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The Sins of Sodom

Was gross immorality and perversion the sin of the people of Sodom?  Was this the real reason GOD destroyed this city, along with Gomorrah and some of the neighboring areas?  Was there more involved that finally resulted in GOD raining down the fire and brimstone on the cities of the plain?  What were the sins of Sodom?  Did the attitudes of the people somehow sanction the immorality?  What does scripture say about the nature of the sin of Sodom? 

One thing is certain.GOD was grieved by the sin, whatever it was. 

And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; Genesis 18:20

Another thing is sure.Sodom was more or less vaporized.

Scripture indicates that the lives of these people that lived in Sodom were to be an example to anyone who chose to live in an ungodly manner. 

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 2 Peter 2:1-9

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.  Jude 7

If GOD declares that the sins of Sodom are to be an example, the logical and most judicious thing we can do learn everything we can from that example.  Many are astonished when realizing what the sins of Sodom encompass.  The Bible, however, is explicitly clear in describing the sins of Sodom.

And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.  Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways.  As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.  Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.  And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.  Ezekiel 16:46-50

In the passage above the LORD informed the people of Judah that they are sisters to Sodom!  In fact He proclaimed that the people of Judah were even more corrupt than the people of Sodom.  It would be sobering to hear from GOD almighty that you were worse than a city of people that he had erased from the face of the earth for their sin. 

The people of Sodom were characterized by five dire shortcomings that grieved the LORD.  Immorality certainly was part of the life-style, but the scripture lists failings that GOD regarded as far more indicative of the true character of these people.  We are encouraged to take warning. As it was in the days of Noah and Lot so it will be in the days of the Son of man.  Are we guilty of some of the same things?  The people of Judah were! 

The first sin enumerated is pride or arrogance , which is to assume yourself to be above others, superior to or better than anyone else. When a person considers himself as better than others he will naturally begin to look down upon them. They can and will become a source of annoyance. Expectations will never be met. No one else is ever good enough, intelligent enough, capable enough, or even righteous enough.

This kind of pride and arrogance will always eventually lead to oppression of those whom you look down on. Oppression resulting from pride and arrogance has been a characteristic seen in most of human history.  The fact that some think they are better than others has led to countless years of slavery and other abuses.. even in the United States.  We see it in the news most every day.  Countless times in history has one people arrogantly decided to purge the earth of the presence of another group deemed not as worthy.   Such manifested arrogance is a disgrace .

According to the familiar account of Lot in Sodom, in Genesis chapter 19, the people of Sodom exemplified the spiteful attitude of regarding themselves as superior to everyone else. This is clearly seen in their attitude toward the strangers that came in among them.

And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.  Genesis 19:9

The men of Sodom demanded the two angels be brought out to them so they could do as they pleased with them. They had no respect or regard for others. Why should they?  After all, they were superior to these strangers!  And these strangers looked good!  All others existed solely for their amusement and pleasure. They could be dealt with as they pleased.

Pride and arrogance are not limited to the secular world around us.  Luke gives an example of arrogance before GOD in "prayer".

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  Luke 18:10-11

This kind of arrogance in New Testament Israel is unfortunately alive and thriving in some of the church today.  We have the true knowledge.  You can only be saved in our church.  We are the favored of GOD.  We would never do the sin that they do.  They interpret scripture wrong.  Thank GOD we are not like other Christians, who probably aren't Christians at all.

Such pride and arrogance grieves LORD.

The second sin of the Sodomites, as documented in Ezekiel, is specified as fullness of bread.  There is no suggestion that it is sinful to have plenty to eat, nor is it suggesting it is sinful to be filled and not be hungry. These were people who had an abundance of the material possessions of this life, and yet they were completely unconcerned that there were those about them who had nothing. They were unwilling to share of their means with those less fortunate.

The Sodomites were a people who insisted upon indulging the appetites of the flesh. The phrase "fullness of bread" can mean a number of things. Not only does it signify an abundance of bread or food but it can also refer to a fullness of any of the necessities of life. It is an idiom, which can also mean to indulge fleshly appetites or to gratify the demands of the physical body.

The sin of the people of Sodom was that they had become obsessed with gratifying the desires of the flesh, whether those desires were for food, other material possessions, or various forms of immorality.  Their obsession had driven them to constantly want more than what they currently had.  What they had was never enough, even though it was sufficient to meet their needs. They wanted more !  A dissatisfaction with what is currently owned, or what is presently being done, not only leads to a desire for more, but in time a desire for something different , something brand new . This thirst for gratification eventually led them to seek something new even in forms of immorality.  Much of the country in which we live is characterized by this kind of behavior.

When the men of Sodom heard that two new men were in town, all the men of the city, both young and old, from every quarter of the city, surrounded the house of Lot.  It is possible Lot's own sons and son-in-laws were part of this group. Here was something new with which to indulge the flesh. They didn't want the daughters of Lot; this was nothing new and exciting to their tastes. But something different got their attention. New "flesh" had arrived and everyone turned out. The Sodomites had such an abundance, or fullness of bread, that they had become perverse in their desires. 

We can be delivered from this sin if we choose, but the ungodly risk GOD's judgment.

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 2 Peter 2:9-10

Such fleshly indulgence grieves LORD.

The third sin of Sodom goes hand-in-hand with indulging the flesh. A wanton well-being was evident and is described in scripture as an abundance of idleness.  The thought here is to flourish or prosper in great luxury. The Sodomites had become a society of people who had everything! They were like the rich man, in The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus , who fared sumptuously every day (see Luke 16:19). Too many who prosper materially soon become impoverished spiritually . When caught up in the pursuit of the material world, whether in business, money, power, pleasure, fame, or whatever, a person begins to wither and die inside. Timothy relates this fact in the New Testament with an example of widows who live this way.

