Lot's wife became a pillar of salt.
Did this really happen, and what does it mean?
Let's assume this did really happen, as we can trust the teaching of Scriptural truths. Certainly God doesn't need to use made up stories to instruct us. Truth is always a better teacher than fantasy. Fantasy has its place, but not when we are looking for basic truths and guidance for life.
I have written elsewhere in this blog about the destruction of Sodom.
Lot's wife, unnamed here, physically left the boundaries of Sodom and it would seem, based on that fact, her safety is guaranteed and she will not experience the destruction overwhelming the city.
It didn't happen that way. The others (her husband and daughters) with the woman we can call "Mrs. Lot" escaped immediate destruction. Other problems surfaced later, but they did not die with the population of Sodom. At the very least, these escapees had a chance for life.
Why did Mrs. Lot experience the same destruction suffered by those in the city? She looked back. Some translators suggest she looked back with longing or even love. She turned her focus on what was behind her, on what God had deemed unfit to exist. Her attention moved in that direction and her fate was connected to and determined by the focus of her attention.
Sometimes, in mercy, God gets us out of situations and relationships that are not good for us. Often, we escape, by what is referred to in literature as "the skin of our teeth." At other times, we knowingly choose a difficult path because our current situation is not sustainable, and perhaps is not even consistent with our mental and physical and spiritual well being.
Energy follows focus. As James Allen wrote -- while quoting Scripture-- "As a man thinketh, so is he he". Read the entire book here. (Free pdf download from archive.org)
Mrs. Lot was not physically in Sodom, but her existence and her energy followed her focus. That choice and that action led to the loss of her life.
When you have knowingly and willfully left --or through the mercy and grace of God have been removed from -- something or someone not good for you, do not look back. Looking back means you haven't really made up your mind. Looking back means you want to hold two inconsistent energies within yourself. That never works. Looking back means you want to give it one more try, want to think of another way to make the unworkable and unsustainable look like the tolerable.
Why does the Bible contain this seemingly odd story of a woman turning into salt just after escaping a disaster? This is a lesson we need to learn many times over: when a thing is done and finished and you have escaped destruction, pain, and injury, do not look back.
Do not long for the past. Run toward the future.