Don’t look back.

So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”  – Genesis 19:17

Lot and his family received two angels, who’d been sent by God to rescue this family and also destroy the cities of the Jordan Plain because of their evil. These same angels instructed Lot to gather all of his family and to flee out of the city and the Plain to escape the coming destruction. As part of those instructions, the angel told Lot’s family to flee and not look back upon the fiery judgment. Once outside the city as it was being destroyed, Lot’s wife turned to look back at her burning home and turned into a pillar of salt.

Jesus told us in his day, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). The idea is that people who look back on the things of this world care more for them than they do the things of God. Lot’s wife had an affinity of sorts for her dwelling in Sodom. She may have had good friends in the city or other acquaintances. Who knows the exact reason for her turning to look back upon the destruction of her town despite the direct command of God not to do so!

The sentiment of Jesus’ words spoken millenia later ring true of Lot’s wife’s fate. God told her clearly to not look back on the city, yet she did so anyway. Her rebellion against God’s command equaled that of the raucous lifestyles and perversion of Sodom although she (as far as we know) didn’t live like that. In other words, in God’s eyes sin is sin is sin. There is no distinction between murder or a “white lie.” What’s wrong is wrong.

Accordingly, Lot’s wife had put her hand to the plow in a sense because she was the life of a righteous man (2 Peter 2:7) living amongst a city of sinners. She should have been demonstrating a life of right living among the lost and very well may have. However, there was something about Sodom that made her look back to see its destruction. It may have been out of sheer curiosity of what happened, but it cost her everything. Accordingly, Jesus tells us the same thing in the verse above that one who sets his hand to the plow but looks back upon the world with desire is not fit for the kingdom of God.

These are harsh words to digest spiritually. Anyone who begins do the work God ordained them to do and turns back to desire the world or its ways isn’t fit for God’s kingdom. Jesus said it another way in the parable of the sower, “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them” (Matt. 13:7). He went on to explain to the apostles (and us), “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matt. 13:22).

So, have you put your hand to God’s plow to break up fallow ground and mine out the eternal treasures of people’s souls that need watered with the Word of God and then planted with the Seed, which is the Word of God, and later harvested into God’s kingdom as children of the Most High as you are? If you have, then please remember the fate of Lot’s wife and the word Jesus spoke about those that look back upon the world with desire.

Father, thank You for calling me to break up fallow ground that is rich for the planting of the Seed of Your Word and to see it germinate in the spirits of people. Help me to identify those plots of earthen vessels that need the Seed. As I plant Seed, show me which plots/souls need watered with the Word, as we wait upon You to give the increase. You’re the Lord of the harvest, and there is a vast field white with grain that needs plucked. I’ve put my hand to the plow and will not look back upon the world with desire for it once offered to me in sin. I choose this day to forsake all and continue pressing toward the mark, the high calling of You, placed before me because I know You’ll finish this good work that You’ve begun in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.