The Man of Faith

The Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 15)

Abraham Study Guide (Week 5)

SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION

And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.  (Genesis 15:6)

But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:23-25)

OPENING THOUGHT

We continue to see the man of faith, Abram, grow in his walk with the LORD. Starting out as a worshipper of false gods who was probably considered cursed, Abram trusted God by going wherever He told him to go. Even though we saw Abram show a lack of faith by selling his wife to Pharaoh to save himself, God remained faithful.

Now, after the major military conflict of last week, we see a different side of Abram. He is exhausted and afraid. He’s fearful that God will not follow through with His promise of giving Abram an offspring. Though his questioning of God displays a degree of doubt or lack of faith, God does not chide Abram; instead, the LORD lovingly gives Abram a visual and physical covenant.

This covenant is today called the Abrahamic Covenant. It is one in the series of major promises and agreements that the LORD makes with His beloved people. Through the animal sacrifice, God made an official agreement with Abram, with no conditions on Abram’s part. God took full responsibility for the fulfillment of the covenant. Today, the Abrahamic Covenant reminds us of the New Covenant in Christ. Just as the covenant with Abram was sealed with a sacrifice, the New Covenant was sealed with the ultimate sacrifice, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is only because of that sacrifice that both Abram and us are now counted as righteous.

Read verse 1 and discuss the following.

  1. Following the warfare of chapter 14, Abram is weary and fearful, but God graciously responds by promising to be his shield and reward. Can you remember a time when you were exhausted and anxious? How did the LORD bring you through that time?

Read verses 2-5 and discuss the following.

  1. Abram is honest with God about his frustration of not yet having an offspring. God’s response shows that He is big enough to handle our doubts and questions. What are some doubt or questions that you have wrestled with concerning God? How has the LORD helped you with those things?

Read verse 6 and discuss the following.

  1. Abram had faith in God, and the LORD counted Abram as righteous. How is this a picture of the gospel today?

Read verses 7-11 and discuss the following.

  1. Abram wants visual proof of God’s trustworthiness, and God prepares a covenant ceremony. How is this similar to our observance of Lord’s Supper? How does it relate to the gospel?

Read verses 12-16 and discuss the following.

  1. God warns Abram that his descendants will only inherit the land after much suffering. How does God often use suffering to refine and sanctify His people? Do you have personal examples of this?

Read verses 17-21 and discuss the following.

  1. God alone completes the covenant by walking through the animals, taking the responsibility of upholding the covenant completely upon Himself (as well as the punishment if it is not upheld). How does this allude to the gospel?

ACTIONS TO CONSIDER

  • Recall Jesus’ death in your place for your breaking of God’s cov­enant. Believe and thank Him for the forgiveness of your sins, whether for the first time or thousandth time.
  • Consider any fears, worries, or doubts. Bring them honestly before God in pray, trusting that He is big enough to handle our questions and doubts.
  • Pray for brothers and sisters to have strength during times of fear, anxiety, and doubt.
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The Man of Faith

Abraham and Lot (Genesis 13)

Abraham Study Guide (Week 3)

SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION

Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen.” (Genesis 13:8)

The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.” (Genesis 13:14-15)

For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

OPENING THOUGHT

As we enter the second chapter of Abram’s story, we have already seen him show tremendous faith and a moment of faithlessness. He followed God without hesitation, leaving behind his comfort, security, and other gods. Abram trusted that the LORD would continue to bless him, just as He promised. Then we read that Abram showed a stunning lack of faith by resorting to deception in order to save himself. He traded his wife to Pharaoh rather than trust the provision of God. Abram has shown both faith and the lack thereof, while God remains continuously faithful.

Now we will read about Abram acting in faith once again. When the lack of space causes strife between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot, Abram easily could have forced his nephew to find another place to call home; however, he graciously allows Lot to have first choice of the land. Lot chooses the alluring Jordan Valley, while Abram goes into Canaan. Here, we see two drastically different behaviors between the two men. Lot acted upon his sight. He saw that the land was beautiful; therefore, he took it. Abram, however, waited upon the LORD. God tells Abram to look upon the land and to trust that it will belong to his offspring.

