“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”

— Genesis 19:26

Here’s a choice that had dire consequences – only one look back. Lot’s wife was named Ado, or Edith, according to the Jewish Rabbis who wrote about her in the Book of Jasher (a Hebrew Madras, which is a theological story used to help illuminate Biblical passages). During the rush to evacuate Sodom, Edith, like any mother might, may have looked back to see what became of her married daughters (who refused to leave) and to see what was happening to the city. Even though they were warned not to look back, Edith disobeyed to her own demise. Didn’t she believe?

Skeptics often mock stories in the Bible that seem far-fetched to us today. And a story where a woman literally turns into a pillar of salt is no exception to that mockery. Yet, Edith could have been preserved for many generations to come as an ominous reminder.

Geologists believe Sodom and Gomorrah were located near the Dead Sea, an area where objects can be quickly covered with a crust of salt. This region has saline fumes and vapors emitting from the ground due to seismic activity. Perhaps Edith was killed by a fiery and sulfurous vapor that burst forth from the ground, and in her stead, remained a salt formation that might have been thrown up by surging ground activity. This pillar became a notable monument of God’s vengeance against criminal curiosity, unbelief, and disobedience to all who passed by that way.

Josephus, a first-century historian, claims the pillar of Edith was still standing in his time and that he himself had seen it. St. Clement, in his first letter to the Corinthians, also said Lot’s wife was remaining. Jesus urges us to “remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32). Why? Edith’s loyalty lay with Sodom—the things of this world—and she didn’t believe God’s word.

When the day comes, we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus, and not look longingly back to what is of this world.

Think Divinely: Don’t get caught up in the things of this world. Instead, keep your eyes focused on God and His eternal plans. Trust His Word.