As I am on a role on this other website Forum, I will share my thoughts here as well on another topic that came up. During the debate that I shared in my last blog entry, an individual brought up Sodom and Gomorrah. He stated that “God didn’t wipe out Sodom and Gomorrah for no reason.” He was referring to God destroying Sodom and Gomorrah because he believes it was due to them engaging in Homosexual acts. To few this discussion in it’s entirety, click here. (Note: I have added more content to this blog entry then I had on the forum) The story of Sodom and Gomorrah can be found in Genesis Ch. 18 – 19.
The story of Sodom begins with God and Abraham walking toward the city and God speaks to Abraham:
Then the LORD said: “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin is so grave, that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out”. (Genesis 18:20-21)
God and Abraham continue walking towards Sodom.
Then Abraham drew nearer to Him and said: “Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty? Suppose there were fifty people in the city; would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to make the innocent die with the guilty, so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike! Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?” The LORD replied, “If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” (Genesis 18:23-26)
Abraham then continues to ask God to spare the city if He finds 45 innocent people, then 40 innocent people, all the way down to asking God to spare the city if He finds 10 innocent people living in Sodom. After this conversation, the LORD departs and Abraham heads home.
The story then picks up with two angels headed to the city of Sodom. The two angels met Lot, whom is sitting outside the city gates. Lot greets the angels and urges them to stay with him tonight. The angels at first refuse, saying they are headed to the town’s square. Lot doesn’t give up and the angels agree to stay with him for the night. Lot also prepares a meal for the angel.
Before they went to bed, all the townsmen of Sodom, both young and old – all the people to the last man – closed in on the house. They called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to your house tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have intimacies with them.”
Lot went out to meet these town folks and pleaded with them to not do this “wicked thing” (Genesis 19:7). He offers his daughters to the town folks in place of doing the “wicked things” they wanted to do to these angels. Lots said:
I have two daughters who have never had intercourse with men. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you please. But don’t do anything to these men, for you know they have come under the shelter of my roof. (Genesis 19:8)
The town folks were not interested in his daughters, they replied
“Stand back! This fellow,” they sneered, “came here as as an immigrant, and now he dares to give orders! We’ll treat you worse than them!” With that, they pressed hard against Lot, moving in closer to break down the door. But his guest put out their hands, pulled Lot inside with them, and closed the door; at the same time they struck the men at the entrance of the house, one and all, with such a blinding light that they were utterly unable to reach the doorway. (Genesis 19:9-11)
The angels tell Lot to gather up all that belongs to him (sons, daughters, wife) and take them away from Sodom because they are about to destroy this place. The next day, the angels make sure Lot and his family members willing to leave are on their way. As Lot arrived in Zoar,
“the LORD rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.” (Genius 19:24-26).
Now that we know what the story of Sodom is, I think it’s important to view other parts of the Bible to understand what the real sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were. The story states that God was upset with these cities because they committed sins so grave that the outcries reached him in volumes he couldn’t ignore. But he doesn’t tell Abraham what it is these cities are doing that upset Him to the point where He had to come down from Heaven to investigate. We also don’t know who is crying out to the Lord of the wrong occurring in these cities. We can assume they are not any of the individuals living in these cities because Abraham asked the Lord to spare the cities if he found innocent people living there. God must not have found any, seeing He destroyed the cities and all you dwelt in them.
When the angels arrive at Sodom, Lot stopped them before they enter the city. Why is Lot so set on them not going into the city. Why is Lot living outside of the city? Is it because the town folks do not allow outsiders to dwell within the city walls? Lot was an immigrant, not an individual whom was born in the city of Sodom.
Wouldn’t we also consider it wrong to knock on someone’s door and demand to engage in sexual acts with anyone in that household? I don’t think it matters if the angels this group of men were looking to have “intimacies with” were male or female. If these angels were not able to defend themselves like they did, would they not have been rape? The men of this town wanted to abuse and humiliate the angels.
I think many people over look Ezekiel (16:49) which says:
And look at the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were proud, sated with food, complacent in their prosperity, and they gave no help to the poor and needy.
Could the sins of Sodom have been that they were too proud or that they failed to help others? Is this the reason Lot lived outside the gates, the town folks were “too proud” of themselves to allow an outsider to enter into their town? Did Lot’s know that the angels would have found no shelter or food within the town of Sodom itself because the people that lived there gave no help to the needy? The angels would have been in need of a place to rest at night and according to Ezekiel, Sodom was not the place to find someone that would offer you that. It is also interesting to note that in Genius 19:3, when Lot took the angels into his house, “He prepared a meal for them, baking cakes without leaven, and they dinned.” Did Lot also know that the people that lived in Sodom had plenty of food, but would not share it with the angels, for they would have been seen as outsiders like himself?
I would also like to draw your attention to Matthew 10:5-15:
Jesus sent out these twelve after instruction them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse leaper, drive demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for you tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words – go outside that house or town and sake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
Jesus says to the Apostles if they are not received by the town and shown hospitality, then leave that city and take nothing with you, not even the dust on your feet. The punishment of these cities would be worse then that of Sodom and Gomorrah. No where does Jesus state that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of homosexual acts. It seems to me that he is speaking of not finding a place where the Apostles would be able to obtain a place to stay, to find what we all need to survive, which is food, water, and shelter. If the Apostles were not welcomed into a city or town, they would not have had any food, water, or shelter. Besides not being able to find the basic things needed for living, would anyone in these towns even take the time to listen to what the Apostles have to say. Would any of them have changed their ways to live in accordance with God’s teachings?
So could the real teaching of why Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed be because they would have allowed others to die instead of helping them? Wouldn’t this be the worst sin anyone could commit? Allowing someone to die when you had the means to help them? Could the cries God spoke of in Genius 18:20 have been from those travelers that Sodom and Gomorrah turned away without helping them?