Vol.XIX No.V Pg.3
July 1982

"Remember Lot's Wife, And...

Dan S. Shipley

To remember Lot's wife, as Jesus bids us do (Lk. 17:32), is always a remorseful recollection for me. It appears that this unnamed wife and mother became the victim of her own environment. Not, of course, that this lessened her guilt in any way — she still disobeyed God in looking back. But apparently, her heart was still in Sodom. As Lot had been a well-to-do herdsman, it is likely that she left a lovely home there. No doubt she left good friends and neighbors behind. Not only were all of her earthly possessions abandoned on very short notice, it is possible that she had to leave some daughters — maybe even grandchildren. I feel for this woman — not in her disobedience, but in her circumstances. After all, she would have never looked back to Sodom had Lot never pitched his tent in that direction.

In fact, the beginning of this family's problems can be traced back to Lot's being offered his choice of grazing lands by his uncle Abraham Gen. 13:9). He selfishly chose the well watered plain of Jordan. It was obviously a choice influenced by the material more than the spiritual. Lot was thinking in terms of what would be best for his herds and flocks, not his wife and daughters. As another has well observed in this connection, "sheep don't have souls, daughters do". Back in those days, Lot seemed to have his mind set more on earthly things than things above (Col. 3:2). Later, he apparently changed to become the righteous man Peter speaks of in 2 Pet. 2:7,8. Considering the fate of his wife, the rejection by his sons-in-law (Gen. 19:14), and the subsequent immoral conduct of his two daughters (Gen. 19:30-ff), it appears unlikely that they shared his concern about spiritual matters. One can only wonder whether Lot spent these late years as so many of God's people do — in sadness and regret for the influence of deeds and decisions of a bad past. Even forgiveness cannot erase that.

Furthermore, we are made to wonder how many wives and children are yet subjected to the influence of men preoccupied with "herds and flocks". Ironically, many such men claim to be sacrificing to provide for the physical needs of loved ones while ignoring their more important spiritual needs. The home is in trouble when its head has worldly priorities. There is not a wife or child anywhere that would not be blessed, encouraged, and strengthened by the presence of a God-fearing husband and daddy — like God said Abraham was. "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord..." (Gen. 18:19). For the want of such a man, many families are perishing spiritually; wives and children are becoming acclimated to the "Sodom'.' about them. In time, they may not want to change — even if daddy does.

True, every "Lot's" wife and child is a free moral agent, accountable for their own souls. But all are susceptible to the influence of their environment, especially family. All need help, encouragement, and good examples about them. "Remember Lot's wife" — and your mate, and your children, and your influence.