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The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was that of homosexuality. Chapter 13 tells us something about the nature of the Sodomites: "But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly" (Gen 13:13). "But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: Gen 19:4-8 (KJV) The Holman Christian Standard Bible says, "Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!” (v 5) The New King James Version adds the word carnally: "Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally."
The question: the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah.. Ezekiel 16:49,50 gives a good explanation of the SINS of Sodom AND her sisters. The whole region was under judgement for the way they were living. God had been good to that area. Lot chose... "all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere" Gen 13:10. By the time we get to Genesis 19, we read of how unfaithful the area had become. "Behold this was the guilt of your sister Sodom" (Ezekiel is prophesying to Jerusalem. He calls Sodom Jerusalem's younger sister to the south, Samaria her older sister to the north): she and her DAUGHTERS had arrogance, abundance of food and careless ease (lots of leisure time), but she did not help the poor and needy. "Thus THEY were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it"(Ezekiel 16:49,50). Ezekiel is comparing Jerusalem to her younger sister, saying how much like Sodom Jerusalem is. Jerusalem has a reputation for being prideful and unfaithful, but not for homosexuality. God destroyed that whole region, not just the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, but the other smaller cities also in that valley. The angels tell Lot to take his family to the mountains because their mission was to destroy the whole valley. (But God specializes in showing mercy) Lot tells the angels 'You've shown me mercy and I've found grace in your sight, I can't escape to the mountains lest some evil take me and I die'. He asks permission to go to the small city of Zoar. The angel says 'I have accepted you concerning this thing ALSO, that I will not overthrow this city, because of what you have spoken'. Zoar was spared because of Lot. And He overthrew those cities, and all the plain...Gen 19:25. The destruction is called, "God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah." But there were more cities than that. It was the cities of the plain of Jordan. Their sin was pride that morphed into pleasure that led to all kinds of detestable living. Homosexuality is a grave sin. But, was it not being practiced in other areas of what we now call the Middle East? Lot lived in Sodom, not Zoar. But Zoar was a target also, as well as the other DAUGHTERS of Sodom. The destruction was planned before the angels were approached by the men of Sodom to gang rape them. We know that, because they told Lot they had been sent because of the sins of the city. Pride is stated twice by Ezekiel. He says they were well fed, had plenty of time to relax, and was very selfish with their abundance toward the needy. He's stating how good God had been to them. And in spite of all that, they dishonored God and themselves by committing detestable acts before the Lord. They completely forgot about God. They were an example of the consequences of unfaithfulness coupled with arrogance toward God. It was much bigger than homosexuality.
In my view, the great sin of Sodom was their rejection of the Love and Mercy of God. You see God loved the people of Sodom just as much as he loved every other human being and he gave them many opportunities to repent. God sent one of his prophets, Lot, the nephew of Abraham, to live in Sodom for over 20 years, witnessing the knowledge of God. Lot told the Sodomites the Genesis story from chapter 1:1 to chapter 17:27. Lot explained to the people how to live a God-pleasing life. Lot called the people to repentance and faith in God. Abraham knew how difficult Lot's mission was when he pleaded with the Lord [pre-incarnate Jesus] to spare the city from destruction if a few [50 down to 10] righteous people could be found there. But the great tragedy is that after all that love and mercy, only Lot and his family would be saved. The Sodomites were guilty of many sins because they were completely captivated by the power of sin to entice and enslave them. As with any sin, we are attracted by the pleasure [desire of the flesh] but it quickly loses its appeal and we hunger for more exotic things to gratify our desires. They were consumed with the addiction to the pleasures of sex. But they had tired of sex between men and women, even homosexual sex with people they knew [friends and neighbours], they hungered for the exotic pleasure of sex with strangers as gang rape. When we do a word search on "Sodom" we come up with many references. In Ezekiel chapter 16:44-51a the sins of Judah are compared with the sins of Sodom. "Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.” You are a true daughter of your mother, who despised her husband and her children; and you are a true sister of your sisters, who despised their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. Your older sister was Samaria, who lived to the north of you with her daughters; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you with her daughters, was Sodom. You not only followed their ways and copied their detestable practices, but in all your ways you soon became more depraved than they. As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done. Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. Samaria did not commit half the sins you did." God describes in Ezekiel 14:12-23 what happens when a country [or city] becomes so wicked [depraved] that God decides to execute his judgement against it. In verse 14 God says "even if these three men - Noah, Daniel and Job - were in it [this country/city] they could only save themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord". The Sodomites were arrogant, overfed & unconerned; they didn't care about the poor and needy. They were haughty [proud] and did detestable things. The sins of Judah and Samaria [all Israel] were so bad that God would have destroyed them too, if it were not for his covenant promises to Abraham, Moses and David. Our modern cities are quite similar to Sodom. People are so captivated by sin, they crave more and more exotic pleasures [LGBTQ+non-binary]. We are consumed with the pursuit of wealth, power and fame to gratify our sinful desires. We could care less about people who are struggling in life, we are selfish and proud; we only want what will satisfy our desires. God placed his church and us Christians in each city as his witnesses, just like Lot. Will we declare the knowledge of God from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21? Will we show people how to live a God-pleasing life? Will we call people to repentance and faith in God? Will Jesus find some righteous people in our cities when he returns?
Ezekiel 16:49 says " Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister, Sodom,...neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy" (KJV). Sodom’s great crime is categorized as social injustice, adding a new level of critique to the accusation of idolatry. Social justice is a prominent theme in the prophetic books (see Isa 1:17; Jer 7:6; Zech 7:10).
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