In my last blog I asked the question “Why does homosexuality, then, bother the church so much more than any of this list of sins or any other number of sins that are not specifically enumerated herein? (I Corinthians 6:9 – 11) I think that another answer to that question is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis which has been the poster child story, so to speak, that proves that God hates Homosexuals.
Was Sodom and Gomorrah punished because they were homosexuals?
“But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly. Genesis 13:13
The word “wicked” here is the Hebrew word “ra`” it means bad or evil. It occurs 663 times in the old testament as is translated in those verses as follows; evil (442x), wickedness (59x), wicked (25x), mischief (21x), hurt (20x), bad (13x), trouble (10x), sore (9x), affliction (6x), ill (5x), adversity (4x), favoured (3x), harm (3x), naught (3x), noisome (2x), grievous (2x), sad (2x), misc (34x).
None of these places uses the word “ra`” to make reference to or have the connotation of homosexuality. Of course you could argue that homosexuality is evil or bad but the reference is not specifically there. Another thing to point out in the verse above the word “men” in this verse is the Hebrew word ‘enowsh which is the word used for human kind, the human race as a collective, not just persons of the male gender. So in this verse it is not just the males of Sodom who were wicked but the entire population.
In the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis chapters 18 – 19) we see the Lord having a conversation with Abraham in which He says, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave”. Abraham then begins a negotiation with the Lord, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city?” The Lord tells Abraham that he won’t destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if there are fifty righteous people in the city. Abraham continues to negotiate with the Lord for the lives of the people in Sodom and Gomorrah until the Lord agrees that if there are ten righteous people in the two cities God would not destroy them.
The Lord sends the two angels that were with Him down into Sodom to rescue Lot and his family prior to the pending destruction. When the two angels entered Sodom Lot met them and escorted them to his home, telling them that it was not safe to spend the night in the square. After dinner all the people, both men and women, from every part of town came to get the angels. The entire population was so totally evil that they were all in on the effort to molest the angels. The angels struck the population with blindness to keep them from accomplishing their evil mission. Even blind the people wore themselves out trying to get into the house. The next morning the angels led Lot, his wife and two daughters out of the town before the destruction came.
The wickedness of Sodom was so great and so pervasive that even Lot’s daughters, though virgins, were so infested with the evil that they tricked their father and had incestuous sexual relations with him following the destruction of Sodom. Peter described the effect of the wickedness on Lot as follows “for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds” 2 Peter 2:8
There are some other hints in scripture that tell us the whole story of Sodom and Gomorrah and why they were destroyed.
For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their actions are against the Lord, to rebel against His glorious presence. (emphasis added) The expression of their faces bears witness against them, And they display their sin like Sodom; They do not even conceal it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves. Isaiah 3:8
From this verse in Isaiah we have the example of the sin of Sodom being that they first rebelled against His glorious presence and second openly displayed their sin. There was no remorse for their wickedness; they flaunted the wickedness and their actions against the Lord. But there was never a mention of homosexuality.
“Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; and they strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah.” Jeremiah 23:14
The prophets of Jerusalem were so wicked committing adultery and walking in falsehood that the Lord said they had become to Him like Sodom.
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Ezekiel 16:49-50
THIS WAS the guilt of Sodom, she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease but did not help the poor and needy they were haughty and committed abominations. The abominations listed in the Mosaic Law included homosexuality, bestiality, offering your children as a human sacrifice to Molech and incest to name a few. (Leviticus 18:19 – 27) This verse for me really brings the matter into focus. Sodom’s sin was pure unbridled, selfishness. They did what they felt like doing with no regard for God or their fellow man. They were selfish, totally depraved and just pure evil.
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into Tartarus and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;…and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, reviling where they have no knowledge … They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; II Peter 2:4 – 14 (*portions)
In this passage in 2 Peter, the same words are used to describe the wicked angels and the people destroyed in Noah’s flood as are used to describe Sodom and Gomorrah.
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because they, like the people of Noah’s time, were totally debased in sin. They were utterly selfish and self-consumed. They did what they wanted when they wanted with no regard for God or man. They did not recognize any authority or moral code either human or divine. There was no end to the evil in their midst homosexuality was just one of their many sins. The comparison is here and could even be made that Sodom’s sin had as much to do with cavorting with fallen angels as it did with homosexuality. In fact, the visitors that the people of Sodom wanted to have sexual relations with were angels. (Also referred to in Jude 1:6 – 7).
If a society steeped in homosexuality is the ultimate evil that brings the judgment of God why wasn’t ancient Sparta destroyed? Why wasn’t Rome in Jesus Day destroyed? I believe that the judgment fell on Sodom and Gomorrah because of just what the Lord told Abraham. There were not even ten righteous people there. Yes there was homosexuality there but there was also adultery, selfishness, greed, murder, incest, and unnumbered abominations, possible interactions with fallen angels, pure evil in every shape and form, and an absolute disregard for God.
If God chooses to rain down fire and brimstone on the Untied State of America I believe it will have as much to do with heterosexuals who live their lives in disregard for the presence of God as it has to do with 3% of the population being LGBT.
Something to think about
Grace and Peace
*I do not believe that the extracted portions of these scriptures do any harm to the meaning of the text, but are done merely to shorten the passage. Please read the entire passage for yourselves.