Left Behind

The Flight of Lot by Rubens

The Left Behind books are a religious fiction series that tells a story of end times (set in the contemporary era), in which true believers in Christ have been “raptured”, (taken instantly to heaven) leaving the world shattered and chaotic. This best-seller fiction series captured the imagination of millions of readers. There is a true Biblical account that carries a similar theme as Tim LaHaye’s imaginary story – it’s is the intriguing account of Lot’s wife in the Book of Genesis.

In one brief dramatic phrase of just 15 words, Lot’s wife is placed among the most well-known women of the world. God had determined to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their manifold wickedness. Earlier, the Lot family, because they were citizens of Sodom, had been taken captive by marauders plundering the wealth of the city. Lot’s wife, along with her husband and children, had been rescued by God’s grace at that time but unwisely returned to the city. Since God is merciful and a God of second chances, He sends messengers to warn the family of impending destruction.

Mrs. Lot reluctantly responded to the ominous warning, but she lingered as if addicted to the opulence of her lifestyle there. Finally, the heavenly messengers had to take her by the hand and lead her out of the city. Outside the city, the messengers issued an irrevocable mandate: “Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed” (Genesis 19:9-10, NKJV).

Some years ago, I stood in the Louvre in Paris where Rubens’ masterpiece, “The Flight of Lot”, is displayed. It depicts Lot’s wife leaving the doomed city. To her, one of the angels is speaking the solemn warning. She is followed by her two daughters. One of the daughters leads a donkey loaded with splendid vessels filled with silver and gold. The other carries containers filled with lush fruit. Lot’s wife clasps her hands and looks beseechingly into the face of the warning angel. It’s a mind-riveting picture.

Then come those brief, dramatic words to which I referred earlier: “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26, KJV). Oh, those revealing words, “from behind”. She was following along behind, and then she was finally left behind, forever. Are you keeping up? Scripture instructs us to “add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NKJV). If you are not progressing and growing in the faith, you are falling behind. Don’t get left behind!

Jesus said, “Remember Lot’s wife.” (Luke 17:32)

~ Brother Roy


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