Why did Lot’s wife turn to salt?
The stories in the book of Genesis are the teaching stories for the children of Israel as they were journeying from Egypt to Canaan. Both ends of their journey was rampant with polytheism, the belief in may gods. God’s major concern was to teach and train his people about who he was. Remember they had lived in Egypt for several centuries and had forgotten who he was. Hence, the story early in Exodus about Moses wanting to know who he should tell the slaves in Egypt that God was. At the foot of Sinai, God continued to teach them about being faithful to the covenant he had made with Israel which began with the covenant stipulation that Israel could only have one God, Yahweh. No other gods were permitted. The result of worshiping other gods would have serious consequences on them. The result of looking back to Egypt and their former gods would have serious result in the community. In light of this small historical backdrop, it is not surprising that we have several stories about the result of disobeying God of which Lot’s wife is one.
The story does not center around the substance into which she was turned, salt. However, in a land which was close to the Great Salt Sea in which nothing was able to live, one might be inclined to observe that to be turned into salt was a picture of how drastic it is to disobey God.
The children of Israel who were on their journey needed to know and understand how important it was to obey God. Some of them learned this and made it to the land God had promised their forefathers. Others died in the wilderness for their disobedience.
One might ask from this story what the result might be in our lives for disobedience to the direction of God.