Theological Commentary: Click Here
Genesis 19 is primarily about faith versus unfaith. No, I’m not talking about the judgment of Sodom. Clearly, that is God judging sinful people who have absolutely no intention of repenting or changing. They are judged horrifically, yet righteously. They are wiped from the face of the earth with fire from heaven.
When I talk about faith versus unfaith, I’m talking about Abraham, Lot, and Lot’s wife. Let’s take a look at Lot’s wife first. In fleeing the city, she turns around and looks upon Sodom. She turns into a pillar of salt. She has trouble leaving the world behind. She is likely putting on display that she really would rather have not left Sodom behind. It’s too hard for her to let go of the worldliness around her, so she is judged into becoming a pillar of salt.
To confirm this, let’s look at Lot. Do you see how Lot behaves? Yes, Lot tries to spare the Lord’s messengers. He knows the behavior of the city, thus he intercedes and invites them into his house. But look at what happens. Lot offers up his virgin daughters instead! When the angels urge him to leave, Lot drags his heels! Quite literally, the Bible is clear that even in the face of impending destruction, Lot and his family have to be dragged out of the city by the messengers of the Lord. When they do get away, God tells Lot to go into the hills. But this is too much for Lot. He doesn’t want to live apart from the trappings of the world. He argues to be allowed to go to Zoar. This is the makings of a man who is struggling to have faith in God and leave the trappings of the world behind.
To confirm this even more, do you notice the short little story about Abraham in this passage? Abraham has no trouble at all when he comes and looks at the destruction that God is doing. Lot’s wife turns into a pillar of salt when she looks, yet Abraham looks upon the destruction and nothing happens at all. This truly does give us the absolute confirmation of the difference between a person of faith and a person of struggling faith. People with great faith can look upon sin and destruction and not waver. People of faith have the righteous perspective necessary to live in the world yet be fully in relationship with God.