Then on May 8, a flash like lightning exploded from the mouth of the volcano and a cloud of poisonous gas reaching temperatures estimated at 350-400 degrees Celsius formed and fell on the city of St Pierre so quickly that no one could escape, killing 30,000 in an instant, most from suffocation or scalded lungs. All the expert opinions in the world did not keep them from dying, and it happened in a flash, before they could do anything to save themselves.
For them it was the end of the world, but I doubt it held a candle to the fiery cataclysm in Genesis 19: Jehovah rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven, and he overthrew those cities and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities and that which grew upon the ground, vv 24,25.
We know how Lot wound up in Sodom, but did you ever wonder where his wife came from? When Lot left Ur with Abraham, Abraham’s wife is mentioned, Lot’s wife is not. Is that because she was not important to the story, or because she wasn’t there yet?
Although Lot moved to the plain of Jordan in Gen 13:11, he was actually living in Sodom by 14:12. We have first mention of “the women” in 14:16, but that could have referred to servants—remember, at one point he had quite a few. Lot’s wife is not specifically mentioned until he is actually living in Sodom. Between 12:4 and 18:10, twenty-four years have elapsed, plenty of time to marry and have marriageable daughters, especially in a day where marrying them off at puberty was the custom. Since Sodom is not actually destroyed until chapter 19, it is quite possible that Lot’s wife was a native of Sodom. It would certainly make her attachment to the city, and her looking back, much more understandable.
Jesus utters the words of the title above when he is warning his followers about the destruction of Jerusalem in Luke 17. When the time came, they were to flee, giving no thought to the life they were leaving behind. Any delay caused by the desire for that life would cause them to lose any hope of a future life. The warning, Remember Lot’s wife, also carried with it the idea of regretting what was left behind. As a matter of fact, the next morning Abraham looked at those same cities Lot and his family were told not to look at, Gen 19:27,28, but he did not turn into a pillar of salt. He was not sorry these wicked places were destroyed; he was probably wondering if Lot and his family had made it out alive. Lot’s wife, on the other hand, was looking back like the man who put his hand to the plow and looked back. God wants a real commitment from us, with no lingering attachment to the old way of life.
So no, we do not really know where Lot’s wife came from, but it is safe to assume she loved her life in Sodom. If she came from there, that might explain it—family, friends, and familiar surroundings. But if she did not, she still might be the reason he finally made the actual move into the city. She left only because she was forced to, Gen 19:16, and because she so plainly regretted it, God counted her with the Sodomites and destroyed her too. Being in Sodom was not the crux of the matter, but rather, being like Sodom, and liking that place all too well.
How about me? Do I live the Christian life because I love it, or because I feel forced into it, regretting the loss of my old life and wishing I were there? Do I put my hand to the plow and look back? Do I get along so well with the world that no one sees a difference between me and them? If God were still in the salt business, what would I look like today?
Being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful, who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practice such things are worthy of death, not only they who do the same, but who take pleasure in them that do them. Rom 1:28-32