Abram walked by faith; Lot walked by sight. They each represent the only two ways of living life: operating upon our own wants and desires or upon the will of God. C. S. Lewis said it well: “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’” Which are you?

Read verses 1-4 and discuss the following.

  1. After being faithless in Egypt, God brings Abram back to the altar he built in Bethel. This signified a new beginning for Abram. Can you recall a time when God took you back to the start of something in life because your process had been in the wrong direction?

Read verses 5-7 and discuss the following.

  1. Because of the increasing wealth of Abram and Lot, the land could no longer support both of them. Can you recall moments when success or abundance led to conflict?

Read verses 8-13 and discuss the following.

  1. Lot chose the Jordan Valley because of its visual beauty; however, we know that it was near the evil city of Sodom, which God would eventually destroy. Are there things that you have found appealing that are ultimately destructive? How is sin always a bait-and-switch?
  2. Abram submitted the choice of land to Lot, knowing that God would still provide. Have you ever similarly yielded in a conflict, trusting God to work things out?

Read verses 14-18 and discuss the following.

  1. Abram yields to Lot, trusting God to bless him, and the LORD is faithful to care for him. Can you remember a time when you trusted the LORD in a situation and witnessed His provision?
  2. Abram responded to God’s word by worshipping. Do you regularly worship God in response to His faithfulness toward you? How does the gospel lead us to worshipping everyday?

ACTIONS TO CONSIDER

  • Consider times when you have walked by faith and when you walked by sight. Thank the LORD for His faithfulness during both types of seasons.
  • Commit to praying for yourself and other brothers and sisters for deeper walks of faith in Christ.
  • Consider how you worship each day in response to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for a deeper gratitude, expressed through worship, for the grace that God has given.
The Man of Faith

The Failure of Abraham (Genesis 12:10-20)

Last week, we read how Abram came to know the LORD. Though he was originally a cursed pagan, God spoke to him, giving him a command and a promise. God told Abram to go to a land that God would show him and that He would bless Abram greatly. Trusting the LORD, Abram obeyed, not knowing where God would take him. Thus, Abram displayed great faith in God. He simply trusted the LORD and left behind the security and comfort of his extended family.

Because Abram showed such astounding faith already, it is difficult for us to imagine things going south for him, especially as quickly as they do. In this section of Scripture, we read that God brings Abram to a new land only to face a severe famine. The famine causes Abram to journey into Egypt. Out of fear for his own life, Abram deceives the Egyptians into believing that Sarai is not his wife. This means that within the same chapter of Abram showing great faith in the LORD, he also sells his wife to Pharaoh in order to save his own skin.

It is shocking to see Abram sin so quickly after following the LORD, yet Bible never shies away from people’s sin. It repeatedly makes it clear that our “heroes” of the faith were deeply flawed and sinful people. If we read the Bible as a book of morality lessons and fables, accounts such as this will be hard to understand. However, if we realize that the only true hero of the Bible is God, then we will begin to see how vast the grace of God truly is! Simply put, we are no different than Abram. Each of us has moments of failure and success during our walk with God. Fortunately, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful.” In Christ, we have grace, even in the midst of our sins and failures.

Verse 10: “Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.”

Following the show of faith that Abram displayed by obeying God, we would probably expect everything to go smoothly for him. God promised to bless him; therefore, we would imagine that having God’s favor would make life significantly easier. Abram trusted God more than the security of his extended family in his hometown, but now that trust was already going to be tested when Abram and his family faced a famine in their new land. Because life was of built entire around agriculture in Abram’s day, famines were bringers of death. Famines were often caused by droughts. Rain would cease to fall from the sky for an extended period of time, and then crops would fail to grow. Grass would die, and streams and rivers would dry. Cattle would die of thirst or hunger. Famine was a bitter curse upon any land. Though God promised blessing, Abram was now looking famine in the face. How then did Abram deal with this famine? Did he pray to God, asking for Him to remember His promise and provide for Abram in the midst of the famine? No, Abram fled to Egypt.

