46. )A solemn warningBishop Ryle.1. But there is always some darling evil habit, which they cannot tear from their heart. There is no other sure way, but only this—ever to press on to a life of deeper devotion, to a sharper repentance and more earnest prayers, to a more sustained consciousness of God's continual presence, and to a keener watchfulness against the first approaches of temptation; but one or two plain rules is all that can now be offered in particular. Are you willing to live, and, what is more, to die, for such an end as this? See Genesis 19:26. In the present instance, it does not seem an impossible thing that judgment upon Lot's wife should have been brought about by natural causes; in other words, that in consequence of her standing still too long, she might get covered with the sulphureous matter which was being rained from heaven, and this, congealing and encrusting upon her person, would make her appear as a pillar of salt. 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." When I have passed the meridian of life, then I shall be ready to attend to the concerns of my soul.' She lost her life.2. That not only modern and present, but ancient and old judgments are of great use to us, especially when like sins abound in the age we live in, or we are in danger of them as to our own practice. Let us watch and be sober. Remember that in getting out of Sodom we must make haste. It was sudden. Baxendale. (Ezra 9:13, 14). The worst point, perhaps, about the perishing of Lot's wife lay in this, that she perished in the very act of sin, and had no space for repentance given her. There may be much crookedness in a small line; and the matter is not so much to be regarded as the majesty and authority of God that commandeth — as in garments the dye is more than the stuff. "Escape for thy life" — life spiritual, life temporal, life eternal — lose one and you lose all; and you may lose all by becoming weary and faint in the running.(D. Atherton. (iii.) The world is the great clog upon the wheels of piety.III. She seemed to doubt whether God was really going to destroy Sodom: she appeared not to believe there was any danger, or any need for such a hasty flight. A third reason is, that Lot's "easily besetting" sin, which was covetousness and love of the world, would probably have tempted him to form such a connection with one of the daughters of Sodom, on account of some supposed worldly advantage. Therefore think of and seriously consider that small sins are the mother of great sins, and the grandmother of great punishments. A third reason is, that Lot's "easily besetting" sin, which was covetousness and love of the world, would probably have tempted him to form such a connection with one of the daughters of Sodom, on account of some supposed worldly advantage. From thence this woman came, and thither she would fain go again; as if she had said, And must I leave thee, Sodom, and part for ever from thee! What fault was there in that? "Up! Remember that though she went some way towards escape SHE DID ACTUALLY PERISH THROUGH SIN.1. There were her kindred, and friends, and country, and that pleasant place which was as the garden of God (Genesis 13:10). They hold the great essential doctrines of the gospel. She died in the very act of disobedience. An unbelieving heart will easily be perverted and enticed into a rebellion against God, and those that cannot trust God will not be true to Him. (3)He has really surrendered himself to temptation.(Anon. His power is the same, so is His justice and holiness.3. )A danger-signalG. Moore, M. A.As might be expected, conjecture has been busy as to the manner in which this transformation was effected. Remember that she perished with the same doom as that which happened to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, but that doom befell her at the gates of Zoar.2. She had been especially charged that she must not look back, and she did look back; she had been told she must escape for her life, and she loitered even behind her husband. Hidden worldliness, or covetousness, or lust, sticks to them like their skin. Elliott. Had she not hesitated, she had not been destroyed. The command was plain and positive; “Look not behind thee in all the plain.” It was not for her to determine whether the command were more or less important; her duty was to obey it: and, in violating it, she rebelled against the Majesty of heaven. The apostle tells us (2 Peter 2:20, 211.4. He does not bid us remember Abraham, or Isaac, or Jacob, or Sarah, or Hannah, or Ruth. For here was —(i.) is the voice of the Spirit. For here a woman is turned into a pillar of salt. I feel no readiness nor disposition to enter upon the work of my salvation. 3. See how many things meet here — the authority of God is spurned, the word of the angel is disbelieved, the wisdom or necessity of the command is questioned, and the impious prerogative laid claim to "Our eyes are our own; we may look on what we will: who is Lord over us?" This particular judgment is monumental, and so intended for a pattern and spectacle to after ages; and it is also here recommended by the Lord Himself — "Remember Lot's wife." He wishes us to resemble Him. Beware of the alluring power of evil associations.2. She lingered and perished. She was united in the closest possible bonds to one who, with all his faults, was a righteous man; and yet she perished. The last days are on His mind, when He says, "Remember Lot's wife."3. They live like the men of Sodom, and the men of Noah's day: they eat, and drink, and plant, and build, and marry, and are given in marriage, and behave as if Christ was never going to return. It was shameful; for she is made a public and lasting monument of shame to herself, but of instruction to us.I must show how profitable it is for us to meditate on this instance, even for all those who are called from wrath to a state of rest and glory.1. Now to gather up a few PRACTICAL LESSONS from our subject.1. The first distinctive feature in the case of Lot’s wife is, that she was almost saved. I. Remember Lot's wife, amid the assaults of unbelief.5. The generation is eating and drinking and marrying, and behold! Strange sins bring on strange punishment. THE SERIOUS OFFENCE; or Lot's wife looking back. Remember Lot's wife, amid the assaults of unbelief.5. Her Majesty was there to the moment. )A solemn warningBishop Ryle.1. A. )Punishment of Lot's wifeD. There was unbelief in it; not believing the words of the angel, God's messenger, who had assured her in the name of God that He would destroy Sodom, "Hasten hence, lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city" (Genesis 19:13). In the present instance, it does not seem an impossible thing that judgment upon Lot's wife should have been brought about by natural causes; in other words, that in consequence of her standing still too long, she might get covered with the sulphureous matter which was being rained from heaven, and this, congealing and encrusting upon her person, would make her appear as a pillar of salt. “Remember”! The story of them was handed down from father to son with a jealous reverence; so that it is not unlikely that among our Lord's hearers were men who, in common with Josephus, had visited this heaven-blighted spot, and on whose minds these words would tell with solemn force — "Remember Lot's wife."(D. Rebellion is as much seen in the breach of what appears to be a little command as in the violation of a great precept. There were not half as many difficulties in my path then as there are now." By natural agents or by a miracle, however, it is certain that Lot's wife has been made to stand in the midst of that awful plain, a petrified monument of God's displeasure against backsliders, for upwards of two thousand years; for, "I have seen it," said Josephus, "and it remains at this day." (a) Because if opens sins be of greater infamy, yet secret sins are more against knowledge and conviction. 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