He will take away our jobs, our health, our possessions. Jesus warns, "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32). Most people assume that Lot had only two daughters, but this is not the case. By conducting herself in this way, she gave unmistakable evidence that her heart did not believe what the angel had said to her—God would not really destroy all of their possessions. And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. Once we commit to Christianity, God's calling becomes our vocation, which requires our concentrated attention going forward. See what over 145,000 subscribers are already receiving each day. This speaker would continue to think of Lot’s wife with compassion in her heart. Her lonely statue still stands on the “black mountain”. Due to her unbelief, she was not prepared to leave Sodom and did not really obey the command to leave. They will be living amidst the greatest contagion of worldliness that has ever existed on the earth since the time of Noah. She dropped the ball. She was the wife of Lot who was “a righteous man”, a believer - yet she perished. They had been followers, but apparently, they were seeking for something else. (NASB) Genesis 19:15-26. The one who apostatizes thus permits himself to be drawn back. The Genesis story of Lot’s family is told practically, without giving much insight into emotions or thoughts of the people involved. Before we can remember Lot’s wife, we must know her story first. But she did. The third step is taken when a person actually turns away. The way to God was open to Lot's wife because of her husband's conversion (I Corinthians 7:13-14). Remember Lot's wife. “Who would waste tears upon her? Buber], Vayera 8). Lot's wife is only mentioned three times in the Bible (Genesis 19:15-17, 26; Luke 17:32),… What happens when a Christian looks back with a measure of longing is similar to someone talking on a cell phone while driving his car. This insight reveals the ways in which Akhmatova may have sympathized with Lot’s wife. The … 1. In the original Hebrew, not only does her name not appear in this verse; his name doesn’t either. Her sin appears to some to be trifling: She "looked back." This is corroborated by Matthew 24:17 and Mark 13:15, in Jesus' Olivet prophecy. Unless faith motivates a person to obedience, it is not faith but merely an esoteric opinion. Translate Lot's wife in English online and download now our free translator to use any time at no charge. It is to them just jumbled noise. It seems the poet is actually sensitive about the story in which the poor wife of Lot turned into a statue of salt. NET Bible But Lot's wife looked back longingly and was turned into a pillar of salt. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back" (Luke 17:31). What's your thoughts? (From Forerunner Commentary). The warning Jesus gave nearly 2,000 years ago is more important than ever. Ads are what helps us bring you premium content! All the right values and standards spin off from humility. God sent angels to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness, but chose to spare Lot and his family. She had no faith in what the angels said. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. After all, she disobeyed what the angel commanded. She had no need of God because she felt secure within herself. But the poetic persona can hear the voices from the past. Lot’s wife, perhaps feeling regret to be leaving Sodom behind and heading into the unknown, cast a last look behind her. This intriguing poem, ‘Lot’s Wife’, by Anna Akhmatova, translated by Richard Wilbur, takes an age-old story that has been passed down from generation to generation and tells it from a new perspective, that of Lot’s wife. She died for her lack of faith, which was revealed in her direct rebellion against the messengers of God. This cautionary tale is for all of us. Though it goes against our human nature, God requires us to have more allegiance to Him than to the members of our own families. Great analysis! Remember the Wife of Lot. The root cause of her rebellion, of her worldliness, was her unbelief. He did not say, "Remember Nadab and Abihu," who were burned by the fire of God. . The word-picture in Hebrews 10:39 portrays a person shrinking back from following through on the demands of faith. It gives the reader the sense that the speaker does not necessarily side with the angel, although the speaker never blatantly disregards him. Then Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt. It includes one's hopes, dreams, aspirations, traditions, attitudes, and relationships. What might her lesson be? ‘Lot’s Wife’ by Anna Akhmatova has a significance behind its title. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. Will we have the faith to leave the city, not just without our material possessions, but without our children? This is why John warns in I John 2:15 to “love not the world.” The world is cosmos, a system apart from God, being organized and regulated upon false principles and false values. Every single person that visits PoemAnalysis.com has helped contribute, so thank you for your support. She did not believe. Remember Lot's wife. Abraham is a primary example: He looked for a city built by God, apparently leaving his homeland without ever looking back (Hebrews 11:8-10, 13-16). Lot to our day? She directly disobeyed the clear command of God's messenger given just a few verses before. