From Bishop J.C. Ryle:
“Remember Lot’s wife!” Luke 17:32
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 2:8). She left Sodom with him on the day when Sodom was destroyed; she looked back toward 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 that Jesus names. He does not bid us rememberAbraham or Isaac or Jacob or Sarah or Hannah or Ruth. No, He singles out one whose soul was lost forever. 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 dreadful 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 who 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 people 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 near; 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.
Let us consider now . . .
the religious privileges Lot’s wife enjoyed,
the particular sin she committed, and
the judgment which God inflicted upon her.