person the tinder has been lit and is about to set the house on fire.

  2. I am confused as to what you are upset about. The focus on this bible story is on the fact that God spoke to Lot through the two angels that came to his house. When it came time to leave, Lot’s wife was grabbed by the hand by an angel and dragged out of the city. When they got outside the city, all four people were told not to look back. She chose to disobey God’s messengers (thus God) when she did this.

    We all disobey God at some point or another, don’t you agree? We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Some of our sins might not seem so great to us as others, but in God’s eye, sin is sin.

    I chose some examples that might not apply to you, but some people (new Christians and others who are not Christians) may face things like this on a daily basis. Temptation is strong for some people. What tempts others may not tempt someone who is a strong Christian, but we all have our temptations. There are readers who face these struggles. I don’t think preaching to the choir is necessary, that is why I chose examples that someone else might relate to who needs to hear that they are disobeying God when they choose these avenues.

    When you are saved, you are an equal heir in heaven with Christ. If you are a believer and your husband is a believer, I agree with you, you are both equal heirs in the sight of God. But if God spoke to my husband and not to me (as in the case with Lot), I would have to follow my husband in light of the directions that God gave him. I would have to show him enough respect to follow him. I am not saying the men are always right and we have to follow them blindly like sheep. We already do that with Christ. I am saying that if God is holding my hand and leading me away from something and tells me to not look back, if I do, I have blatantly disobeyed God.

    Hopefully as we all grow to be more like Christ, we can all learn to discern his voice and choose to obey him. Not everyone makes that choice, and that is who this study is for.

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. Hello Briana,

    I read your message yesterday and it really touched me. I am an older woman in the body of Christ and have been walking closely with my God for a long time. At first, I was confused by your message and even though I wanted to reply off the cuff, I decided to do what I have trained myself to do…sit on my thoughts and think on them.

    If there is anything I would like to say to you it would be to ask you to forgive the women in the body of Christ for hurting and wounding you in so many ways.

    Under your anger, and obviously well formed opinion, there is real pain from women being nasty to you and failing to show the love of Jesus Christ to you.

    I apologize on behalf of us all. The failing is not the fault of the men or the husbands or the brothers or fathers. The failure belongs to the women of God who have been so selfish and wrapped up in ourselves. As a whole, we have failed women like you because you have been damaged by our callousness and pride.

    For your sake, please ask God to help you forgive from the depths of your heart.

    I have dealt with bitterness towards the women in the body of Christ for many years and if not continually placed before the throne of God, my bitterness and pain has the potential of hurting me more than I have been hurt by others.

    I will pray for you as you read my message and trust that you will see my geniuneness and not judgment. There are many wonderful women of God out here and we would like you to at least see that we are here and we are trying to right matters in the body of Christ. It takes time and faith to turn the tide but it is slowly turning.

    We need people like you to help us. Think on it.

    smP

  4. There are verses in the Bible (which do not inspire any fear in me) which state that the woman is to look to her husband as the head of the family (just as Christ is the head of the church and gave himself up for her) and that the men are to love their wives. Those verses indicate the way of headship in God’s economy – ideally both are believers, and God is the head of both and the husband is the head of the family, the leader.

    I don’t view that as New Testament fear-mongering. I find it very freeing that both my husband and I pray to God for direction, share what direction we feel he is leading us, and discuss major changes/options. The ultimate decision is his to make, but if he is living according to God’s economy, he doesn’t do it unilaterally.

    There is nothing in the Bible that suggests one of us is lower than the other – except that women are referred to as the weaker vessels…meaning that we are often somewhat more fragile (probably due to all our hormonal changes throughout life). Other than that, the idea of the man being the head and a woman being submissive (which we are told we are to be Scripturally) has nothing to do with our VALUE (to our spouse or God) and everything to do with our FUNCTION (we were designed originally to be the counterpart, compliment, and helpmeet for our husbands). In terms of value, we hold just as much in God’s eyes. In terms of function, the men are to be the leaders according to Scripture. Again, I don’t see anything indicating that it means less, just a different role.

  5. “The ultimate decision is his to make, but if he is living according to God’s economy, he doesn’t do it unilaterally. ”

    That is how I was wanting to say it, but I couldn’t come up with the right words! Thanks Spicybride!

  6. Spicybride, you took the words right out of my mouth. Briana, I totally sympathise about the church thing ‘cos in my own way I’ve “been there”; but after going through 5 different churches over the last 22yrs [ranging from orthodox to unconservative pentecostal] I’ve come to realise one thing – churches are made up of human beings, and humans at widelly varying levels of maturity. The implication? There’s no church on earth where you won’t find people who will give you grief. ‘Cos there’s no church made up of perfect people [they'd be in heaven otherwise]. What’s important is how you react to what’s thrown at you. I see it as an oppurtunity to work patience and if necessary – longsuferring! Hope you see my contribution in the right light. Thanks for speaking out.


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