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obeyed Him, find Him indeed our Friend. “He shall change our vile bodies, and make them like unto His glorious body, according to the mighty working whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.
LOT'S WIFE, HER END, AND ITS WARNING.
ST. LUKE xvii. 32.-" Remember Lot's wife.”
The story of Lot’s wife, and the calamity which befel her, is recorded for our warning in the nineteenth chapter of the book of Genesis.
That chapter gives, as you will at once remember, an account of the deliverance of Lot, and part of his family out of Sodom in the day when the Lord visited it, and its abominable inhabitants, as well as those of the other cities of the plain, with a total overthrow: in the day when He rained fire, and brimstone out of heaven, and miserably destroyed those wicked men, and burnt up their city. I must not this morning go into the particulars of that deliverance, except so far as it relates to the circumstance alluded to in the text; namely, to the case of Lot's wife.
What is said of her is contained in a very few words. She is mentioned in the fifteenth and sixteenth verses, and again at the twenty-sixth verse, and that is all. In the two former we read that “ when the morning arose"—the morning of the destruction of Sodom—" then the angels,”—those two angels whom God had sent for the double purpose of announcing His decree against the city, and of saving His righteous servant from the impending ruin," then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters which are here: lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life: look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plains; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.”
This command given by the angel of God was disregarded by Lot's wife: and the consequence was, that which is told us in the twenty-sixth verse; "She looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” She lingered on her way, and hastened not to escape for her life; she tempted God by her disobedience; and that disobedience, that forbidden delay was her ruin. She was turned into a pillar of salt; by which is supposed to be meant, that she was caught by the burning flames, which had by this time extended far across the plain; she was caught by them and encrusted, as it were, by the particles of sulphur which they contained, and so instead of crumbling to ashes she remained after death in an upright position, a standing monument of the Almighty's wrath, which is revealed from heaven against all the children of disobedience.
Having said thus much upon the actual calamity that befel Lot's wife; let us now go on to observe the connection of her name with the general subject of our Lord's discourse recorded in the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke's gospel, from whence my text is taken.
Jesus there alludes in awful but figurative language, to the disastrous ruin, about to fall on the Jewish nation; this He likens to the day of judgment or coming of the Son of man; and He speaks of the suddenness with which it will surprise them in these striking words : "As the lightning that lighteneth out of one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the
Son of man be in His day.” And then He gives a lively, but grievous picture of the state of carelessness, and unconcern, which would mark the generation that God was about to destroy, comparing it with the state of the old world before the flood; and to the state of Sodom just before its overthrow :
As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise, also, as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded : but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
After this prophetic disclosure of the terrible event that was shortly to come upon the Jewish nation; our Lord, at the close of His address, offers them His counsel as to the course they should pursue, who would hope to escape in that day of His visitation. “ In that day, he which shall be upon the house-top, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away; and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife.” In other words, He warns them to flee out of the devoted city of