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Lot's Wife - Genesis Part 43

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2022 9:00 am

Lot's Wife - Genesis Part 43

So What? / Lon Solomon

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You know, I don't know about you, but when I fly commercially and they show that safety video, I basically pay no attention. However, there is one thing that they say during that safety video that really bothers me and conflicts me. And that is when they say, if an emergency evacuation becomes necessary, please leave all carry-on items behind. Now, whenever they say this, I always sit there in my seat and say, no way.

I mean, no way. There are things in my carry-on I love. There are things in my carry-on that are very important to me. There are things in my carry-on that I don't want to lose. My laptop, for goodness sake, is in my carry-on. And unless this plane blows up in flight, I am going to try to get all of my carry-on before I go out of that airplane.

And if they do succeed in forcing me down that dumb little slide without my carry-on, I can promise you I'm going to go down that slide looking back at the carry-on bins, you know, the overhead bins, and grieving those overhead bins as I go down and longing for what's in them. Now, can any of you guys relate to that? Can you?

Yeah. Well, you know, there's a person in the Bible who could relate to that too. Her name is Lot's wife. That's all we know.

I don't know a real name, but her name's Lot's wife. Well, that's all we know. I mean, what do you want me to say? Now, she can't relate to flying, obviously, and going out, you know, without her carry-on.

But she can relate to looking back at things she loved and things she was going to miss and grieving those things. And that's what we're going to talk about today. We're in a verse-by-verse study of the book of Genesis, and we're picking up in chapter 19. So are you ready to go? Okay.

Now, just before we launch, let's do a tiny bit of review. If you remember in Genesis 18, Abraham was living in the town of Hebron, just south of Jerusalem, and there were three men who came to visit him. Two of these three men were angels in human form, and the third was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in human appearance. And after they had had a meal together, the two angels continued on to the city of Sodom in order to destroy it. So that's where we've been. Let's pick up chapter 19, verse 1.

Here we go. So the two men, that is, the two angels arrived in Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the city gate. And when Lot saw the two men, he rose and went to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And Lot said, Sirs, please turn aside to your servant's house.

You can wash your feet and spend the night there and then go on your way early in the morning. So before they went to bed, all the men from every part of Sodom, both young and old, surrounded Lot's house, and they called to Lot and said, Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them. So Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, No, my friends, do not do this wicked thing. And they kept bringing pressure on Lot and moving forward to break down the door. But the two men, the two angels, reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and they shut the door.

Then they struck the men at the door, young and old, with blindness. And then these two men said to Lot, If you have anyone else in this city who belongs to you, anybody you care about, anybody you love, get them out of here because we are going to destroy this place. Now, when we read the rest of the chapter, we learned that Lot went around trying to get people to leave and nobody would leave.

As a matter of fact, even his wife and the two daughters he had who lived in his house resisted leaving. And with the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot saying, Hurry, take your wife and your two daughters, or you will be swept away when the city is judged. And when Lot hesitated, that is, to leave the city because his wife was hesitating and his daughters were hesitating, the angels grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters and pulled them out of the city. And as soon as the men had brought them out, they said, Flee for your lives. Don't look back and don't stop anywhere in the plain or you will be swept away. Then the Lord rained down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah, and thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain south of the Dead Sea and all the vegetation in the plain.

But in direct disobedience to God, verse 26, Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of Saul. You say, all right, Lon, well, right there, stop. You really believe this? I mean, you really believe that this woman was running along.

She looked backwards and all of a sudden she became a pillar of like NACL, like real salt. I mean, you're an educated man. You honestly believe that that happened? Oh, I certainly do. And I'll tell you why I believe it.

I believe it because the Lord Jesus Christ himself believed it. Watch Luke Chapter 17, verse 28. Jesus said it was the same in the days of Lot.

People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Now, in these verses, Jesus tells us that he believed that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah happened exactly the way the Bible said that it was a literal historical event.

But more than that, he also believed that the story of Lot's wife being turned into a pillar of salt also happened exactly the way the Bible said that it was a real historical event. Look, we continue verse 30. Thus it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. We're talking about his second coming. On that day, let no one on the roof of his house with his goods inside the house go down to get them.

Likewise, let no one in the field go back for anything. Here it comes. Remember Lot's wife. So what this means is that for those of us here as followers of Christ who accept the inerrancy of the Bible and we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is God himself in the flesh who knows everything about everything and who cannot lie. This means that Luke 17 32 when Jesus said, Remember Lot's wife. This certifies to us that Jesus believed that Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt was not a myth. It was not a legend.

