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can you see Sodom?

May.29.2009

I was struck with an interesting fact that I had always been blind to before today.  This question arose while I was reading a book – Why was Sodom destroyed?  I thought it was for a singular reason that I had unconsciously picked up somewhere along my years of growing up in the church – because it was full of homosexuals.

After being challenged on this by my book, I decided to read for myself everywhere in the Bible where it talks about Sodom.

  • When Sodom is described in Genesis, the people are described as “great, wicked sinners against the Lord” – not very specific in what their sin was.  It does say, however, that when the two men (angels) were staying the night with Lot (the one righteous man in the city), all of the men, young and old, came to his door because they wanted Lot to bring them out so they ‘may know them’.  This is very strange to me, considering every man in the city came out to well, basically rape them.  Why did they want to do this? To harm them? To shame them?  This is really the only place I have found to hint at this being a possible explanation for their gaining the reputation of ‘great, wicked sinners’.
  • Isaiah 3:9 shed a little light on the arrogance of the kingdom of Sodom – he’s talking about Jerusalem and Judah: saying their speech and deeds are against the Lord, and the proclaim their sin like Sodom, they do not hide it.  It’s not just them sinning and acting wickedly, it’s them being proud of it and reveling in it, proclaiming it to the peoples around them (instead of the greatness of the Lord) with their words and lives.
  • In 2 Peter and Jude it describes Sodom as having ‘sensual conduct’, ‘sexual immorality’, and ‘unnatural desire’ – this is not pointing to a specific way they sinned but rather defilement of their own bodies (which were created by and for Their Creator).
  • Now check out Ezekiel 16.  Here, we get the smudges on the glass of this story cleaned off a bit.  It states “Behold, this was the guilt of you sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not help the poor and needy.”

pride…

excess of food…

prosperous ease…

Sound familiar?  Do we, as a church, on a regular basis, help the poor and needy?  Do I, as a daughter of the Most-High-God, live in prosperous ease with excess of food and not help the poor and needy?  I am guilty of the same sins that Sodom was completely obliterated (with molten fire pouring out of the skies) for committing.  Let us continually strive to live as Jesus really lived, not picking and choosing the parts of his life we think are better or easier.  Let us be known as a servant and lover of our Abba – the God who Creates and Redeems.  Let us learn from the Church of Acts – where there was no needy person among them.  Let us not store up for ourselves treasures on Earth – where moth and rust destroy and thieves break-in and steal – but let us instead store up for ourselves treasures in Heaven – where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal.  For we know this: where our treasure resides, there our heart will be also.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May.30.2009 1:25am

    Excellent post. The easy answer is to say Sodom was about homosexuality, thus excusing me (and a majority of people). Sounds fishy. The hard answer is to say Sodom was destroyed for things that affect us all. I think that lesson can easily be extrapolated to other parts of the faith.

  2. July.6.2009 2:18pm

    Good word. Keep wrestling with the big ideas…you’ll walk away with a limp, and joy.

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