What would you do if your home was about to be destroyed?

What if God suddenly appeared to you and told you to flee your home without looking back? Would you do it? Could you do it? Would it be difficult? If so, why?

This scenario happened to Lot and his family. They were living in Sodom and one day two men arrived and told them that Sodom was going to be destroyed. Lot and his family were told to flee without looking back. Were they able to do it? Were they able to flee from their home? What did this event reveal about their character? What does this event teach us?

Read the following verses from Genesis 19. Notice why Sodom and Gomorrah were earmarked for destruction.

Gen. 19:12 ¶ Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place;

Gen. 19:13 for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it.”

Gen. 19:14 Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

Sodom and Gomorrah were earmarked for destruction because they were sinful. However, Sodom was Lot’s home. As you read the following verses, notice the words highlighted in red and keep in mind that Lot and his family were being told to flee from their home.

Gen. 19:15 ¶ When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.”

Gen. 19:16 But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the LORD was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city.

Gen. 19:17 When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape 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.”

Gen. 19:18 But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lords!

Gen. 19:19 “Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die;

Gen. 19:20 now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) that my life may be saved.”

Gen. 19:21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also, not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken.

Gen. 19:22 “Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the town was called Zoar. 

Gen. 19:23 ¶ The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar.

Gen. 19:24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven,

Gen. 19:25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.

Gen. 19:26 But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Lot and his family were told to flee their home without looking behind them. They fled, but Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt. Why did she look back? The Bible doesn’t tell us why, but looking back indicates an unwillingness to leave and a yearning to return. Physically, she was leaving, but it seems her heart wanted to stay. Why did she want to stay? Their home was in a sin drenched culture and they were being delivered from that culture. Did she enjoy the sin drenched culture? Were the comforts of home more important to her than righteousness? Were the comforts of home more important than obeying God?

When Jesus was asked about the Kingdom of God, He used Sodom as an example to explain that the Kingdom of God will come without warning just as the destruction of Sodom occurred with little warning. He also mentioned Lot’s wife. What are we supposed to learn from her fate?

Luke 17:28 “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building;

Luke 17:29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.

Luke 17:30 “It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.

Luke 17:31 “On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back.

Luke 17:32 “Remember Lot’s wife.

Luke 17:33 “Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

The fate of Lot’s wife is a lesson regarding our heart. Yes, Lot’s wife was leaving her home, but she was also being delivered from a sin drenched culture. Where was her heart? What was most important to her? She wanted to save her life in Sodom, but she lost her life instead.

Jesus warned people not to go back when the Son of Man is revealed. Yes, they will be leaving their possessions behind, but they will also be seeing the Son of Man. Where will their hearts be? Will they try to save their life and lose it instead?

What about us? Where are our hearts? What is most important to us? What would we do if our culture was punished for its sin? Would we regret losing our culture if God decided to punish it? If so, what does that reveal about our hearts?


Further Reading

How much do you love God?

Why does God tolerate evil people?

What should we do when we are surrounded by wickedness?


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“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”