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Genesis 19 tells the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot, Abraham's nephew, lived in Sodom with his family. His daughters were engaged to local men. Lot was sitting at the gate of S...
The short answer is "as a symbol for us". We need to see, for example, the need to flee from sin and resist the temptations the enemy set before us to return to the lifestyle that led to sin before. We need to realize that the commands God give us are for our own good and protect us as well as teach us and should be obeyed. We need to acknowledge the Power of God. We need to know that God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. JESUS said (sorry I did not look up the exact wording) "whoever tries to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life will save it". (One other thing and this is just a personal opinion I have never heard anyone else pose-- to me this is the first example in the Bible that illustrates the fallacy of the teaching "Once saved always saved". Lots family was "saved" from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, but through the temptations of the world was seduced and again overcome. Whether she was never saved to start with or was saved and gave up her salvation by her turning away is not important. There is a danger in the teaching of that concept because if she thought she was safe enough to ignore the warning against looking back (sin) then she is now still lost. Today if someone thinks they are safe because they "got saved as a child", and therefore sin has no consequence to them and end up rejecting Jesus because they chose the sinful lifestyle in his stead, they too are still lost. To me, it does not matter if the theology of "once saved always saved" is sound or not, it should never be taught.)
Jewish commentaries She was deemed unworthy to be saved and thus was turned to a pillar of salt. Another view in the Jewish exegesis of Genesis 19:26 is that when Lot's wife looked back, she turned to a pillar of salt upon the "sight of God," who was descending to rain destruction upon Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 19:26) But Lot’s 1 wife looked back longingly 2 and was turned into a pillar of salt. NET © Notes 1 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Lot) has been specified in the translation for clarity. 2 tn The Hebrew verb means “to look intently; to gaze” (Genesis 15:5). sn Longingly. Lot’s wife identified with the doomed city and thereby showed a lack of respect for God’s provision of salvation. She, like her daughters later, had allowed her thinking to be influenced by the culture of Sodom. The account of the tragedy is briefly related. As fire and brimstone out of heaven fell upon Sodom, Lot’s wife looked back from behind her husband. In oriental countries, it was the rule for the wife to walk some distance behind her husband, but as Lot’s wife lingered and looked back she was overtaken and engulfed by sulfurous vapors, and, encrusted with salt, perished where she stood. Entombed as a pillar, she became “as a monument of an unbelieving soul” in a desolate region, “of whose wickedness even to this day the wasteland that smoketh is a testimony” (Wisdom 10:7, in the Apocrypha). The wife of Lot looked back upon her city with regrets at having to part with its sinful pleasures. She had been forced to leave Sodom as a city, but all that Sodom represented was very much in her heart.
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