Remember Lot’s Wife

When memory does not serve us right.

Every now and then, another reader of the Bible calls my attention to a small detail in the text that I have never noticed before. Often that happens with a text that I have read many times.

One blog I follow regularly is A Monk’s Chronicle. The author is Fr. Eric Hollas, a Benedictine monk with St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. I enjoy reading it, and I commend it to you.

In his most recent posting Fr. Hollas notes that in Luke 17:32, Jesus tells his disciples, “Remember Lot’s Wife.” It is an admonition within Luke’s telling of Jesus’ eschatological discourse, where Jesus responds to a question on when the Kingdom of God will come. I’ve never noticed this sentence before until Fr. Hollas called my attention to it.

The line alludes back to the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah told in Genesis 19. God rescues Abraham’s nephew Lot, his wife, and his two daughters by commanding them to leave the city hastily before God destroys it. They are also ordered not to look back as they flee. Lot’s wife, however, does, and is instantly turned into a pillar of salt.

Is there an insight for us in this tragic story? Fr. Hollas believes there is, and I found it an interesting take on the story. I suggest you read his whole posting.

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