But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 1Timothy 5:6

Daniel informs us it blinds one to the danger which is all around (see Daniel 11:21); one can't even see the approaching destruction. Those who live a life of ease become scoffers and contemptuous of others who have less than they (see Psalm 123:4). They become hostile toward their brethren, spouses and children (see Deuteronomy 28:54). It destroys relationships, and it will ultimately become a cause of their own destruction.

Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. James 5:5

In our country prosperity has brought an abundance of idle time.  Our fathers and grandfathers worked many more hours and many more years than most of us do today.  With the idle time at a premium, it is easy to slip into different forms of indulging the flesh.  Where does Satan tempt us?  He knows we are susceptible to sin regarding the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life.  Things have not changed much.  From Satan's perspective, it worked well Sodom, and it is working just as efficiently today.  Excess free time, without consideration of GOD, it seems is just not that good for us.

Such wanton well being grieves LORD.

The fourth sin of Sodom listed in Ezekiel is the sin of unconcern and neglect, or in other words, the sin of apathy .

Evidently, all about them people were hurting and in need, and they didn't care! They felt nothing for others because they were consumed with self . In spite of the great potential for good that was theirs because of their abundance, they did not strengthen the hand of poor and needy. The Sodomites were so intent upon grabbing up everything they could for themselves that their hands were not free to reach out to others.

Throughout the New Testament we are encouraged to help and support the poor, needy and weak among us.  The apostle John wrote the following, with regard to the needy:

But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  1 John 3:17

The Rich Man in Luke 16 had Lazarus begging at his gate for crumbs from the table, but instead of reaching out a hand to help, the Rich Man let him die on his doorstep.

Paul, in the Book of Acts, encourages us to help the weak and remember what our Savior taught us about giving to others.

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

Paul further commands the rich, which includes most reading this now, to distribute as required to the needy.

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 1Timothy 6:17-18

In the Book of Ephesians, Paul also urges us to forsake sin and share with others.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Ephesians 4:28

The people of Sodom were not interested in the poor or needy.  It has been said that the true character of a man is seen in how he treats those who cant hurt him. or can't help him.  The poor and needy can't hurt or help anyone.  Poor people are those that are destitute and have to resort to begging for survival.  Needy people are those who are working but need support and assistance.

Both of these groups of people are with us today.all over the world.  Scripture give us directives and principles regarding the poor and needy.  Meditate on those scriptures and see what GOD would have you, personally, carry out in this area.  The people of Sodom had no such concerns.

Such neglect of the poor and needy grieves GOD.

The fifth and last sin of Sodom mentioned in Ezekiel is a partner to the first sin of pride and arrogance. God characterizes the people of Sodom as haughty . This is the Greek word megalaucheo , which is defined as abundant and great boasting.  James reminds us that the tongue of man can boast great things.

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  James 3:5

When one is filled with arrogance and pride and feels superior to all others, boasting is never far behind. Again, the Pharisee in Luke 18 comes to mind. Right after thanking God he was not like other men, he immediately boasts, the he fasts twice a week and pay tithes of all that he earns (see Luke 18:12).

One with an arrogant attitude will always seek to draw attention to himself . Arrogance leads to boasting. In contrast, Jesus taught, in His Sermon on the Mount , not to do anything in such a way as to be noticed by others.

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:1-6

Such abundant boasting grieves GOD.

The people of Sodom had been abundantly blessed, whether they knew it or not. They were prosperous, had plenty to eat, and lived well. There is nothing wrong with any of that. God desires for us to have the abundant life and to prosper. GOD's prosperity has nothing to do with pride and arrogance, fleshly indulgence, wanton well-being, neglecting of the poor and needy or abundant boasting.  That prosperity however is based on trust and obedience in HIM and His Word.this pleases HIM not grieves HIM.

The problem in Sodom was that the prosperity and the good life had become an end in itself. They couldn't see past their prosperity to the good use to which they should be putting these blessings. They had become so absorbed with themselves , and with the gratification of their every selfish desire, that any concern and compassion they should have felt for others had died within them. This lack of regard for others eventually led to acts of hostility, depravity, apathy and immorality.

God told the Jewish people prior to their fall and captivity, through His prophet Ezekiel, You are worse than Sodom! I wonder what God would say to us if He were to send a prophet our way, to the good old USA?  As He looked upon our abundance, and how we administer this trust ... as He looked on our pride and He watched us indulge our every whim to great excess. as He looked at our numerous daily opportunities to reach out a helping hand to others ... as He looked inside our hearts to see if there was any compassion left for those less fortunate ... would He say, "well done, good and faithful servant," or would He say, " thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways " ?

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Matthew 25:41-43

Sodom has been made an example to all those who would live ungodly thereafter.  As we have seen the sin of Sodom reaches farther into the depths of the soul than just the practice of immorality.  As it was in the days of Noah and Lot so it will be in the days of the Son of man.  From what we can plainly see around us it is very much like the days of Lot (in Sodom), now , here , in the twenty-first century, in the United States of America.  The days of the Son of man are upon us.Our LORD is coming some meditating on that. if you can.repent if you need to.and look up.lift up your head. for your redemption is close at hand.

Be blessed and meditate or meditate and be blessed!!!!.. the choice is yours!! 
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