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“Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do His will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:7 NLT).
In Genesis 19, we find the story of Lot and his family hidden within the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Lot has a visit from two angels who come to tell him to get out of town with his wife, his daughters, his son-in-laws. This is because Lord has had enough of the evil that has been going on and has sent these two angels to destroy it.
The angels return a second time and upon seeing Lot’s hesitancy, they literally seize his hand and the hands of his wife and family and take them to safety outside of the city. There the angels order them, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (verse 17).
Now here’s the clincher:
“But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.” (Genesis 19:26 NLT)
This poor unnamed woman could not resist doing the thing she was told not to do. She looked back and in so doing, she is forever known for being turned into a pillar of salt.
The words “looked back” indicates a prolonged, intense gazing toward the world she loved, not a curious glance. Lot’s wife was too attached to Sodom to follow God’s call of grace.
(taken from the NLT Study Bible, page 59)
She was not curious to see the fire. This is a looking back, thinking and longing for what she had left behind. Lot’s wife is intent upon looking back at the place she loved.
I wonder if at times in life, we aren’t all a little like Lot’s unnamed wife. Do we, too, find ourselves glancing back at:
- relationships we once had
- former jobs
- houses we have lived in
- cars we once owned
- bank accounts
- positions once held
Often God brings about change in our lives. He moves us forward and yet we continue to “look back”. He tells us to keep moving forward and we keep our gaze, longingly, on the world we once loved.
Instead may we set our face like a flint, steadfast and determined to do God’s will, confident we will be triumphant.
Father, help us today to keep our gaze on You. May we not look back to the former things, places, and people that once had our attention. May our hearts be intent and determined to do Your will each day. It is in Your Name we pray, Amen.