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Salt Away
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As a child, one of my favorite school lunch bag treats was a hard boiled egg. With delight I would slam the egg against the cafeteria table, roll it in the palm of my hand and then try to peel off the cracked shell in one piece, revealing the smooth and rubbery, white of the egg.

Then I would generously sprinkle it with salt from my very own miniature salt container that was about the size of half a man’s thumb. These were sold in 3-packs specifically for lunch boxes.

I loved those little salt containers. In fact, I even carried one in my pocket after school. While playing, I would reach for it periodically, shaking its contents into my open mouth.

One day while roller skating, I hit the cement hard causing a large abrasion on my elbow. As I pulled myself off the sidewalk fighting back the tears, I grabbed for my baby salt shaker (Don’t ask me why!) and began pouring the white crystals directly into my oozing scrape.

I screamed in agony from the burning pain that eventually brought new light to the expression, “to pour salt into an open wound.”

Pillar of Salt

The Bible tells a heart rending story of a woman, both a wife and mother, who literally became a pillar of salt! Although she doesn’t have a name and speaks not one word for herself in the story that tells of her demise, she is known as Lot’s wife.

Lot, nephew of Abraham had pitched his tent near Sodom. We are told that the men in this city were wicked and sinning greatly against the Lord (Genesis 13:12-13). It’s not hard to imagine their evil deeds when we realize the perversion of sodomy derived its name from this city.

Because of their great sin, God made the decision to destroy the city. By this time, Lot had married, raised children, and was living in Sodom. But because of God’s mercy, two angel messengers were dispatched to rescue Lot and his family before the place was destroyed.

With some reluctance, Lot, his wife and two daughters were taken by the hand and led out of the city where they were given specific instructions: “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere on the plain!” (Genesis 19:17 ).

Then, the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah (a nearby town). Everything was destroyed in the ensuing catastrophe. But Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt (vs. 26).

Perhaps this lady hesitated and turned around for one last look at the city, longing for her beautiful home and all her stuff. Or, maybe she had loved ones living there. But whatever the reason, she was told what to do and she didn’t do it. During those mere seconds of disobedience, she apparently got caught in the vortex of burning sulfur and was entombed in a crusty layer of salt.

Did God punish Lot’s wife? Or did her own decisions bring upon herself the disastrous consequences which the rest of the city suffered, and which she had the opportunity to escape?

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By Kathy A Lewis. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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