Monday, February 24, 2014

If Salt Could Talk

It was a nightmare of big screen proportions. She had been ripped from her home in the middle of the night, literally dragged away from the things she held dear, along with her husband and two daughters. She had been ordered not to watch as her home was incinerated. Before that, she had witnessed her husband instantly plunged from a proud man of rank to a man almost raped by all his friends and neighbors, even his own sons-in-law. 

What horrifying story is this? It is the true account of righteous Lot and his family as they were plucked from the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 of the Holy Bible.

The entire story is truly a dreadful one, both in how vile the men were and in how completely devastating the destruction was. God overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. It is a very graphic picture of how much God hates sin and a horrifying example of the depths man's depravity can sink.

It also has tucked inside it a very powerful lesson for us emotional girls who, like Lot's wife, would have been very, very tempted to look back.

In thinking on women in the Bible who were not sober--who did not allow their good sense to conquer their wild emotions--the first who came to my mind was Lot's wife, the woman who had to look.

After a dreadful night of "friends and neighbors" trying to break into their home to rape the angels to whom her husband had given lodging, it was clear. The city was corrupt. It must be destroyed.

And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; *look not behind thee,* neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
Lot tried to talk the angels out of making them go live in the mountain. They conceded and allowed him to escape to a nearby city instead. (He would have been better off, as it would turn out, to have followed their directions exactly.) 

As the traumatized family reluctantly left their city, the strain and drama of it all pummeled poor Mrs. Lot's emotions. She KNEW better. She had seen the angels strike the perverts blind. She knew she should not turn back. 

But why had they angels told her not to look? What was going to happen to their home? Their life? Surely this wasn't the end of all she held dear! Surely they didn't really mean there was no going back...?

The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

 "But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."

End of story. No more Mrs. Lot. Well, actually, the entire story doesn't end there...poor Lot and his daughters must continue on without Mother. 

Fearing for his life in the city Zoar, Lot fled to the mountains the angel had instructed him to seek originally. His daughters despaired of ever having a normal life and family, having seen such appalling excuses of manhood; they concluded the only man on earth capable of being a father was Daddy. So they did things girls ought not to do...things girls with a good mama sleeping there would not do. Poor Lot awoke to shame with no wife to love him back to dignity. His daughters awoke to guilt and despair with no mother to confess to and confide in. And back down the road stands, to this day, a salty sentinel warning all ladies who feel they MUST do this even though they know better....

So, what clue did God give us as to why Mrs. Lot allowed her wild emotions to drown her good sense? I believe a great clue is found in the famous Lot's wife verse:

But his wife looked back FROM BEHIND HIM, and she became a pillar of salt.

What does that verse tell us? She was behind her husband where he couldn't keep an eye on her. He knew better than to look back; she felt safe in her seclusion. How was he to know if she snuck a quick peek? 

I believe the three words, FROM BEHIND HIM, teach us a vital truth about how we as women can remain sober. If we want to prevent our wild emotions from conquering our good sense, we must STAY WHERE OUR AUTHORITY CAN KEEP AN EYE ON US.

It is vital to let your authority know when temptation is pounding you.  Yes, it's nice to be able to tell a friend, but something about telling the person God placed over you as your head provides protection. 

For unmarried women, that authority is her parents: especially the parent that "keeps her straight." For married women, it's obvious who we answer to:

"For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body..." 

Talk to your authority and, no matter how uncomfortable, allow them to know what is happening in your life. Have no secrets from your leader, whether your parents or your husband. 

So many times I've felt absolutely that I was going to come apart about a certain problem, yet was too ashamed or awkward to tell my husband. After struggling sometimes for months and finally deciding to bite the bullet and share my problem with him, I would be amazed as simply in the act of telling him my problem, the anxiety and shame and...problem just dissolved! No more temptation, fear, or dread! God's gift to us, our authorities, are meant for us to stay visible to. 

But they can't read our minds.

So, if salt could talk, she would say,

Stay where your authority can keep an eye on you! No secrets! No closed doors,  private relationships, or secret meetings. Make yourself accountable to the one whom God has placed over you!