by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
Genesis 19:26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Luke 17:32 Remember Lot’s wife!
The modern Hebrew word for repent is ‘shoov, spelled "sheen"-"beit" ("vet", the secondary form of "beit") In ancient Hebrew script the letter "sheen" is represented by teeth and means "to destroy". The "beit" in Hebrew represents a tent or a house. So a literal reading of "sheen"-"beit" would be "to destroy the house"!
The word picture of the original Hebrew portrays the meaning of the word, which is, "to be taken captive". In the ancient world, conquerors wanted their captives to become part of their kingdoms, and this could only happen if they destroyed homes. So in horror, those who were taken captive would witness their houses being completely destroyed by the conquering kings, so they could never return. From this understanding of being taken captive we grasp the true meaning of "returning" and "repentance": you have left no house behind!
Real repentance means "no turning back" (as the song says). It means that the house you lived in before has been destroyed and you have "died" to living there. Don't look back, in futility, at what has ended forever. Live in the choice you have made to love and serve the resurrected King, Yeshua (Jesus). Remember Lot's wife. She escaped Sodom, but became a statue of salt, an eternal monument to half-hearted repentance. Don't let your only testimony be a longing for a house you can never return to.
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