Thursday, January 8, 2015

Purity Thursday: Lust and Lot's Wife

Remember Lot’s wife? She was turned to a pillar of salt when, against the stern warning of the angel of the LORD, she looked back to Sodom (Genesis 19:15-26).

Why did she look back? Was it because she was curious and wanted to watch the pyrotechnics? No. It was because she was leaving her home. She wasn't willing to turn her back on and “die to” that ungodly place…and she died. 

She was turned to a pillar of salt as a very vivid illustration of an important truth found in Psalm 135:15-18 (emphasis added):
The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them.
In the words of Greg Beale, “People resemble what they revere, to their restoration or their ruin.” Or, others have said it something like this, “We all tend, by a secret law of the soul, to become like what we admire.” 

Lot’s wife valued that worldly place. She was too attached to it. She didn’t want to see it destroyed. And she was ruined. She became like the city that was being “salted” with fire. 

This story has something to say about our battle with lust. Why do we take a second look when we're tempted? The Bible gives us many serious and sober warnings -- warnings that make it clear our souls could be at stake. 

Matthew 5:27-30:
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
So, why do we look? It is because there is too much worldly desire in us. We love the world too much – the lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh (1 John 2:15-17). We are unwilling to die to that temptation and run to safety. We value what that temptation offers more than we value God’s promises of purity and holiness.

We should soberly take heed here. The desire to "look back" at The City of Man, the world with its lusts, must be met with ruthless action. Your soul is at stake! Whoever looks at a woman (or man) with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 

Am I saying that one second or lustful look and God will zap you? No. But don't fail to consider the fact that he would be just to do so. Adultery is deserving of destruction. Our lustful looks are like that look back to Sodom. They must be resisted. If you don’t make war with your desire to look, it may lead to your destruction.

Let the pillar of salt that was Lot’s wife be a reminder. And let’s turn and fix our eyes on Jesus, running the race set before us

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