Subject: The TRUTH About Sodom and Gomorrah - Part
Reference Scripture: Genesis 18:20 - 19:29
What can be said about Sodom and Gomorrah that hasn't already
been said? We know that God destroyed the two large cities.
And we know that if a loving God destroyed them, they must
have been in such a horrible spiritual state, that He could
no longer withhold justice, and He had to take judgmental
action. God HAD to destroy them. But why?
Certainly you've heard that it was because of "inhospitality
to strangers" or because of their "blatantly homosexuality".
And who knows what else is floating out there as justification
for these two cities' destruction? The purpose of TAKING A
CLOSER LOOK is to discover the truth. Why should we delve
deeper to find out something other than what we've been taught?
Because believe it or not, the knowledge of the truth about
Sodom and Gomorrah has very important spiritual applications
to ALL people. There are so many questions that are left unanswered
with the "old school" teaching of this story.
Was there ONE definitive reason, or were there many reasons?
Were they destroyed for homosexuality or inhospitality?
Was idol worship a factor?
Did the "men" of the city really want to have sex with the
And more relevant to today, if God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah
for homosexuality, will He also destroy our society?
These questions and many more plague the minds of so many
people. And since we are seeking answers about a Biblical
account, why not consult the very place where we've been taught
in error? The Bible. We must be mindful that the truth is
not in just the letter of the Word, but in the spirit of the
word. The truth about Sodom and Gomorrah can only be revealed
by careful study and the proper life application of it's spiritual
Traditionally, we have been taught that the Biblical cities
of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for "homosexuality" and
other "perverted sexual behavior". That just may have had
a part to play in the destruction of the two cities. But I
submit to you that this is not the only or premier reason
for it, if it had a part to play in it at all. Let's just
deal with the text shall we? As the story goes in Genesis
19:1-11, two angels arrived at Sodom at night, and Lot was
the one sitting at the gate of the city. He bowed before them
and asked them to stay at his house to wash their feet and
spend the night (which was common custom in those days when
dealing with strangers. It was a show of good hospitality).
When they refused, he insisted that they go to his house and
he prepared a meal for them.
Before they all tore it down for the night, all the "men"
from every part of the city came and bum rushed the house,
asking about the two. The crowd insisted that they be brought
out so that they could "know" or have sex with them. Lot goes
out and pleads with these "men" not to do this wicked thing,
and asks them to take his daughters and have their way with
them. The "men" of the city pressed their way and accused
Lot of trying to be "all that" when he was just a stranger
in their city himself. They threatened to do worse to him
than they would do to the angels if they weren't brought out
to them. It got so bad, the "men" tried to break down the
door. But luckily, the angels had Lot's back and pulled him
back inside the house and struck all SODOM AND GOMORRAH the
"men" outside with blindness so they couldn't find the door
Now this is tha deal...if you are gonna study scripture,
you need to study it in its proper context and with the right
spirit. You can't be trying to prove a point or be "theologically
correct" in a debate. You have to be searching the heart and
mind of God for the truth that He placed in His Word so you
can properly use it to help yourself, and to help others.
The Bible says, "All scripture is God breathed, and is useful
for teaching, rebuking, correction, and training in righteousness"
(II Timothy 3.16). Nowhere is "abuse" and "used for debate
and political gain" mentioned. The Word, even when used in
rebuke or discipline, is meant to edify or build people up
and not tear them down. With that being said, it is important
to realize that the Old Testament was originally written in
Aramaic or Hebrew. And the New Testament was written in Greek.
And to properly ascertain the true meaning and spirit of the
text you must go back to the original language. In doing so,
I believe God will guide you into the truth of His Word. Let
me break it down to you on tha real.
The angels came into the city and Lot was sitting at the
gate (that's what the scripture says). And when they approached
him, he bowed before them and invited them into his home thus
offering them proper hospitality (which was common in that
time period). After they all ate dinner and were about to
go to bed, the "men" from every corner of the city surrounded
Lot's house insisting that he bring the two angels out.
Now, the Hebrew word for "men" in this particular text is
"enowsh", defined "mortals (as in Adam); humanity; people;
congregation; male and female" not just "males" as with the
Hebrew word "iysh," as some would like you to believe. The
people wanted to "know" the men (or angels). Now, this is
the tricky part. The Hebrew word for "know" is "yada", meaning
to properly ascertain by seeing; observing or reflecting;
or to know by experiencing. And in this text, there is no
differentiation. The Bible, in this particular text, does
not say either/or. So one cannot logically, or correctly say
that the male population of Sodom wanted to "have sex" with
the angels as traditionally thought. We might also add that
in the Bible, the Hebrew word "yada", meaning "to know" is
used 943 times. Of those times, only 10 have a sexual connotation.
Therefore, the likelihood of it having a sexual meaning in
this text is very slim.
This is where the debate comes in. One school of thought
uses the fact that Lot offered his daughters to the crowd
and pleads with them to have their way, but not to do "this
wicked thing" to the men as proof that their intent was to
have sex. Another school says that the daughters or women
were "property" (like women were in that time), and he was
offering them as slaves to the crowd. When in all actuality,
Lot could have become wealthy by receiving "dowries (or money)"
for his daughters when their hand was asked in marriage. One
school of thought says the "men (meaning males)" of the city
were sex perverts and sought after the men with lustful intent.
Another says that the men were trying to figure out if these
"men" were spies who knew Lot, and wanted to make sure they
weren't in the city to try to take over. There are other issues
that can be introduced and addressed here. Like the fact that
when the men of the city were victorious in war or in a conquest,
they would often beat and rape the men they defeated as to
exercise ultimate dominion over them. Thus making them no
more important or valuable to society than women or "property".
This was a humiliating and emasculating experience for any
man to endure.
Let me also throw in that in that time, common practice
was to question visitors about their journey and their intent
as to determine if they were spies and if they were trying
to take the city by force. The "men" of the city were keepers
of the cities in which they lived and were responsible for
it's protection. And the arguments go on, and on, and on,
and on, and on. Nobody really cares that the Bible explicitly
SAYS why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Check this out...
Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride,
fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and
in her daughters, 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 good. (Ezekiel
Now, as I said before, sexual perversion and other behavior
may have been part of the reason Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed.
If it was, it wasn't the ONLY thing that brought on the destruction.
And if you really STUDY the Word, you will remember that God
was already gonna destroy the cities BEFORE the angels even
got there. The truth about Sodom and Gomorrah is, GOD JUDGES
SIN (anything causing spiritual separation from God)!!! God
allowed that story to be printed in the Bible to teach us
that inhospitality to our fellow man, idolatry, and violence
are sins that make Him sick, and they bring about the destruction
of ANY people. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is a warning
to all of us that how we treat others is important to God
in that He made us all, and wants us to live in harmony.