It was not a fanciful story, but it was utterly historical fact. Now that's as far as we're going to go in Genesis 19 because we're going to stop now and we're going to ask our most important question of the day. So everybody knows what this is.

All of you folks at Loudon and all of you folks at Bethesda and down in the edge and at Prince William and around the world on the Internet here at Tysons. We ready? Yeah. We ready? All right. Come on now. Here we go. One, two, three. Oh, that was good.

That was good. You say, all right, Lon, look. Yeah, I mean, so what?

I mean, even if I believe this really, really happened to this woman, I mean, I don't even add salt to my food. So what difference does any of this make to me? Well, let's talk about that, shall we? First, let's ask the question, what do we really know about Lot's wife? Well, we don't know much.

We don't even know her name. We do know that Lot was a bachelor when he moved to Sodom in Genesis 13 had no family. So our assumption is that he met this woman in Sodom and that she was a native of Sodom. We also the Bible doesn't tell us we don't know whether she was a true believer in Jehovah God or not. The Bible doesn't make that clear. We don't really know much about her.

But the really important question is what was so wrong about what she did? I mean, why was looking back at Sodom so bad that God turned her into a pillar of salt? Well, it's interesting that Jesus answers that question for us in the New Testament. Look, remember here in Luke 17, Jesus is talking about a second coming and he says, verse 30, Thus it will be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed on that day. No one who is on the roof of his house with his goods inside should go down to get them.

Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot's wife. But Jesus doesn't stop there. He goes on and explains to us the point he's trying to make.

Next verse. For whoever seeks to hold on to his life shall lose it, Jesus said. But whoever loses his life for my sake shall keep it. You say, all right, what does that mean to lose our life from Jesus' sake? Well, it simply means to lose our life for Jesus' sake means making our hearts 100% his. Forgetting about everything else we got and all the goods that are in our house and everything else that belongs to us and making our heart 100% Christ. And if he's coming, then what difference does anything make that we're leaving behind?

If he's first and 100% in our heart? You understand what he's saying? Yeah?

Okay. Now by looking back at Sodom, Lot's wife revealed that her heart was not 100% his. That her heart was divided. That she still desired the things of Sodom. And she still loved the things of Sodom. And that she was going to miss the things of Sodom. So, and this is the key point, make sure you get this, it wasn't looking back at Sodom itself that was the problem with Lot's wife.

It's what that looking back revealed about the spiritual state of her heart, that her heart was not 100% God's. We got that? That's the key to the whole passage. Everybody got that?

Okay, good. And you know, Jesus even commented on this. He said, Luke 962, no one after putting their hand to the plow, to the plow of the kingdom of God, no one after putting their hand to the plow of knowing me in a personal way. And what's the next words?

Looking back. Who do you think he had in mind? Huh? He had Lot's wife in mind, of course, no one after putting their hand to the plow and looking back like Lot's wife did is fit for the kingdom of God. Now, in contrast to Lot's wife, we have the wonderful example in the Bible of the great man of God, Elisha.

Let's look at his story. In 1 Kings 19, Elisha's predecessor, the prophet Elijah, came to Elisha and told him that God was calling him into the ministry, that God was calling him, Elisha, to be a prophet. Now, at the time, Elisha was a very wealthy farmer. But I want you to see what Elisha did in light of God's call to his life. 1 Kings 19 verse 21. So Elisha took his oxen that he used for plowing and he slaughtered them. He also burned his plowing equipment, of course, made out of wood, and cooked the meat and gave it to all the people he gathered there.

You say, what people? Well, when he found out that God was calling him to be a prophet, he sent to all his neighbors and said, I'm having a party. Come on over. We're going to cook my oxen.

Come on over. And they all came over and they had a big barbecue eating his farm animals right there. And they ate. And then Elisha arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him. Folks, by burning his plowing equipment and by killing his oxen, Elisha was trying to tell everybody there, Hey, folks, I'm not coming back. God's called me to go be a prophet. He's called me to leave my life as a farmer and go serve him.

And even though it means I'm going to be living on a meager income and I'm going to be delivering an unpopular message and lots of people aren't going to like me all the time, it doesn't matter because my heart is 100 percent God's. And therefore, for me, friends, there's going to be no turning back and there's going to be no looking back and there's going to be no secretly longing to go back. Go back to what? I've killed my animals.

