Ezekiel 16:49-50 “Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; 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 fit.”
There is a common belief that God judged the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their homosexuality. If your not completely familiar with this story, there is plenty of reason for this point of view.
During the days of Abraham, the Lord brought judgement upon these cities “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave.” The reasons for God’s judgement seems justified, the angels of the Lord entered the city, came to a house owned by Abraham’s nephew Lot, then the people of the city came to the door to have their way with them.
The spectacle displayed by the people of Sodom and Gomorrah was shocking, not just because they couldn’t resist the temptation to molest two men but also for trying to attack God’s angels. We can read the testimony of the fury of God being poured out upon these cities, and after a quick observation draw a quick conclusion as to why; but there are more questions.
I wonder, who is crying out against these cities and why did they stand out more than others?
When God sent the angels, the people hadn’t yet attacked them. The judgement of God was already in action, after Abraham tried to reconcile with God over the righteous, the final conclusion was for Lot and his family to flee the city for destruction was coming.
Ezekiel was familiar with this story and seemed to understand the reasons for God’s judgement. I wonder if we compare the sins of Sodom, how America compares today?
Luke 17:29 “It was the same in the days of Lot: People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all”
Pride is a cornerstone of American society. The exaltation of self is a front for idolatry. The pride in our heritage, the pride in our flag, the pride in our power, influence, and money seems to be a resounding theme throughout history. The sin of pride is prevalent throughout the earth, mankind has no shortage for reasons to exalt himself, it just seems some people are better at it than others—of course, that could be construed as pride as well.
Fullness of Food
Isaiah 5:11-12 “Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them! They have lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts, but they do not regard the deeds of the Lord, or see the work of his hands.”
Self indulgence is about as common in America as apple pie and baseball. Credit card debt seems to be a way of life, extravagant vacations, huge feasts, and an equal amount of waste. The homeless in America eat better than average citizens in many countries around the world and yet the insatiable desire for more presses on.
Abundance of Idleness
Proverbs 30:12 “There are those who are clean in their own eyes but are not washed of their filth.”
The laziness of mankind is a charge against the character of man. The sluggard doesn’t have a care about anyone other than himself. It’s hard for people to consider themselves lazy, the excuses fly fast when such an accusation is brought forth. How can a gluttonous nation exemplify such a trait?
Look at the volume of people subsisting on welfare and government support and you’ll see the volume of sluggards in your country. Sure, there are people who are legitimately in trouble but the level of abuse is beyond anything most people can even dream about. Negligent parents too lazy to care for their own children, casting them off into a system that is breaking at the seams. Potheads seeking help for a mental condition brought on from a longstanding use of drugs, the U.S. government is all too quick to support the problem.
In 2021 the U.S. government spent nearly $1.5 trillion dollars on welfare programs in the United States. In 2022 is is estimated a total of $165 billion will be spent on nutrition assistance for parents who can’t or won’t take care of their children. Housing assistance is projected to cost $81 billion dollars in 2022. The largest share of housing assistance spending goes to tenant-based rental assistance ($30 billion), emergency rental assistance ($13 billion) and the housing trust fund ($9 billion)
Is America guilty of idleness?—The numbers are a resounding affirmation.
The Poor and Needy
Genesis 19:28 “And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.”
You may ask, how does a country that supports so many idle people get accused of forsaking the poor and needy?
In an article last summer on CBS news, it was reported that for the first time in nearly two decades, only half of U.S. households donated to a charity. The findings confirm a trend worrying experts: Donations to charitable causes are reaching record highs, but the giving is done by a smaller and smaller slice of the total American population.
Experts say many factors are contributing to the decline. The percentage of Americans who give to religious causes has decreased in tandem with attendance at worship services as the number of Americans not affiliated with any religion grows.
The same people who want more handouts are the same people giving less to others, giving up on their faith, and rejecting a judeo-christian viewpoint. How can Sodom and Gomorrah be judged and yet America still remains?—I believe the answer will soon be revealed.
Revelation 16:19 “The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.”
I can’t think of a more haughty nation than the United States. I imagine some of my countrymen will be frustrated with my indictment against our country but the proof is in the pudding, and this melting pot of people have made their haughtiness known throughout the world.
There is a term called American Imperialism, it consists of policies aimed at extending the political, economic and cultural influence of the United States over areas beyond its boundaries.
Many would argue that this imperialism has done more to create enemies of the United States and harm it’s standing in the world than help it. Traditionally there are three factor that fueled this descent.
- Economic competition among industrial nations.
- Political and military competition, including the creation of a strong naval force.
- A belief in the racial and cultural superiority of people of Anglo-Saxon descent.
These factors have morphed into a heightened need to protect oil rights, subject lesser nations like an international police force, and propping up countries through use of financial subsidies or ruining others through sanctions. America has been swinging it’s might without discretion for decades and the result is a mounting force against her.
Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”
A reasonable description of an abomination is that which is especially deplorable, repugnant, sinful, corrupt, or depraved. Certainly, the Bible makes it very clear that homosexuality is sinful before God, what we often fail to include are all the other abominations God includes in His judgement.
*Lying, cross-dressing, justifying the wicked, condemning the righteous, turning away from God’s law, the prayers of the rebellious, the arrogant, unequal weights, crooked hearts, prostitution, defiling God’s temple, a wicked sacrifice, vain offerings, vain incense, religious festivals, murder, sowers of discord, idolatry, wickedness, the scoffer, the unjust, and false testimony.
All of these attributes are considered abominations in God’s eyes and yet we are quick to isolate homosexuality as the primary example for this judgement. It’s no wonder so many people look at christians as people of hatred rather than as people of love, isolating one subset of a population while diminishing the sin of another places them in a position of God’s judgement—a position they have not been given.
Judgement or Mercy?
When the Lord looked down upon the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, the corruption of those cities would have infected a people that was yet to be. When Abraham was led into the land, the Lord began the process of cleansing the land of sin. Roughly 430 years after God promised to bless Abraham’s seed, the Lord led the children of Israel into the promised land.
The Lord is preparing the land once again.
Matthew 10:14-15 “And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.”
The Lord is calling a people to Himself today, a people after His own heart. He desires mercy and is saddened by the destructive rebellion of sinful people. For one to be found worthy, they need only to receive the sacrificial Lamb of God as their substitutionary sacrifice. Jesus became the final sacrifice for sin.
For those who reject God’s great gift–the consequences will make Sodom and Gomorrah look merciful. The sins of Sodom were a giving over to sensuality and every desire of the flesh, the sins of those who reject the Son of God is a rejection of the measure of God’s love….this has become a much greater grievance against God and incurs a much greater judgment.
The decision to follow Jesus or reject Him is no small matter. Likewise, the call to share the gospel is equally important.
As believers in Christ, we must get the message out, how people decide is up to them, they must deal with the those consequences. Being found faithful until the final journey home is the greatest measure of a life well lived.