This is the MARIOS podcast. You are listening to a series on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is episode five. If this is your first time listening, I do recommend going back and starting with episode one. More on this podcast and other resources can be found at mariosministries.com.
We left the story last time with the destruction of Sodom. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in His infinite mercy, spared Lot and his family, from the destruction of Sodom. But God told them not to look back or stop, and yet, Lot’s wife (on verse 26, of that 19th Chapter in Genesis), disobeyed the command. She did look back and lingered in the plains, and she seemed to have been caught up the fire and sulfur. Scripture tells us she became “a pillar of salt.”
Now, let us pause, and consider what to make of this. The Scriptures are more than we can handle at times. But we must not gloss over what we are reading. This is a magnificent account. A terrifying account. This really happened. It is no fairytale. It’s history. This is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Fortunately, we have some help here from Jesus’ himself on this account.
And let me pause here and hand to you this precious Bible study tool. When you come to a particularly difficult passage of Scripture, look elsewhere. One of the miracles of God’s revelation through Scripture is its cohesion. The whole of Scripture tells one story and without the whole, you are missing a part.
The Bible is composed of 66 books, written over a period of roughly two thousand years by forty different authors from three continents, writing in three different languages. And yet, there is a supernatural harmony in Scripture that will be your friend, a guide to you, in your personal study. It does require time and energy to get to know this, but I want to encourage you. This is a precious Gift of God to you. Do not waist it.
So always interpret Scripture in light of Scripture. All passages fit together perfectly. This is why I always encourage preachers and teachers to teach the whole counsel of God. All of Scripture. Not just the parts we are most comfortable with.
Anyway, that’s enough of that. For this story of Lot’s wife, we have help from the words of Jesus in Luke 17 where we read of an account where the Pharisees (this were the so-called religious scholars of Jesus’ time), they asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come. Here’s how He responded, pay attention:
“The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
[Pause] That alone there is something to think about for weeks on end (“the kingdom of God is in the midst of you”), but that’s not what relates directly to our story, so I won’t go there. He then, turns to His disciples and He opens the windows of heaven a bit, to talk about the end times. He says, starting in verse 22:
“The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.
Friends listen to me very carefully. There are those today who seek to minimize the Word of God, especially the Old Testament, as having no real application to us in the 21st Century. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. Do not disregard the Word of God. Not one part. Not one book. Not one sentence, not a single word.
You have it form the mouth of our Savior! Remember Lot’s wife. Our God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob still rules, and He admonishes us to “Remember Lot’s wife.”
So, how do we do that. Well, one thing is to listen to God and never look back to the sin that ensnared us with nostalgia. What God has torn down was not to your benefit. Do not look back. Do not linger in the past. Do not long for Egypt, as the people of God would do after the Exodus.
We are Christ’s. Old things have passed away. We are not who we were. We are a new creation and we must keep our eyes in Eternity.
Detach yourself from the love of the world, and Love God above all else, and through Him, your neighbor. What profits man to gain the whole world and in the end lose his very soul? (Mt. 16:26).
Ok, you get the picture. Again, we could write an entire book on this concept. We have much to meditate by “remembering Lot’s wife” as our Savior commanded. But we must move along in our story here.
Abraham gets up early in the morning and sees the scene from afar, the smoke testifies of God’s judgement upon the land. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has kept His word, as He always does.
Lot goes to live in a cave, we are told at the end of chapter 19, with his two daughters. This is an amazing contrast with the man who had so many possessions he could not live with Abraham on the same land. But his unwise decisions have led him to lose everything.
There are Christians like this today. I confess I have lived like this. Ambivalent. You want to follow God, yet you are so attracted to the things of this world, you remain close to it. What fools we are! I bear the scars of my foolishness. And you will too, if you do not heed God’s voice and long for holiness. You know the meaning of holiness, right. To be separated.
I’ll leave three dots on that one too. I apologize. There is just so much for us to get through. Perhaps our next podcast project should be a “meditations” one, where can stay on a thought like that for longer.
But here we keep going. It is not surprisingly, that Lot’s two daughters, having grown up in Sodom, have also suffered under the influence of the prevalent sin around them. They take with them some very wicked ideas of what is important. So, the older daughter decides that the two of them need to get pregnant by their father because if not there will be no lineage from them. They get their father drunk on two different occasions and each lay with him, while he was imperiled, and both became pregnant.
Some commentators have suggested the pressures and realities of the day may justify their decisions, but I don’t buy it. It certainly helps to explain their actions, we’ve already covered some of the many injustices women faced at the time, if they had no husband or brother once their father died. But this does not justify sinful thoughts and behavior. Robbing someone is a sin, even when done to give to the poor.
Remember God is just. He will bring justice. That is why we are blessed when we thirst for justice and righteousness, because we will be filled (according to Matthew 5:6). So, we need not try to be judges ourselves, trying to bring justice. Because we usually bring justice in unjust ways. Because, the problem is that we are not just. We have blind spots. God alone is just, and so we have to trust Him. We do not need to carry that burden. Wait on Him. He is our refuge and strength. He is our avenger. Hulk and Thor and Iron Man and the rest have nothing on God.
We need only to trust Him.
Lot’s older daughter became pregnant and gave birth to a son named Moab, from whom the Moabites will come. The younger bore a son and called him Ben-ammi, from where the Ammonites will come. As you can imagine, the history of these two peoples is a troubled one. In Numbers 25, we read of how the Moabites led Israel to Baal worship. In Deuteronomy 23 we read about how the Moabites and the Ammonites hired to curse Israel.
But let’s be clear. The issue in Scripture, even when we read of a race of people in this way, is always faith, not race. The book of Ruth is a good account of how Moabites and Ammonites who put their faith in The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob can become part of the people of God. The issue is always faith. It was faith, we have already discovered, that made Abraham pleasing in God’s eyes.
It is always about faith.
What we can’t ignore is the influence that you and I as parents have on our children. Our faith or lack of it can be impactful in their lives. If you are not a parent yet, you know how your parent’s faith or lack of it had an impact on you.
It should not surprise us to find our children walking in the same way we walk. And it is in the way we walk, not in the way we talk. Sometimes we talk a good game, in terms of faith, but our lives reveal the true state of our hearts, and our children pick up on it.
God knows how many times I’ve had to repent for preaching unbelief to my children with my discontent and grumblings, even while I taught them about being faithful to God and trusting Him in everything.
We must take this lesson seriously. Our lives will have an impact for generations to come. We don’t get to choose whether or not we have influence, only what type of influence will we be. So, let us turn from sin. Decidedly. Purposefully. Let us embrace holiness. Being separated by God for God. Let us not linger in the sin that ensnared us. Let us leave the past and walk differently. Let us walk in the light.
That Hebrews passage pointing to all these giants of the faith, including Abraham and Sarah, concludes with the same charge in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
We look forward, we run, our eyes on Jesus. And we will endure.
See you next time.