Eternity Daily Bible Study

The Life Of Abraham


Number:566

Verses: Genesis 19:1-11

Topic: The Sin of Sodom

Date: 1st February 2006

 

Genesis 19:1-11 HCSB The two angels entered Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting at Sodom's gate. When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them. He bowed with his face to the ground (2) and said, "My lords, turn aside to your servant's house, wash your feet, and spend the night. Then you can get up early and go on your way." "No," they said. "We would rather spend the night in the square."  (3)  But he urged them so strongly that they followed him and went into his house. He prepared a feast and baked unleavened bread for them, and they ate.  (4)  Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, the whole population, surrounded the house.  (5)  They called out to Lot and said, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!"  (6)  Lot went out to them at the entrance and shut the door behind him.  (7)  He said, "Don't do this evil, my brothers.  (8)  Look, I've got two daughters who haven't had sexual relations with a man. I'll bring them out to you, and you can do whatever you want to them. However, don't do anything to these men, because they have come under the protection of my roof."  (9)  "Get out of the way!" they said, adding, "This one came here as a foreigner, but he's acting like a judge! Now we'll do more harm to you than to them." They put pressure on Lot and came up to break down the door.  (10)  But the angels reached out, brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.  (11)  They struck the men who were at the door of the house, both young and old, with a blinding light so that they were unable to find the door.

 

Sodom is a picture of a society that was completely depraved with “the whole population” involved in perversion: “the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, the whole population, surrounded the house.” There are two perspectives here – Lot saw the angels as vulnerable people in danger and treated them with respect, honor and protection. The citizens of Sodom saw them merely as potential sex objects – possibly because the angels were unusually physically attractive in some way.

 

This is the difference between (what Martin Buber calls) an I-Thou relationship (typified by Lot who sees common humanity) and an I-It relationship that sees people as objects to be used for various purposes. Christianity is always about covenants, fellowship, justice, love and common humanity and thus focuses on I-Thou relationships. When we turn a person into an object, a customer or even a “prospective convert” we have violated the basic tenet of how God wants us to treat people! Yes, we must engage in evangelism – but out of love, treating people with all dignity!

 

The rapacious sexual appetite of Sodom was for male-to-male group sex and homosexual rape. The Scriptures make quite clear that they were judged not for lack of hospitality but for immorality. The people of Sodom had “abandoned that which is natural” (Romans 1:18-23) and gone “after other flesh” (Jude 1:7) and engaged in immoral acts (2 Peter 2:6,7).

 

Jude 1:7 MKJV as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, in like manner to these, committing fornication, and going away after other flesh, laid down an example before-times, undergoing vengeance of everlasting fire.

 

2 Peter 2:6-7 HCSB and if He reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes and condemned them to ruin, making them an example to those who were going to be ungodly; (7) and if He rescued righteous Lot, distressed by the unrestrained behavior of the immoral

 

The problem was widespread aggressive homosexual promiscuity. I am fully aware that is not a “politically correct” statement but it is none the less the testimony of Scripture. For more on what the Bible says about homosexuality go to: https://aibi.gospelcom.net/articles/homos.htm

 

The men of Sodom were not interested in Lot's daughters but only in the men (Genesis 19:8,9) and the reaction of the homosexual community to Lot's please was to call Lot “judgmental” (Genesis 19:9).

 

Lot was clearly confused in his actions and should have stayed inside. Like many well-intentioned people Lot tried to reason with pure evil - and found it unreasonable.

 

The men of Sodom persisted in evil even after being struck blind by the angels “so they wearied themselves trying to find the door”. There was not a shred of repentance or remorse. There is no pleading to have their sight restored, just an unwavering lustful ambition. The physical blindness simply reflected a much deeper spiritual and moral blindness that had overtaken that community.

 

The sin of Sodom was systemic and city-wide. It was not just individuals but a whole spiritual and cultural ethos. God judged the city because the whole city was rotten to the core. God does not just judge individuals but also often judges whole communities who have entered into negative spiritual realities of sin, injustice and unbelief. For more on this see the following articles:

 

https://aibi.gospelcom.net/urban/cities.htm

https://aibi.gospelcom.net/urban/citytheol.htm

 

This even applies in the New Testament:
Matthew 11:20-24 ISV  Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had taken place, because they didn't repent.  (21)  "How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible it will be for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that happened in you had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.  (22)  Indeed I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you!  (23)  And you, Capernaum! You won't be lifted up to heaven, will you? You'll go down to Hell! For if the miracles that happened in you had taken place in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.  (24)  Indeed I tell you, it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you!"

 

Thus we see that entire unbelieving communities enmeshed in sexual immorality are in fact in danger of divine judgment. A fairly modern example of this may be the Jamaican city of Port Royal which was a center for piracy and “the richest and wickedest city in the world” before a massive earthquake which caused the city to slide into the sea. Attempts to rebuild it have met with numerous disasters. For more on how violent sin seems to have cursed this city see the following Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Royal

 

The whole idea of judgment for immorality, and the pouring out of God's wrath on entire cities may seem antiquated and rather “fundamentalist” but it follows the spiritual principle that nature and history follows after spirituality and it works both ways -  Isaiah makes clear that when Israel returns to God, the desert blossoms and the political and social realm is at peace. When they are engaged in wickedness even the animals and plants “languish” and chaos reigns in the social and political realms. God's word created the world and sustains it and the spiritual world undergirds the material world. So when God is appalled at human behavior then it makes sense that the very spiritual fabric of that place will be altered and the physical and political realms will be thrown into chaos. When the very deepest parts of God's order are twisted and turned upside down then judgment will occur and an end will be made to that part of Creation.

 

We are entering an age when, following Nietzsche, many are declaring the “death of God' and of the concept of “good and evil” saying that we are beyond such concepts as “absolute Truth, good, evil and bourgeoisie morality”. To such people God's wrath is a joke or an offensive idea and they say the words of the Sodomites: "Get out of the way!" they said, adding, "This one came here as a foreigner, but he's acting like a judge! Now we'll do more harm to you than to them."

 

Blessings,

 

John Edmiston (johned@aibi.ph)

 

 

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