Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Sin of Sodom

"Sodom's sins were pride, gluttony and laziness while the poor and needy suffered outside her door."  Ezekiel 16:49

Well now, that was a surprise!

When I hear the name of Sodom, I think of a place of great sin, but like most people, I tend to think of the sexual sin that was so rampant in that city.  I would even venture to say that the name of Sodom elicits an association with not just sexual sin, but specifically homosexuality.

Consequently, I have always assumed that Sodom was destroyed primarily because of rampant sexual sin and depravity.  I don't think I'm alone in this misconception.  I have heard many believers teach that God poured out His wrath on Sodom because of her sexual perversion.

Ezekiel tells me otherwise.  The sexual sins of Sodom were despicable in God's eyes; I don't excuse them at all. However, what God seems to be saying here is that those sins, which we in the church consider so horrific, weren't the worst ones.

God wiped out the city of Sodom NOT because of homosexuality, but because of PRIDE, GLUTTONY, and LAZINESS WHILE THE POOR AND NEEDY SUFFERED.  

How then, does He feel when we shout our indignation over a pro-homosexual agenda in our society, but then joke and make light of our lack of control at the buffet?

When we boycott stores because of pro-gay policies, and then laugh about our minimal effort at work, school or the gym?

When we refuse to watch Ellen because of her sexual preference, and then feel smug about our moral superiority?

When we spend huge amounts of energy and effort raging about the sexual perversion of our culture, but turn a blind eye to the staggering needs of the orphaned and abandoned children in the foster care system who are just outside our doors?

We are focusing on "thou shalt nots," when He wants us to glorify Him by letting our light shine before men through our selflessness and charity.

I suspect that we would have a lot more success in cleaning up culture if we humbled ourselves and washed some feet. 

Ezekiel would suggest that in condemning the one and making light of the other, we are committing, or at least excusing, the very sins for which Sodom was obliterated by God's wrath.

Kind of makes me want to duck to avoid lightning bolts from above.

Father, protect me from the pride that would cause me to minimize sins that you find maximum.  The truth is, without Your Spirit I am very prone to every sin for which Sodom was destroyed.  Let this knowledge lead me daily to the cross, overwhelmed by the mercy You have shown me and the power Your Spirit gives me to have victory over them.  I know I cannot have victory over sins I don't recognize, so thank You, Lord, for Your Word, which shows me Your heart.  Shift my desires from fleshly appetites to a hunger for Your presence.  Let me never be comfortable being full while others are hungry, either for food or for the Bread of Life.  Amen


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