Thursday, September 8, 2016

Beale on Why Lot's Wife Was Turned to Salt

I'll confess to you that the scene of Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt has always been a real mystery to me. Recently I came across a fascinating, though brief, discussion of it in G.K. Beale's helpful book We Become What We Worship. While discussing what the apostle John means by humans as "earth dwellers," he directs us to Lot's wife.
Lot's wife was an earth dweller. When the angel told Lot to leave Sodom, part of his exhortation was "do not look behind you" (Ge 19:17). When God rained down "brimstone and fire," Lot's wife "looked back, and she became a pillar of salt (Ge 19:26), just as Sodom and Gomorrah had been reduced to salt (Deut 29:23; Zeph 2:9). Why did she resemble these destroyed cities? Because her "looking back" indicated that she was more attached to Sodom because her "looking back" indicated that she was more attached to Sodom for her ultimate security than God, who had commanded them to go on their pilgrimage out of the city. She took more security in the city than in God, and thus had apparently become so identified with the city's ungodly attitude that even her judgment was identified with the city's judgment. (285)

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