This is the unusual story of Lot’s Wife turning into a Pillar of Salt. If you don’t believe the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, or Lot’s Wife turning into some Pillar of Salt, this may be for you.
As a little kid, I heard the story of an adult lady turning into a Pillar of Salt – for looking backwards! #Seriously? And my kid-mind went into hyper mode. The excitement of reading an apparently impossible event, for I could not imagine how our “table salt” can morph onto a solid pillar. Okay, let’s say initially I believed it (for who would dare doubt the story from the bible?), and I made a mental note about places I would love to visit sometime in the future. Naturally my kid-mind added Lot’s Wife Statue to the list.
If she turned into a Pillar, she should be somewhere, isn’t it? That was why I was disappointed few years later when I read about Pillars of Salt being a common finding around the Dead Sea region, and with wears and tears, their morphological characteristics change from time to time.
Sorry, no Lot’s Wife to see.
Then, I decided to discard Lot’s Wife story as one of those overhyped stories. Until….
Well, until I read the very Words of Jesus:
“Remember Lot’s Wife”. Luke 17:32.
One of the shortest verses in the Bible.
And because Jesus mentioned it, it’s worth given a second look.
This event actually happened. And it was important to Jesus. So he talked about it. He wasn’t joking. This was one of His most potent and most dramatic illustration during His public ministry. He wanted us to remember a woman, the Lady known as Edith (Ado) in Jewish tradition. But in the Bible, a woman simply known as Lot’s Wife.
As if the story about Lot’s Wife was not strange enough, by the time I was 11 or so, I stumbled upon another paranormal account of a man who claimed he saw heaven; whether it was real or not, that’s an argument for another day. In that book (title forgotten, I was only a kid), this man – the author – claimed he interacted with some of the “Angels” who pulled down the famous Walls of Jericho. Remember? How God told the Israelites to March around the impenetrable Wall of Jericho for seven days, and on the seventh day, they must Shout and blow the Trumpets; and while they were at it, the walls fell down? So, I thought it was one of those random miracles until I read about the Angels’ account. These Angels were also reported to have been the ones organizing fire and brimstone to burn down the notorious city of Sodom and Gomorrah
Well, I digress. Anyways it made perfect sense, and from the Bible account, we read that some Angels were dispatched to Sodom and Gomorrah just prior to the Lot’s Wife saga. In fact, two angels (initially in human form) physically visited Lot’s home to warn them of a pending disaster.
The Angels told Lot:
“…take them out of this place!! For WE will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord , and the Lord has sent US to destroy it.” (Genesis 19:13 NKJV)
For those not familiar with the Bible, or with the story of Lot’s Wife, this is what happened:
It’s mostly found in Genesis 19:
Abraham had a nephew named Lot who lived with his wife and 2 daughters in the city of Sodom and Gomorrah. Now the City of Sodom and Gomorrah was notorious for all sorts of crime and moral decadence. It was also a wealthy nation, and Lot led a prosperous life making his wife a proper Lady of affluence.
“God” felt it was time to hold the City accountable for all its vile by wiping it out of the map. (I have my own theory though which is slightly different and which I hope to share). Abraham’s caught a glimpse into what impending doom awaited the city where his nephew lived – God apparently appeared to him in the company of some angels, and he pleaded with God to spare the city. Unfortunately the city did not meet the minimum requirement of 10 righteous people. So it was in short destined for destruction.
When liquid fire burning with Sulfur and Brimstone was about to rain on the city, destroying all lives on it’s path, an Angel who had been assigned to visit with Lot literary dragged Lot and his family out of the City.
They lost everything that day. Every single thing. Every wealth, every affluence, every greatness, everything they had become in Sodom. They left everything behind and left barefoot, hiking up the Mountain, under strictest instructions never to turn back. Of course they could turn their heads and look back, but they were not to turn back in intent and purpose.
But they were not the only people who lost something. Because that day would go down in history as the day when the City of Sodom and Gomorrah was burnt down into ashes. I don’t think anyone could survive the fire.
Along the line, the strangest thing happened. Mrs Lot. Her heart was torn between and uncertain future and a past of affluence. Between her beloved family and her beloved City, she stood. She turned back. But she was not burnt by the raging fire. She was not scalded by the heated flames. She turned into something so mysterious. A Pillar of Salt.
“But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt”. (Genesis 19:26 NKJV)
There she stood, lifeless, a Pillar of whitish mass, overlooking the place which would surround the Dead Sea, a place in which no life could exist.. That was it. Cold, chilling.
They story continued to go Southerly for Lot and his family, but I will stop it right here.
This is a story littered with so many whys? And so many dots that are not joining. Like someone once asked, Why didn’t God turn Lot into a Pillar of Pepper instead?
Not much explanation was provided in the Bible regarding what a Pillar of Salt meant. But we have archeological evidence to suggest that the City of Sodom and Gomorrah was buried beneath the Dead Sea. Also know as the Salt Sea, and with 33.7% salinity, the Dead Sea one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water. Apparently, it does not support any life form, but it is rich in nutrients good for the skin. Multiple Pillars of Salt are common finding around Dead Sea, Lot’s Wife may or may not be one of those. I am aware of a structure claimed to be Lot’s Wife, I just don’t believe it is.
Deuteronomy 29:23 may have given a little insight into what happened that day, when he mentioned a rain of “Sulphur and Salt”.
I will agree with the submission of Archaeologists and Astronomers. My scientific mind would not settle for the, well, simplistic explanation that God was angry with His creation, and He rained fire on them because they didn’t have ten Godly people. This is possible, but I CHOOSE to consider the event of that day as a Natural Disaster of ginormous proportion. Comet, cosmic collisions, what scientific name, and for whatever reason, the City of Sodom and Gomorrah was the unfortunate victim. A family was rescued supernaturally. Amidst the chaos, the woman turned back and got her own rain of Salt and Sulphur.
This is strictly my theory, one which makes sense to me, and which I can understand.
In conclusion, we must not forget the Lessons Jesus would want us to learn by instructing us clearly to remember Lot’s Wife:
First and foremost: You have been rescued. Why run back into destruction? It does not make a logical sense, both then and now. Why run back into a burning City? So don’t turn back. Keep moving forward.
Secondly, it teaches us how to deal with the most difficult situations and losses in life. It’s gone. It’s in the past. Move forward, even when it’s practically impossible, still try.
Thirdly, and very importantly, the spiritual interpretation should not be lost to us. The systems of this world will one day be buried under it’s dead sea. We mustn’t be caught unawares like Sodom. Jesus is coming back. One day our solar system will go to rest. That has been scientifically proven. No Sun means no Earth. And then what?
Jesus said at that time, there will be no need for the Sun, because He will be the light generating all that energy that power the entire universe. It’s real, it’s going to happen, because it’s in the Prophecy. The very last page of the Bible.
“And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them…” (Revelation 22:5 NLT)
Now replace ‘lamps’ with ‘electricity’