The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.
Years ago, in my former church, I preached through the book of Genesis, and I came to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. One of the applications I was going to make was that as Christians, we cannot afford to condone behavior that God has condemned; we have to take a stand. A few days before I was to preach that message, a church member said, “Pastor, I was in our local library, and I noticed in the children’s section two picture books that were both pro-homosexuality.” The member gave me the books and said, “You decide what to do with them.”
It occurred to me that if I did nothing, I was a hypocrite. So I called the library and asked if they would remove the books. They said no. That Sunday morning, I brought the books into the pulpit. Looking into the television camera lens, I addressed the city council and said, “I know this puts you in a dilemma as to what to do about these books, so I’m going to make it easy on you. I’m going to keep the books myself.” And I paid the library for the books.
You cannot imagine the firestorm that set off in our city. PBS even sent a crew to film a documentary on the controversy. But our church stood firm. Somebody asked me later, “If you could do it over again, would you take a stand knowing the controversy that it caused?” I answered, “Yes. But I would make it very clear that, yes, this passage is one of the clearest expressions anywhere of God’s attitude about homosexuality; nevertheless, homosexuality is just a manifestation of an even deeper problem, and that is rebellion against God.”
That is what the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is all about. In Genesis 18:20, God said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.” There are some sins that are so grievous before God, they cry out to Him for judgment. What were the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah that demanded God’s judgment? The Bible mentions several: greed, lawlessness, failure to help the poor, and sexual perversion.
Look at verse 21: God said, “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” He knew what was going on. But God does not act without cause; He was getting the evidence to see if judgment was warranted, to see if they had sinned “entirely.” That word “entirely” carries a sense of completeness–that their sin was full and running over, demanding God’s judgment. God is patient, He is kind, He is forgiving, but He is also just. And there is a time when God says, “Enough!”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “When God Says, “Enough!”” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org