I burned up my equipment. I'm not coming back. God's calling me. And if God calls me, I follow.

That's where my heart is. Friends, in utter contrast to Lot's wife, Elisha's heart for God was undivided. Elisha's love for God was undivided. Elisha's loyalty to God was undivided. We all see that? Yeah.

OK. In fact, having this kind of undivided heart for God is what the first two of the Ten Commandments are all about. Commandment number one, I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt. You shall have no other gods before me.

Commandment number two, you shall not have for yourselves any idol of any kind, nor show you bow down and worship them for I the Lord your God and a jealous God. I want 100 percent of your heart. 90 percent is not good enough.

95 percent is not good enough. I don't want the kind of divided heart that Lot's wife offered me, and I don't want the kind of divided heart that lots of us modern idolaters offer God. You say, what? Modern idolaters? What are you talking about? Lon, I don't have a little stone statue in the front of my house with little horns on it that I go out at night by torchlight and dance around. I mean, I don't have an altar in my living room where I sacrifice gerbils.

I mean, what are you talking about? Modern idolaters? Well, friends, we don't have to have altars and we don't have to have little statues in order to be idolaters. Listen, whatever sets up a rival interest in our heart, absorbing the love and the loyalty in our heart that belongs to God alone. This is another God and this is an idol. Now for Lot's wife, her idol were the pleasures of Sodom.

That's why she looked back. But today our idols can be money or power or prestige or human recognition or greed for material things. But, you know, an idol doesn't have to be a bad thing. It can be career success or golf or tennis or sailing or having a beautiful lawn or some hobby.

It can be a girlfriend, a boyfriend, a spouse. It can be even our children. In fact, often idols are good things, but things that we have allowed to divide our heart and steal the place there that God says belongs to him alone. And please don't make the mistake of believing that idolatry is only something that non-believers can do.

No, no. We as believers, we as followers of Christ, we can be wonderful idolaters. This is why the Apostle John said, 1 John 5 21, little children. Now he's talking to us as believers, little children, keep yourselves from, what's the next word?

That's talking to us, folks. You know, when we go on our footsteps to Paul tour, one of the places that we stop all the time is the city of Ephesus, which is in western Turkey today, the country of Turkey. And it is just an unbelievable excavation. Ephesus was the third most important city in the Roman Empire at the time of the Apostle Paul, just behind Rome and Alexandria. And the Apostle Paul spent two years here in Ephesus setting up a massively effective church. I mean, just an incredible church. A few years later, Jesus wrote a letter to this church that's recorded in Revelation chapter 2.

And here's what he said. He said, I know your deeds and your toil and your perseverance and that you have endured many hardships for my name and not grown weary. You've done some great stuff, Jesus said. But I have this one thing against you, and that is that you've lost your first love, me, Jesus.

Remember from where you've fallen, Jesus says, and repent and do the deeds you did at first. You say, what do you mean at first? Well, at first means when we were young believers. When we first came to Christ. When we were brand new in the faith. Now, I can really relate to what Jesus is saying here.

And I bet you, you can too. I mean, when we first gave our lives to Christ, we were passionately in love with Jesus. There wasn't a rival for him anywhere in our heart.

He was number one. Our heart was 100% his, but then other things began to creep in and slow erosion began to happen. And friends, we didn't go apostate and we didn't deny the faith and we didn't forsake the Lord. We kept doing all the things we were supposed to do to go to church, to read our Bible, to pray before meals. We did all kinds of good things, just like the Ephesian believers were doing all kinds of good things. But that inner passion, that inner fire, that 100% loyalty that we once had for the Lord Jesus Christ had cooled off. And we became like Easter eggs.

You say, what do you mean? Well, all pretty and decorated, looking good on the outside, but sucked dry with no life on the inside. And you know, the Apostle Paul talked about Easter egg Christians. He said in 2 Timothy 3 verse 5, he said, they hold to a form of godliness on the outside. They look godly, but they miss its power. The Apostle Paul said that Easter egg Christians miss the power of God in their life.

And let me tell you why. It's because the power of God in our life does not come from doing the right things on the outside. It doesn't come from going to church. It doesn't come from praying before meals.

It doesn't come from any act that we do. Real power in the Christian experience comes from being passionately and utterly in love with Jesus, having an undivided heart for Christ in our life. So the Spirit of God can flow through our life.

Yes, the outward things we do are good and important, but they don't provide the power for the Christian experience. It's an undivided heart for Christ that provides it. And what is an undivided heart for Christ?

