Having His Hand on the Plow

If we believe like the world that the history of Sodom and Gomorrah was more a fairy tale than a true event, then we probably won’t gain much from Lot’s wife when we see that she turned into a pillar of salt. But to those who believe unto the saving of the soul, we believe that Lot’s wife was cursed into a pillar of salt when she looked back, while clearly violating God’s instruction. When she disobeyed, she received the penalty for the error of her way. Many might think however that this was too cruel for just one look back. However, we might see some encouragement in the silence of the response that Lot did not give. Lot obeyed the voice of the Lord, and was able to lead only his daughters away to safety from the destruction of the Lord (Genesis 19:23-26).
Many would see the encouragement from this as being to simply trust in the Lord, and do not turn from the right hand nor the left, nor turn back. They would be correct. Luke 9:62 is arranged in this same way, to instruct that those who are worthy to enter the kingdom of God must not look back to the old life they are leaving or have left behind. However, I believe there is also more strength we can receive in the message we read of Lot’s wife. There may be some of the faithful reading who have had to suffer loss of a faithful family member to sudden, physical death. There may be a reader who has had to withdraw from an unfaithful family member who chose to look back into the world. There may even be one reader struggling themselves with looking back and becoming again entangled with the affairs of this world. And even if there are some who aren’t near the struggle to turn back, please heed the encouragement that we find in God’s word – our God wants the faithful to obey Him.
Again, what was Lot’s response to the passing of his wife? Nothing that we can read as recorded. He simply obeyed; otherwise we know that God would have faithfully answered his turning back just as He did the wife. But there was no answer from Lot. If any of us lovingly care for those in our lives, there will be grief and heartache at any loss of life, but our look must be on that of heaven, and of the Lord, and his example. There are far too many evidences in the scriptures that tell us when facing such difficulty, that we must gather our strength from God and trust in Him.
Other examples speak out to us from God’s word in this way, encouraging us to rely on God. The scriptures point out that Abraham did not speak or leave God when he was instructed to sacrifice his only son; there was no voice against the commandment of the Lord, but the desire to simply obey. When Nadab and Abihu were consumed by fire from God when their sacrifices were offered with strange fire, Aaron was instructed that God must be regarded as holy, and Aaron held his peace (Leviticus 10:3). We see Job’s wife say “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). But Job’s response was to remember that while we can accept good from the Lord, we must also learn to accept adversity when the trials come as well (Job 2:10). We see the Lord had his brothers believing not in Him, but telling Him to present himself to the world if He was something (John 7:5). Paul was at a near lonely state, admittedly so, when he told Timothy that Demas had left him, and also Crescens and Titus in the second letter (II Timothy 4:10). But Paul was still seeking to continue to do the work and use Mark (II Timothy 4:11).
Life is chock full of disappointments in loss of brethren, friends, and family. This loss may come in death, leaving the Lord, or other terrible ways. However, the focus for the faithful is to continue to do the will of God, despite the physical loss. This is not an easy encouragement to give nor accept. When the Lord hits on this thought, He makes it plain: “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14-26-33). There is no guarantee given by God that those closest to us are going to remain ever present with us. Our only guarantee is that He will never leave us, nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6). And with God with us through it all makes any loss in this life a smaller thing.

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