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. He will sweep away our money. The points do not directly answer the questions on pages 26-27 of the text, but may help you in our discussion at the Saturday Bible Study 05/24/2014. …looked back,… Genesis 19:26 "She became a pillar of salt" (Genesis 19:26). But the speaker of this poem brings Lot’s wife to life by allowing the reader into her thoughts. God honors that request, and Lot and his family are led to safety while the rest of the city burns. Akhmatova lived through intense political persecution, totalitarian reign, and war. The speaker then identifies strongly with Lot’s wife when she describes the “wild grief” in her “bosom”. Scripture implies that when this occurs, our family might be spread all over the city, county, state, nation, or globe. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. What does that woman of long ago have to do with people who are watching the closeout of history? Subscribe to our mailing list and get new poetry analysis updates straight to your inbox. There may be more to it, however, than we have thought. Hebrews 10:39 says, "But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul." Do not look back. David C. Grabbe It will either be God or the world. It does not even exist. But his wife, from behind him, looked back; and she became a pillar of salt. The scriptures are often misunderstood to promote such carelessness. All of these have come from this world, which forms and makes us what we are, often in opposition to God (Romans 8:7). The greater part of the inhabitants of the world were living in darkness, ignorance, superstition, and sin. In I Corinthians 10:13, God promises to provide relief from every problem: "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." Lot and his daughters obeyed and ran away from Sodʹom. The title of this poem lets the reader know immediately that the poem will sympathize with Lot’s wife. Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest and greatest poetry updates. We can learn a good lesson from this. In Luke 17:32, Jesus said, "Remember Lot's wife." By this stage, it is still not too late for a person to grab hold of himself and move forward, but the world's appeal has become almost overpowering. Genesis simply tells us that Lot and the women of the home did not want to leave the city of Sodom. So she reluctantly left Sodom because she loved the world, not having the faith. That woman became cold, careless, and disobedient. That was also the last step she ever took. He said, "Remember Lot's wife," for it has particular application to those who are living at the time of the end, who are facing the destruction of the very society, the very nation, in which they live. In the Book of Genesis, a disobedient woman whom God punished. As a result, the angels “seized” them by the hand and took them out of the city. She was known to have criticized other Russians who fled Russia for their own safety. But Lot's wife looked back as she lingered behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. ‘Lot’s Wife’ by Anna Akhmatova presents the sad story of Lot’s wife in an innovative manner. The Bible does not mention Lot’s wife by name, but the Rabbis referred to her as “Idit” (Tanhuma [ed. He undoubtedly had spoken of things of an order far higher than they were accustomed to hearing, but rather than patiently facing it, as the apostles did, they simply gave up, proving themselves unfit for the Kingdom of God. The apostle Paul equates faith and obedience, or conversely, unbelief and disobedience. Lot’s wife may have looked back while rolling down a cliff, while fixing her sandal, or while dropping her burden to the ground, but she could not have done all three simultaneously. Can you see her in the picture? Like science, conversion tells us there cannot be a vacuum in life. Where the Eagles Are Gathered. When God commands His elect to flee to a place of safety, many of us will be required to entrust family members to God's mercy. In examining the context carefully, we see that the people being described have reached the critical point where God's Word is falling on deaf ears. Question: "Why was Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt?" Without doubt, this will be one of the greatest tests of our spiritual lives. The context does not specifically give a reason, but she probably had an inordinate love for the world and the material things she had in Sodom. Their loyalty could not stand the strain of what may have been merely a temporary misunderstanding. God is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah with brimstone and fire. She says, “Yet in my heart I never will deny her,/ who suffered because she chose to turn.” The last line does not sound like regret. Lot's wife may have been reconsidering her decision to forsake the privileges of her high social status and her prominent friends. Used adverbially to mean "to a