What's that look like? Ah, friends, it's a heart where our allegiance to Christ is absolute. We burn the plows and we kill the oxen because there's no going back. We're doing whatever God calls us to do. It's a heart where our love for Christ is unadulterated and where our affection for Christ is unrivaled by anything. Our lawn, our hobby, our husband, our wife, our children, money, power, nothing.

It's the kind of heart Elisha did have and it's the kind of heart that Lot's wife didn't have. And so in closing, what I want to say is that if you're a follower of Jesus here today, I want you to be honest as you look at your heart and ask the question that I've been asking myself all week, and that is, has there been slippage in my heart? I mean, am I no longer a person with an undivided heart for Christ? Have I let other things creep in there?

Has there been erosion? Have I become like an Easter egg Christian? Have I become like Lot's wife? Have I lost my first love?

And I want you to be honest and ask that. And then as Jesus said, Revelation chapter 2, we need, if this has happened, to remember from where we have fallen and repent. We need to make a spiritual U-turn in our hearts. You say, but Lon, I have a problem. My problem is that no matter how hard I try to keep Jesus number one in my heart, a hundred percent, I can't do it. I mean, stuff just creeps in there.

I mean, I don't even want it to creep in there, but it just does. And I turn around and I got a divided heart again. I got to be honest and tell you, I am a hopeless idolater. Well, me too. I am too. But I got some good news for you. You say, well, it's about time.

No, I got some good news for you. Psalm 130 verse 3, David wrote, if you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee.

How great is that? No matter how many times we repent and come back to the Lord and say, well, I did it again, Lord. You know, I mean, I want my heart to be undivided for you, but I did it again. Please forgive me. And we're genuine from the heart.

He always forgives us, dust us off, picks us up and says, okay, let's try again. See how we do this time. It's great news, isn't it? Isn't that great news? He said, well, so, Lon, what are we saying here? What's the bottom line for today?

Well, it is this. Number one, that leaning on the Holy Spirit's power, because this is the only way we can do it, we need to try hard every day to be like Elisha with his beautiful undivided heart for Christ. Then number two, what I'm saying is that when we fall short and we will all fall short from time to time, maybe every single day and we end up looking like Lot's wife. Friends, we need to repent from the heart. We need to be sensitive to where our heart is going and we need to repent knowing God will forgive us.

And then finally, number three, when God does forgive us, we need to say thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord, for your sweet mercy and your sweet forgiveness because without it, every single one of us here today would be a pillar of salt. Do you understand that? We'd all be a pillar of salt.

And if you don't believe that, then I'm sorry, you're in worse shape than I thought. Because that's the truth about us. We're idolaters. It's part of our flesh. It's the way we are. Ah, but that's okay because when we repent, God forgives and says let's try it again and again and again.

And that's a great thing. Let's bow our heads. And with our heads bowed and our eyes closed, I'd like to give us a moment to do business with God. If you're here and you're a follower of Christ and there's been slippage in your heart and you know honestly that you've lost your first love, then I want to give you these quiet moments to repent and say, Lord Jesus, I'm so sorry, I remember how I used to love you and how you used to be everything and I need to get back there.

Help me. And Lord, if I have to walk away from something like Elisha did, if that's what it takes, Lord, I'll do it. You take a minute and speak with the Lord, shall you? Now for those of us who are passionate about having an undivided heart for Christ, there's an anthem, a hymn. But I call it the anthem for the undivided heart. If you can stand with me in a moment and if you can sing this hymn and you can sing it authentically from your heart, you're one of those people who are passionate about an undivided heart.

I hope you can. Let's stand together and sing. No turning back. No world behind me. The cross before me. The world behind me. The cross before me. No world behind me.

The cross before me. No turning back. No turning back. Though none go with me, still I will follow. Though none go with me, still I will follow.

Though none go with me, still I will follow. No turning back. No turning back. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back.

No turning back. Lord Jesus, we know this is what you want from us. Though none go with us, still we will follow. Our brother, our father, our brother, our sister, our friends, even our husband or our wife, our children, they don't want to go?

Well, that's their choice. But we are following Christ with all of our heart. So make us people of the undivided heart, Lord. Make us a congregation of the undivided heart. That you might flow through us and use us to impact this city for Christ. And we pray these things in Jesus' name. And God's people said? Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-11 09:22:12 / 2023-04-11 09:33:05 / 11

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