Last Sunday I shared about Lot, Abraham's nephew, and his progression toward sin as evidenced by his shift from looking toward the city of Sodom, living near the city, moving into the city and eventually being "in the gate" as a leader of the city.
Sodom, as you know, was one of most sinful cities on the planet. The descriptors of this city, as well as its sister city Gomorroah, make it clear that Sodom and those residing within the city walls, were far from God and exemplified immorality.
When referring to Sodom, the practical truth is that the city represents sin. In a symbolic way, speaking of progressing toward Sodom speaks to our (individuals and nations) progession to accepting sin and immorality as culturally normal and acceptable.
As I shared Sunday, connecting to the 1 Corinthians 6 passage dealing with sexual immorality (a broad category containing all aspects of sexual immorality such as fornication, adultery, pornography, homosexuality, premarital sex, multiple partners, etc.) Sodom was rife.
This is evidenced by the following Scripture passages . . .
But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house.
And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”
Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Uh. . .just in case you don't get it, "know them" is not referring to sitting down with the men for a cup of coffee. This is a reference to "sexually knowing them" as in homosexual sex acts. It should be noted that in today's culture, the politically correct belief system has so ingrained society that a less than conservative approach at interpreting this passage is now propagated. This is one of several passages of Scripture that have been "reinterpreted" and given new explanations. For centuries, scholars have agreed that the sinfully abominable act described here was that of proposed homosexual acts upon the visiting men (angels.)
Thus, the terms "sodomy" and "sodomite" entered into the English language as as referring to detestible sexual acts (as has been in the news recently regarding the horrendous gang rape of the young woman in India) and homosexual acts.
The reinterpretation of the sin described in this passage has been lessened to that of simply "inhospitality."
That seems to be a stretch to me.
There are some other details about the sin of Sodom that must be taken into account. In searching Scripture, it is evident that the sexually immoral acts of the citizens of Sodom led to their eventual destruction. However, their sexual sin was not the ONLY sin that led to their destruction.
Check out this passage. . .
The sins described in this passage are not nearly as offensive to most of us. Why is this? Perhaps it is easier to wave the flag of righteous indignation upon Sodom when the only sin we look at is that of a sexual nature, and of an apparent homosexual rape attempt. Yet, this listing of abominable sins that led to destruction sound more like the typical "American way" than most of us would like to admit.
- Excess of food.
- Prosperous ease.
- Not aiding the poor and needy.
Um . . . does this sound familiar?
There's one other passage. This one speaks not of the homosexuality of Sodom, but of another sexual sin, just as heinous. Oh, and this one sounds a little too much like America as well.
But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his evil; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”
Stepping toward Sodom is a subtle process. It rarely happens immediately and yet, there comes the day when we look up and ask "How did we get here?"
This is the strategy of the Enemy.
Be strong and courageous.
This battle is not lost, but we need to aware.