Article of the Month

July 2012

 

  THE SINS OF SODOM   

 

No, this little article will not be a rant about the sexual immoralities of our day.  Too often we think of Sodom only in those terms.  Indeed, the legal codes of our states nearly all have laws against what they call sodomy.  But, Biblically speaking, the degradation of Sodom was in areas which seem to hit closer to home in the everyday affairs of how we conduct our society.

Note the Word of the Lord through the prophet Ezekiel.  (Ezekiel 16:49, 50):

“Behold, this was the iniquity of … Sodom: Pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her…; 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.”

The “abomination” at the end of this list is most likely the openly immoral activities of Sodom’s society.  But it must be noticed that “abomination” is at the end of the list — a list of apparently more grievous failings.

The first offense listed is pride.  Group or national pride can truly be offensive.  A body of people which feels its superiority over others tends to be unsympathetic to the woes of others.  It tends to be unthankful because it credits its superiority to its own efforts.  It, therefore, even looks down upon the less fortunate of its own citizenry feeling (wrongly) that those less fortunate could “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps” if they really wanted to.

Unfortunately, pride has blinded them to the realization that their poor don’t even have boots, or the means to get them.

“Fullness of bread” doesn’t seem like much of a sin.  But the thought seems to be that ABUNDANCE rarely makes a people generous.  Instead, having too much which came too easily makes a people self-indulgent.  It makes a group think that, being so “well off,” it can just sit around and indulge in the excesses of laziness, indifference, and wastefulness. This thought is enforced by Ezekiel’s next phrase: “Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”  Instead of using excess for charity and generosity, Sodom over-indulged its hunger for easy luxury and a wanton life-style.  “And they were haughty” about it!  They could actually look at their excesses and brag about their own stupefying wastefulness.

The Lord then concludes, “Therefore, I took them away as I saw good.”  The “good” which God saw was long-term good.  True love, which characterizes God, does that which is for the best eternal interests of those involved.  God could have permitted Sodom to continue and to decline even more in the perversion of its character.  But God knew of His own coming Kingdom which will reform and bless the people of Sodom.  He knew that destroying them then would help them later.  As the matter of fact, Jesus points out that Sodom and Gomorrha will have an easier time of reformation in the Kingdom than will some more-informed Jewish communities.  (Matthew 10:15; 11:23, 24)  Thus God actually SPARED Sodom some future distress by shortening their existence as a society.

 

  A Recent Parallel 

 

Many of us instinctively realize that our own society tends to reflect the social sins of Sodom.  As the matter of fact, this article was inspired by a recent, very-localized news item.

A Southern Indiana family with two children experienced job loss from the current economic difficulties.  Ultimately they filed for bankruptcy and lost their house due to foreclosure.  The parents then divorced, and the mother and two children found themselves in a homeless shelter.  With help, they were finally placed in their own apartment, but the mother was still plagued with unemployment.

Depression (which would have to be the natural result of such a situation) set in.  In April, this mother shot her eight-year-old daughter in the head, and then took her own life.  Her ten-year-old son was in the next room making a tear-jerking 911 call.  It was a part of that call which made this writer tearfully furious and justly indignant.  This poor boy’s words summed up all of the arguments about political wrangling, Supreme Court deliberations, and social disputes about healthcare and strengthening “the hand of the poor and needy.”  If Sodom had no shame, must we all also follow in its footsteps?  The boy’s words as he spoke to the EMS dispatcher were these:

 

My sister has a hole in her head,

and we don’t have any money for

stitches.”

 

Read and weep!

 

  We Can’t Fix It! 

 

This article is not written with any expectations of societal reform.  Some of us may be sufficiently moved by this story to enlarge our thinking.  But we all know that the selfish interests of mankind will continue to dominate us until there is a Divine intervention.  God’s Kingdom is now, even as we read this article, in process of being established.  Only His Kingdom will be able to right the wrongs and bring a life-giving balance in the affairs of men.  We should pray all the more fervently, “Thy Kingdom come!”

God destroyed Sodom — quite literally.  All of its inhabitants (other than Lot and his children) died.  But they will come back to life and will joyfully conform to the new perfect standards.

Prophecy confirms that God is now again destroying another society —OURS!  This time, however, He does not have in mind the obliteration of all human life, but rather the total collapse of the way we do things so that we will, in desperation, turn to Him for answers and help.  Never again will we hear such pitiful words as

“My sister has a hole in her head,

and we don’t have any money for

stitches.”

 

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