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The Sin and the Punishment of Lot's Wife

The Sin and the Punishment of Lot's Wife

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But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar

of salt. — Gen. xix. 26.

But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar

of salt. — Gen. xix. 26.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 07, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillarof salt. — Gen. xix. 26.All the wonderful things written in the Bible are writ-ten for our good. We should, therefore, always b-e gladto hear them. And when we hear, to listen with attentiveears, and to receive with thankful and believing hearts. Forit is God who speaks to us in the Bible ; and he is just andholj. He cannot lie. He tells us, that many years agothere was a woman who Uywx in the city of Sodom, whohad all the wealth and pleasure her heart could wish.Sodom was one great city of sin. Like Nineveh, it neitherworshipped nor feared the God of heaven. Wickedness of all sorts walked abroad, in open daylight, like an armedgiant, in its streets. This was more than the patience of God could bear always. His anger was kindled against thecity, and he determined to put an end to its pride andwickedness by opening upon it a tempest of fire and brim-stone out of heaven. But in that city there was one, andonly one good man. His name was Lot, and he was the(90)THE SINNER UNDER CONVICTION. 91husband of the woman of whose sin and punishment I amabout to tell you. God loves his people, and for their sakes,in some degree, all his people's wives, and husbands, andchildren, and friends. He loves all who love him. Andwhen God overthrew Sodom he would not destroy Lot in it.For the sake of this one good man he sent two angels,to warn him of the danger, and to command him to escapefrom the city. These angels came to Lot at evening aboutthe sunset. They tarried with him all that night. Theytold Lot that God was about to destroy the city. Theyadvised him to warn his daughters-in-law and sons-in-lawto haste away as soon as possible. And Lot went imme-diately and did as they said. But they thought he was jesting and mocking at them. They heard his warning asif it were an idle story. At the early dawn the next daythe angels waked up Lot ; and told him to arise and takehis wife and two daughters who were there, and not to waitfor any one, lest he might be overtaken and destroyed inthe ruin of the city. But Lot's wife had been born andraised in Sodom. She had, therefore, many things to bindher to it. There were some things she thought must bedone before she could quit it — she must bid her friendsadieu — she must carry many little things she loved withher, — and, indeed, she could not get her own full consentto leave the city. For these, or for some other reasons,Lot " lingered.'' He was slow in getting off. But the
angels hasted him away. They laid hold on his hand, andthe hand of his wife, and of his two daughters, and ledthem out of th6 city. Then the angels pointed them to themountain, and said, "escape for thy life;" ''look not be-hind thee — stay not in all the plain — escape to the moun-tain, lest thou be consumed."92 SERMON VII.The sun was now rising, with his bright rays, from be-hind the distant hills, and darting them across the broadplains of Sodom. The country around Sodom was rich inall manner of grain ; the valleys were carpeted with velvetgreen ; thousands of cattle were strolling and grazing onits gentle slopes; the song of the herdsman was waftedin mellow tones on the air, and the houses, and palaces,and towers of the wicked city, threw back, in diamondbrightness, the rays of the rising sun. To fly away fromsuch a scene as this was a hard trial to Lot and his wife.To be denied the liberty of ever looking back upon it, wasmore than Lot's wife could bear. Sodom had been theplace of all her wicked pleasures. There were all herworldly friends. There was her wealth. And there was herheart. She loved Sodom. She could hardly believe thatGod would really destroy it. "Oh!" thought she, "howcan I give up for ever this city of my heart !" With thesefeelings, she determined, in spite of the warning of theangels, to " look hack,'' — to take a last and sorrowful viewof it. Foolish and daring woman ! to attempt in that wayto trifle with God. That was her last look. Remember,she did not turn, she merely looked hack upon Sodom. Ina moment "she became a pillar of salt," — hard as flint*As a pillar of salt she stood there for many ages, a warn-ing to men of the just judgments of God against sin. Jo-sephus, a historian of the Jews, tells us that it was therein his day, and that he saw it. Our Lord and Saviour,while warning the people of his day of the coming judg-ment, reminded them of the sudden destruction of Sodom,and told them to "remember Lot's wife."There is a lesson in this history for us all. But I shalluse it especially as a warning to every sinner who is underTHE SINNER UNDER CONVICTION. 93conviction for sin. Lot's wife may be considered as anawakened sinner. Sodom may be considered as the sinsin which she was living; her attempt to escape may beconsidered as the good resolutions of her first conviction ;the angels leading her may be considered as the HolySpirit encouraging and helping her to fly from sin ; andher looking back may be considered as want of firmness inher resolutions, and her wish to go back, even after she hadpartly given up sin. Although she had been led out of the
city, and pointed to the mountain, and entreated to escape,and was then on her way to the city of Zoar, yet she didnot escape. She was no more saved than if she had re-mained in the city. Let us look at her experience, and seethe reason of her ruin.Here let me tell you that conviction for sin, and conver-sion to God, are two very difi'erent things. A sinner underconviction is a sinner waked up to his guilt and danger. Asinner converted is a sinner who has hasted away to Christfor pardon and mercy, who is made safe in the strongmountain of God's love and grace.1. Lot's wife saw her danger, and set out to escapefrom it.So the Holy Spirit of God makes many a man see hisdanger as a sinner, and strives with him, and urges him toflee away from his sins. Many a man, under the warningsof the spirit, sets off" in a way to the mount of God, andyet, like Lot's wife, perishes in the way. There aremany cases of this kind to be found in the Bible. Therewas a great king whose name was Pharaoh. Becauseof his unkindness and cruelty to the people of God, heand all his kingdom were punished with dreadful plaguesfrom heaven. When Pharaoh saw this, he sent, again and94 SERMON VII.again, for Moses and Aaron, and said to them with greatfeeling and repentance, " I have sinned against the Lord,and against you ; entreat the Lord for me ; for he isrighteous, and I and my people are wicked." But as soonas the plague ceased Pharaoh lost all his feelings of sorrow^and sinned yet more and more, and hardened his heart.After Judas betrayed the Saviour, he felt the deepest sor-row and remorse. Yet he was not saved by his convictions,for he went out and hanged himself. When king Herodheard John the Baptist preach, he listened to him ""gladly,'*or with interest. He was even so far convinced as to domany tilings. Yet he could not give up his sins. He sohardened himself in them as cruelly to cast the Baptistinto prison, and, at last, to send and have his head takenoff. Our Saviour tells us of a rich young man who cameto him, under conviction, and asked "what good thing" heshould "do to inherit eternal life ?" He had even goneso far in religion, as to be able to say that he had kept thecommandments from his youth up ; yet he could not weanhis heart from his money. He loved it just as Lot's wifeloved the things she had in Sodom. He turned away fromthe Saviour and went back into the world. A. Romangovernor, named Felix, once heard St. Paul preach, and bythe power of his reasoning, and the working of the HolySpirit, was brought under conviction. He trembled in thepresence -of the apostle, then a prisoner in chains beforehim. Yet he would not give up his sins. He said to the

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