great... b. We will know that before us lie life and hope and behind us death and destruction, just as Lot and his family experienced in fleeing Sodom. T. Genesis 19:24-26 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. In the biblical account, Abraham and his wife Sarah are the central focus. Although she disagreed with the way in which her country was being governed, she still loved her homeland. The speaker continues to engage the reader in empathy for Lot’s wife when she describes her decision to turn and look back as one that resulted in a “bitter view”. Her happy moments of married life turned into a lifelong burden of suffering. But God commands them not to look back upon the city, and Lot’s wife disobeys that command and instantly turns into a pillar of salt. The second lesson is that saving one's life also pertains to one's way of life and manner of living. As Jesus says in Matthew 7:13, the easier, broader way it probably is - for a while. What did Jesus mean by that cryptic expression "Remember Lot's wife"? The fourth and final step backward is illustrated by Isaiah in the Old Testament: "But the word of the LORD was to them, 'Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.' In the final stanza, the speaker takes a step back and asks a question. From the title itself, the reader can sense that this account is going to be different from the original story. Genesis 19:1 shows him sitting in the gate of the city, a place usually reserved for the elders and judges. She describes her eyes as being “welded shut by mortal pain” which again, allows the reader to feel the pain she must have felt as she turned and looked at her old home, burning, knowing that was the last sight she would ever see. She might remind us that we encounter life in the present. Success in God's way requires following an awesome vision of future glory with devoted conviction. It seems the poet is actually sensitive about the story in which the poor wife of Lot turned into a statue of salt. We call her “Lot’s Wife.” Like many characters, mostly women, she was not given a name in the Torah text. We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Lot’s Wife by Anna Akhmatova, Translated by Richard Wilbur, I Taught Myself to Live Simply by Anna Akhmatova, He loved three things, alive: by Anna Akhmatova, You should appear less often in my dreams by Anna Akhmatova. He said, “Let him who is on the housetop not come down.” Jesus meant, “Get out of the city. But the poetic persona can hear the voices from the past. Jesus therefore desires that we live there. Lot's wife. Inside the statue, the voice seems to be trapped. In Jesus' parable in Luke 19:11-27, did not the man given one mina complain something similar to this when asked what he had gained with it? "Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. See how Brian and Gloria learn to protect their family from the dangers Jesus warned about. . But to die suddenly in a moment, in the very act of a sin, by God's direct imposition is dreadful indeed. And the just man trailed God’s shining agent, “It’s not too late, you can still look back. They will be living amidst the greatest contagion of worldliness that has ever existed on the earth since the time of Noah. The Bible does not tell us her name in Genesis 19:26, as she is only referred to as “Lot’s wife,” but Jews reflect her name as either Adith or Irith. Flee. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. When God rained down fire and brimstone upon Sodom, their married daughters and sons-in-law—and possibly grandchildren—perished with the rest of the city's populace. Men trailed by, overlooking it. Even this, though, makes for an interesting comparison. But Lot’s wife… Genesis 19:26. Lot. The question requires each of us to answer individually. Maybe she just loved the ways of this world more than God. Thank you. This has two direct applications to our lives. Thank you! She looked back. What led to the utter destruction of this city in a way that no other has ever been destroyed on earth is arrogance, a false sense of security, spiritual apathy, and disdain. That is, until God tells Abraham that he is about to destroy Sodom, and Abraham begs God to save the righteous from the city. Will He find faith in us? All through the years Lot had believed in God, he had prayed to Him and had worshipped Him, yet Mrs Lot remained outside, without a like faith in the Lord. This eventually happens to us all. He says to the Sodomites, "See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man" (Genesis 19:8). The story of Lot's wife is a dramatic illustration that the presence of one small act of willful disobedience can lead to eternal loss. Later, in verse 14, he "spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters," meaning he had other married daughters who were not virgins. I think it was His way of saying that you can't save yourself, that the One passing judgment is the One you should listen to and obey if you want your life to be preserved. See what over 145,000 subscribers are already receiving each day. He did not say, "Remember Uzzah," whom God struck dead in a moment. Since Lot and his wife had more than two