Abraham was visited by God and told how the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were to be destroyed. Famously the man of faith inquired of the Judge of all the earth who would do right (Gen 18:25): “Would you destroy the righteous along with the wicked?” And God’s answer was a certain “No.”
Then Abraham began to question how many righteous God would have to find in the cities in order to spare them. He began with 50 (Gen 18:24) and took it all the way down to 10 (v 32). God’s answer was still the same, I will not destroy it for the sake of ten. Then the Lord left and the accompanying angels went to Sodom.
The angels in Sodom instructed Lot to go to his family members in the city and take them out of Sodom before God’s destruction came. Lot knew exactly how many members he had to his family. Verse 14 says Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters … but to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. The plural means that Lot had a minimum of 2 sons-in-law. These sons-in-law and wives would have been in addition to Lot, Lot’s wife, and Lot’s 2 virgin daughters still living at home. If there were a total of 3 sons-in-law and 5 daughters, Lot’s family would have numbered as 10.
When the morning came, the Bible says the angels urged Lot to hurry … but while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him outside the city (Gen 19:16, 17). Neither Lot nor his wife and 2 virgin daughters were eager to leave Sodom. The angels had to drag them from their home. Why did God use such force to remove the family? He had mercy on righteous Lot.
Then Lot’s wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt (Gen 19:26). What did she look back at? What did she have a hard time leaving behind? Her daughters? Friends? House? Job? Possessions?
Mrs Lot looked backward in regret at what she was leaving behind rather than looking forward to what God was doing. Instead of rejoicing in gaining God’s mercy, she mourned what she was losing. Regret is that emotion which brings us down as we look backward and question rather than press forward in thankfulness and faith.