Remember Lot's Wife: Part 3
Jun 04, 2007
In Luke 17:22 and 26 Jesus speaks of "the days of the Son of Man," while in verses 24 and 30 Jesus speaks of the "day" as singular. No doubt the "day" and "days" have a broader application than simply 24-hour periods. A day can mean a thousand years or an age. Yet I believe that these terms refer also to specific feast days beginning with the Feast of Trumpets.
Isaiah 13:9 depicts "the day of the Lord" in terms of death and destruction. In Luke 17 Jesus spoke of this "day" and these "days" in similar terms, linking them with Noah's flood and Sodom--well known prophetic types of judgment and destruction. But in verse 30 Jesus said,
"It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed" (apokalupto, "manifested or unveiled").
I believe it is likely that a Feast of Trumpets of some unknown year will see this destruction. And because of Jesus' words, it appears that it will occur at the time that the Son of Man is unveiled. This unveiling begins with the resurrection of the dead at the sound of the TRUMPET. That, I believe is the "day" of the Son of Man, while the next three weeks are the "days" of the Son of Man. The season ends with the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
If this is so, then when these things are fulfilled, we could well see destruction coming to Jerusalem on the same day that the dead are raised on the Feast of Trumpets. I believe that this destruction applies to Jerusalem specifically and the Israeli state in general, for that is the topic of much prophetic discussion in Scripture.
This leads us to Jesus' discussion of Sodom and Lot in Luke 17:28-32.
" (28) It was the same as happened in the days of Lot; they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; (29) but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. (30) It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.
It is clear that this destruction is to occur on the same day that Lot is delivered, or brought out of Sodom. This essentially equates Lot's deliverance with the "manifestation" or "unveiling" of the Son of Man. The significance of this is obvious when we learn that Lot's name means "veil" in Hebrew. Somehow, Lot's deliverance from Sodom has to do with the unveiling of the Son of Man.
Sodom literally means "to scorch or burn." Perhaps Lot's leaving Sodom indicates the unveiling of thejudgment (burning) in the day of the Son of Man.
Revelation 11:8 also gives us a clue as to what Sodom represents in the latter days:
"And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified."
In other words, Sodom and Egypt are equated to Jerusalem. Sodom is a picture of corruption (Jude 7), while Egypt pictures bondage. Paul tells us in Gal. 4:25 that the Old Jerusalem is Hagar (the Egyptian), and "is in slavery with her children."
So Jesus prophesied in Matt. 11:21-24 that the cities of that old land would be judged, and He singled out Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, saying, "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you."
It appears, then, that Jesus' prophecy in Luke 17 is based upon Isaiah 29:1-6, where the prophet speaks of Jerusalem under the poetic name of "Ariel." In verse 3 we read that God Himself will lay siege to Jerusalem (by the hand of Jerusalem's enemies). In verses 5 and 6 the description of the destruction fits a nuclear incident.
Likewise, it fits the prophecy against Jerusalem in Jeremiah 19, where the prophet was called to smash an earthen bottle in gehenna (Heb. the valley of the son of Hinnom) saying in verse 11,
". . . Just so shall I break this people and this city, even as one breaks a potter's vessel,which cannot again be repaired."
It looks as though these prophecies of Jerusalem will be fulfilled on a Feast of Trumpets of some unknown year, and that the same day will see the resurrection of the dead. Whether that proves to be the case or not is yet to be seen.
But the lesson for us is found in the next verses of Jesus' prophecy in Luke 17.
" (31) On that day, let not the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house go down to take them away; and likewise let not the one who is in the field turn back. (32)Remember Lot's wife."
A partial fulfillment of this escape from Jerusalem occurred just before 70 A.D. when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea in the 4th century tells us in his History of the Church, Book III, 4.11,
"Furthermore, the members of the Jerusalem church, by means of an oracle given by revelation to acceptable persons there, were ordered to leave the City before the war began and settle in a town in Perea called Pella. To Pella those who believed in Christ migrated from Jerusalem."
The city was later repaired, of course, and so Jeremiah's prophecy has yet another and greater fulfillment to come. Even as the destruction in 70 A.D. set the Judean Christians free from the old forms of worship in the temple, so also this final destruction will set the Church free AGAIN from its bondage to the old Jerusalem.
Christian Zionism today is based upon the Dispensationalist idea that the "Age of Grace" is soon to end, and that it will be replaced by an "Age of Law," by which they mean a Jewish Kingdom with Levitical priests, and complete with animal sacrifices. This whole idea is the modern fulfillment of Lot's wife, who was unable to leave Sodom (Jerusalem) behind.
There are Christians today who want to bring some of their belongings from Sodom/Jerusalem--that is, they want to bring back the Old Covenant and its forms with them into the Age to come.
Jesus says to such Christians, "Don't turn back" to the Old Covenant, the Old Jerusalem, the old temple (and its location), the old sacrifices, the old priesthood, etc. "Remember Lot's wife," who could not let go of the old.
Dispensationalist eschatology is a primary manifestation of Lot's wife when it teaches that Grace and the New Covenant were temporary things and that we will soon be going back into an Old Covenant Age which presumably will be the permanent way of doing things.
That, of course, tramples on the blood of Christ and rebuilds the middle wall of partition. It destroys the "one new man" of Eph. 2:14 by separating men once again into holy Jews and less holy Gentiles.
Why was Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt? There were various types of covenants in the Bible. One was a Salt Covenant, where the covenanting parties exchanged a pinch of salt. It was not as binding as a Blood Covenant. Jesus came to establish the New Covenant by blood. It seems that in this prophecy, Lot's wife is identified with the Salt Covenant, as if to say she rejected prophetically the permanency of the blood of Christ and the New Covenant.
So let us not be as Lot's wife, desiring to remain identified with the Old Jerusalem (Sodom) and to return to the Old Covenant and its forms of worship. Those were only types and shadows of a "better" way set forth in the Book of Hebrews. Once given this BETTER way, God has no intention of returning to that which was WORSE in the age to come.
This is the final part of a series titled "Remember Lot's Wife." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones