Do you remember the awful punishment of Lot’s wife during the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. I’m sure you do.
But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. (Gen 19:26)
I remember this verse when I was young, and instead of feeling scared it was more of a novelty. To think that someone would be turned to salt was like something out of a movie. But now that I am older, I read these words with dread. What could it have been that caused her to turn, and why was it so treacherous? Was she longing for the life she was leaving, or perhaps her belongings? Did she want to witness the spectacle of fiery brimstone destroying the city? Regardless, she was clearly told to run as with blinders away from the city. The angels had said:
Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away. (Gen 19:17)
Considering such warning, the consequence was as foretold, except she did not take it seriously. Repetition is the key to learning, and apparently Christ wanted us to learn a principle from this, for he says something strikingly remniscent in the book of Luke:
But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
A would-be follower of Jesus was rebuked for saying goodbye to his family. By this, Christ makes it clear that he demands complete obedience, complete allegiance. Anything less is a rejection of Him and failure to understand what is at stake.
Theologically this is a truism, and I will concur from present experience that looking back is a sure foothold for the devil. Whether it is Sodom, a bad habit, or even your family – if it is keeping you from following after the Lord, we mustn’t even acknowledge it. Do not desire after the things of this world, nor stop to consider how life could have been. Do not dream of sin or envy those living in ignorance. Instead, dig in your heels and set yourself upon this race, being confident that the one who has set us upon this course will indeed strengthen us to complete it. Running with blinders may at times seems unnecessary, but one look back is all it takes to be disqualified.
Thank you, Lord, for salvation. May I appreciate it and never forget the great cost of my freedom.