Most of us are probably familiar with the events recorded in Genesis chapter 19 concerning God’s destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. We remember how God decided to destroy the cities for their great wickedness but determined to spare Lot, the nephew of the great patriarch Abraham, and Lot’s family. Unfortunately, only Lot’s wife and his two daughters consented to leave the city with him. In verse 26 of Genesis 19 we read that Lot’s wife “looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt”. Some people read this passage and think that God was being unreasonably harsh in His punishment of Lot’s wife. “Why turn her into a pillar of salt just because she looked back to see what was happening?” they ask. However, in Luke 17:32 Jesus makes it clear that it was not just the act of looking back that caused God’s judgment to fall on Lot’s wife, it was the fact that she looked back with regret for what she was leaving. In the context of Luke 17 Jesus is saying that we must not value material things above doing the will of God. Being obedient to God’s commands should not bring about a feeling of regret for the things we have left behind. God must always come first. “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)