It sounds right: Don’t Look Back. You’re Not Going that way.
Right? Good advice, but bet you didn’t know it is ancient advice.
Lot and his family have been living in a city that was ruled by rapists and violent gangs. But – let’s tell the truth – Lot was not a great guy either. To protect a couple of angels from one of the city’s gangs, he offered the gang his two virgin daughters to “do to them as you please” (Gen 19:8). Lot was not great. Lot wasn’t even okay. Lot was a faithless man.
Angels don’t need human protection. But Lot was willing to give up his daughters to a violent gang. Just so he could get a blessing from them? Who was more wicked? Lot or the violent gang?
Anyway… the angels, through supernatural means, end up protecting Lot and his family from the gang. Then they tell Lot…
Flee for your life; do not look back or stop anywhere in the plain; flee to the hills, or else you will be consumed. (Gen 19:17)
Lot argues with the angels… it really isn’t his style to rush off like this. Besides he might not make it out in time anyway. But the angels moved him outside the city and kicked his butt down the road. With him are his two daughters and wife.
But… Lot’s wife, who has to be more than a little traumatized at having her daughters offered up to a violent gang the night before and was now fleeing town without her belongings, looks back as they are leaving the city. Upon doing so she is turned to a pillar of salt. A pillar of salt! That’s sci-fi.
Was this a punishment from God? Or did she do it purposely by choice? No one seems to grieve her death. She isn’t mentioned again in the story. She isn’t even given a name. What the heck kind of story is this anyway?
She looked back instead of looking where she was headed. Why? Perhaps because she was stuck with Lot, the scum of a man who would give up her daughters to a violent mob. Perhaps she wanted to revel in the death of the people who tried to hurt her family. Perhaps she was just curious.
I take away only questions from this story — stretching what details we have. But I wonder if Lot’s wife didn’t need to hear the following from a friend so she wouldn’t look back:
- The trauma of the past does not predict the possibilities of the future.
- Hoping for the punishment of evil people, only holds us back from seeing the possibilities of what is ahead.
- Sometimes curiosity is a bad thing. Not always… but when you’ve been warned, take care.
Maybe I have a friend who needs to hear these things. Maybe I need to hear them.
At any rate… “Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.” Can’t make this story fluffy like the bunny in the picture. Sorry… next blog will be funny and shorter. Promise! I got carried away.
What do you see in the story? You can read the original in Genesis 19.