Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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Remember Lot’s Wife.”—Luke xvii. 32. By J.C. Ryle

THERE are few warnings in Scripture more solemn than that which heads this page. The Lord Jesus Christ says to us, “Remember Lot’s wife.” 

Lot’s wife was a professor of religion: her husband was a “righteous man.” (2 Peter ii. 8.) She left Sodom with him on the day when Sodom was destroyed; she looked back towards the city from behind her husband, against God’s express command; she was struck dead at once, and turned into a pillar of salt. And the Lord Jesus Christ holds her up as a beacon to His Church: He says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” 

It is a solemn warning, when we think of the person Jesus names. He does not bid us remember Abraham, or Isaac, or Jacob, or Sarah, or Hannah, or Ruth. No: He singles out one whose soul was lost for ever. He cries to us, “Remember Lot’s wife.”

It is a solemn warning, when we consider the subject Jesus is upon. He is speaking of His own second coming to judge the world: He is describing the awful state of unreadiness in which many will be found. The last days are on His mind, when He says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” 

It is a solemn warning, when we think of the person who gives it. The Lord Jesus is full of love, mercy, and compassion: He is one who will not break the bruised reed nor quench the smoking flax. He could weep over unbelieving Jerusalem, and pray for the men that crucified Him; yet even He thinks it good to remind us of lost souls. Even He says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” 

It is a solemn warning, when we think of the persons to whom it was first given. The Lord Jesus was speaking to His disciples: He was not addressing the scribes and Pharisees, who hated Him, but Peter, James, and John, and many others who loved Him; yet even to them He thinks it good to address a caution. Even to them He says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” 

It is a solemn warning, when we consider the manner in which it was given. He does not merely say, “Beware of following—take heed of imitating—do not be like Lot’s wife.” He uses a different word: He says, “Remember.” He speaks as if we were all in danger of forgetting the subject; He stirs up our lazy memories; He bids us keep the case before our minds. He cries, “Remember Lot’s wife.”

I propose to examine the lessons which Lot’s wife is meant to teach us. I am sure that her history is full of useful instruction to the Church. The last days are upon us; the second coming of the Lord Jesus draws nigh; the danger of worldliness is yearly increasing in the Church. Let us be provided with safeguards and antidotes against the disease that is around us; and, not least, let us become familiar with the story of Lot’s wife. 
To be continued S.Bloem

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