Lot, the nephew of Old Testament patriarch Abraham, lived in a rotten neighborhood. In fact, the entire city, as well as the one next door, was so wicked, God ordered they both be destroyed, as a warning to future generations of His disdain for unrepentant sin. To this day, even the names of the cities – Sodom and Gomorrah – have come to epitomize evil and wickedness.
The story in Genesis 19 is riveting: Because Lot was said to have been a righteous man, God sent angels to rescue him and his family before the cities were annihilated.
The angels warned them to hurry and not stop to look back. Lot’s wife famously disobeyed and the Bible tells us she was instantly turned into a pillar of salt — perhaps caught in the burning sulfur and volcanic explosions that engulfed the area.
Though some Hebrew texts refer to her as Edith and others call her Irit, Lot’s wife is never actually named in the Bible itself. Instead, she stands as a symbol of the danger of indecision, especially when God’s instructions are clear. Even in the New Testament, Jesus cautions His disciples to “remember Lot’s wife” and not look back when God calls you forward.
The more I think about it, the more I think Lot’s wife’s name could have been Diane.
Maybe I’m not fleeing a city about to be destroyed with fire and brimstone, but I’m sometimes guilty of thoughts and actions that stifle my spiritual growth and anchor me to a place of defeat.
- When I dwell on situations over which I have no control, worrying and fretting, I’m not being made new in the attitude of my mind. (Ephesians 4:22-23)
- When I wallow in regret over the past and fail to forgive myself, I’m forgetting God’s truth that I am clothed in His righteousness, not my own. (Isaiah 61:10)
- When I look back and glorify the “good old days”, pining away for things that, in reality, weren’t really all that good, I miss God’s proclamation that He is doing a new thing in me. (Isaiah 43:19)
- When I get stuck in unproductive thought patterns, replaying painful experiences and rehearsing negative responses, I miss God’s promise of hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
God calls us to “put on the new self . . . to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”. (Ephesians 4:24).
That doesn’t sound like a pillar of salt to me.
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