daughters, they left more than just material possessions in the city. Here, the apostate reaches the point of no return; he has earned the Lake of Fire. Jewish teachings suggest Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt because Lot requested salt from his wife to be offered to the traveling two angels. He will do anything necessary in order to make us see our need—that every good gift flows from Him. Perhaps this is why He reminds us to "remember Lot's wife." He frequently drifts all over the road, swerving this way and that because, at best, his attention is split between conflicting priorities. Presumably these two, husband and wife, not only lived together but they slept together; they did … When we are swept clean by God's forgiveness and His Holy Spirit, something must be done to keep it clean, holy, and separated from the world. Is she not the least of our losses, this unhappy wife?” The speaker is aware that most who have read the biblical account of this story would feel no compassion for Lot’s wife. Instead, it is like Lot's wife, who looked back with a degree of longing to return to what she had left. He says that she sought to save her life but lost it. The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment Sign up for the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. Instead, she chose to stay in Russia out of loyalty for her country. The Story of Mrs. He says "remember Lot's wife." He will find faith if we take seriously His admonition to remember Lot's wife, who was totally unprepared because she had no faith. She has always enjoyed writing, reading, and analysing literature. From our lesson of Lot's Wife, Genesis 18:16-19:29; Luke 17:28-33, here are some important points. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. For His disciples, leaving family members behind to do God's will may be the most common hardship that they have to face as they come out of this world (Revelation 18:4). He will humble us. What the Bible says about You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow" (verses 20-21). rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft." From the title itself, the reader can sense that this account is going to be different from the original story. From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more." He and his wife may have had a palatial house with many fine furnishings, servants to do her bidding, fine clothes, sumptuous food, and frequent entertainment. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. In New Testament terms, they had backslid beyond the reach of repentance and forgiveness. Just before Lot's wife reached her place of safety—though she had made some effort to escape the impending disaster—Lot's wife disobeyed the angel's command and looked back. The poem begins by aligning with the biblical account in that it calls Lot a “just man” and explains that he “followed…his angel guide”. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Jesus used her as a fearful warning. After they had gone some distance from Sodʹom, she stopped and looked back. Do not get any of your possessions. Though she is simply a casualty in the original story, she is the central focus of this poem. Are we going to trust God that He will protect them and get them out, too? Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site. We badly need humility. He is setting himself up for trouble, and all too frequently, an accident occurs. The speaker is, again, a third-person outside perspective as is the reader. John writes: Do not love the world or the things in the world. They will be living amidst the greatest contagion of worldliness that has ever existed on the earth since the time of Noah. She would remember her fondly when she thinks of this story, because Lot’s wife “for a single glance, gave up her life”. The stakes are that high, for the fulfillment of His promise is so great. While others may read the story of Lot’s wife and consider her a fool, Akhmatova had experienced similar feelings as she was also unwilling to leave her homeland even for her own safety (Chin 580). Also, Lot had achieved prominence among the citizens of Sodom beyond his wealth. Why was Lot’s Wife turned into a pillar of salt? Jesus draws on the stories of Noah and Lot to warn that, even though life seems to be relatively normal, when God brings the judgment, it will be sudden and complete. Consider the religious privileges which Lot's wife enjoyed. A large extent, amount, or number: is in a lot of trouble; has lots of friends. She may have thought, “It’s not too late, you can still look back” and she describes the city she once called home. Spiritual decline has reached the tipping point, and he is in serious peril. No man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), and therefore, loyalty cannot be given with neutrality. He did not say, "Remember Korah, Dathan, and Abiram." I recently came across this poem. He said, "Remember Lot's wife," for it has particular application to those who are living at the time of the end, who are facing the destruction of the very society, the very nation, in which they live. 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