Beckett: Pastor’s Thoughts – Sodom & Gomorrah: A Warning for All Nations (Genesis 19:13)

Whenever LGBT sins are brought up, one of the Scriptures that always seems to combat these sins is the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah, but here’s the thing: Scripture makes no mention of homosexuality as the reason for the cities’ destruction. When the two angels disguised as men visited Lot, it is true that some men of Sodom surrounded Lot’s house and demanded, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them” (Genesis 19:5). It is also true that to “know” someone is a common Hebrew idiom for sexual intercourse, such as when “Adam knew Eve his wife” (4:1).

Yet there’s nothing in the context that clearly indicates this is the same Hebrew idiom. We know that’s what the idiom means in Genesis 4:1, for example, because immediately following it is, “and she conceived and bore Cain.” Now, it’s true that Lot offers his virgin daughters to satisfy these men so that the two “men” with him would not be harmed (v. 8), but I’m not convinced this suggests the men were desiring the two strangers to lay with them, even though they refused the women (v. 9). It’s possible these men were desiring the two strangers for sexual reasons, but I don’t think it’s clearly indicated in the text; it is far more likely that these men simply wanted to know who these men were, since they were strangers in the city. Even if the intent of these men were to commit homosexual acts, these are only a handful of men, not the entire city. Neither does the Scripture use these men as the paradigm for both wicked cities.

Whatever’s going on here, the reason for Sodom & Gomorrah’s destruction is not the sexual perversions we often place upon them. The two angels disguised as men give the reason themselves, “For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it” (19:13). The reason for Sodom & Gomorrah’s destruction was not for the sexual perversions that may or may not have been present in the city, but because people have been crying out against the city and the Lord has heard their cries.

Therefore, Sodom & Gomorrah stand as a warning not for countries that allow sexual perversions like those within LGBT to reign freely (although God will certainly judge them for this), but rather, Sodom & Gomorrah stand as a warning for countries that are receiving outcries against it. I believe history attests to this fact.

Consider any evil nation or empire that has existed in history and been wiped out:

  • The fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (ca. 615-609 B.C.), who boasted about gouging out eyes, burning children, and hanging heads on trees in their conquests.
  • The Fall of the Roman Empire (AD 476).
  • The fall of the ancient Egyptian Empire (629-639).
  • The fall of the Viking Empire (ca. 1066).
  • The Mongol Empire started by Genghis Khan came to an end (1206-1405).
  • The fall of the Confederate States of America (1865) who were infamous for their brutal enslaving, beating, and raping of millions of African Americans.
  • The Commanche Empire infamous for slaughtering children in their brutal raids came to an end (1868-1881).
  • The fall of the Ottoman Empire (1922) that committed genocide against 3.5 million Greek Christians.
  • The fall of Nazi Germany on May 23, 1945 (the final dissolution).
  • The fall of Imperial Japan (September 2, 1945) who tortured, starved, and enslaved civilians and prisoners of war during WWII. Estimates range between 3 to 14 million people.
  • The fall of the Soviet Union (1991) under Stalin’s regime that killed over 7 million people.
  • The fall of the Portuguese Empire (1999) that has a long history of being a major contributor to the African slave trade, as well as oppressing their own inhabitants and raiding African villages.

This list is not extensive. There are others I left out, such as several Chinese regimes (e.g., Mao Zedong’s China); and there are even some evil nations/empires that still persist, such as North Korea.

My point in listing all these is to point out the simple fact that no evil nation/empire/regime exists forever. No doubt there were many cries against these nations, and they all came to an end. I think we would be remiss not to credit their destruction to the Lord, since He is sovereign and exercises His judgement via human government (for it was other nations that brought these wicked nations to an end).

Thus, let Sodom & Gomorrah—and all the other evil nations and empires afterward—stand as a warning for today’s nations that receive outcries against them. Not even America is immune from such evil. As the list shows, we had such an evil empire called the Confederate States, and it collapsed. Let these nations and empires be a lesson for us. And let these examples also be a hope for those who are oppressed, especially when they concern God’s own people. For evil never has the final say. Even though it may persist like a giant zit on the face of the earth, God will see it be popped from existence, that His people may dwell securely in Him.

Bibliography

Featured Image: Sodom and Gomorrah Afire by Jacob de Wet II (1680). Wikipedia Commons/Public Domain.

1 thought on “Beckett: Pastor’s Thoughts – Sodom & Gomorrah: A Warning for All Nations (Genesis 19:13)

  1. Your post today brings to mind for me one of the purposes of Scripture: that we would heed the lessons of the past, and remember the judgments that fell even on God’s people.

    In the his first epistle to the Corinthians, Paul writes:

    For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

    Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

    These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

    Liked by 1 person

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