Egypt was a great and mighty kingdom at this time in history. One reason for Egypt’s greatness resided in its location around the Nile River. While lands like Canaan and Negeb were entirely dependent upon the rainfall, the Nile proved to be incredibly constant. The massiveness of the Nile meant that only the most severe of droughts and famines affected Egypt. Thus, it makes sense that Abram would want to sojourn in Egypt until the famine in his land ceased. Nevertheless, I do wonder if it would have been best for Abram to trust God to provide and not journey to Egypt. Perhaps this story of Abram’s failure began with one simple act of distrust, of faithlessness.

Regardless of whether it was sinful or not for Abram to go to Egypt, there is still a point to be made from this verse. God allowed a newly believing Abram to be confronted with a famine. Why would God allow something so severe to happen to someone that He loves? We are never given a clear answer for why things like this occur. We do know “that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).” So we know that in some way Abram grew from this experience in Egypt. We know that even if it was sin for Abram to go to Egypt God used Abram’s faithlessness to display His faithfulness and His glory. Also, we must remember that God never promises us an easy and comfortable life. God’s promise to bless Abram did not mean that Abram’s life would be without conflict and pain; it only meant that God was going to be with Abram through every trial. And really, God being with us is enough.

Verses 11-13: “When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.”

Regardless of whether Abram should have journeyed to Egypt or not, here we find a clear error of Abram. At the heart of Abram’s plan for Sarai is a fear of his own death. Abram feared that the Egyptians would kill him in order to take her as their wife. To be fair, he was not out of line in imagining the Egyptians doing such a thing. Killing a man for his wife was not unheard of in ancient societies. Furthermore, we read in verse 15 that they did kidnap Sarai. So the issue here is not whether Abram’s fears were well-founded or not. Rather, we should ask whether Abram was being faithful to God or not. The answer appears to be quite simple. By taking matters into his own hands, Abram’s deception revealed that he did not trust God to care for him.

Abram’s deception was fundamentally based upon Sarai, her beauty and cooperation. He likely convinced himself that his lie was excusable because Sarai was indeed Abram’s half-sister, which we learn when Abram does this same deception a second time (Gen. 20:12). However, a half-truth does not make a full truth from any sort of angle. At the end of the day, Abram deceived the Egyptians. Abram sinned, and he did so at his wife’s expense. Twice Abram says, “because of you” and “for your sake.” He knew that they would let Sarai live as a wife of an Egyptian, but they would likely kill him. Therefore, he was willing to let his wife go to another man in order to save himself. This is the fundamental problem of Abram’s deception. He is selling away, pimping off, his wife so that he could live. Deception is always selfish and harmful. Like Abram, we deceive for selfish motivations, and in some way, they hurt someone else. Sarai is paying a price so that Abram can feel safe in Egypt.

Verses 14-16: “When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.”

Just as Abram expected, the Egyptians did find Sarai beautiful. In fact, they found her so beautiful that they boasted of her to Pharaoh, and she was then brought into Pharaoh’s house. There are a couple of points of observation that we can make here. First, Sarai was about sixty-five years old at this time. Our society, by Greek influence, has a fixation upon youth. How often do we hear people speak of teens and twenties as the greatest years of one’s life! Yet we should be careful to project our society’s mindset upon other societies, current or ancient. For most of the world’s history, old age was valued far above youthfulness. Indeed, cultures similar to our make presumptions of beauty based upon primarily superficial standards. We fixate upon facial and bodily features. Whereas, many cultures have a more wholistic sense of beauty. Walton makes an excellent point on this matter by saying, “We need not therefore assume that Sarai has miraculously retained the stunning beauty of youth. Her dignity, her bearing, her countenance, her outfitting may all contribute to the impression that she is a striking woman (Walton, 397).”

Second, Pharaoh deals well with Abram for Sarai’s sake. Obviously, Sarai followed Abram’s plan, and because of her good word, the king of Egypt gave great gifts to Abram. These items were likely a form of dowry. In the absence of her father, a single woman would fall under the protection of one of her brothers; therefore, it was proper for a man to purchase her to be his wife from her brother. For many years, verse 16 was considered to be a point of contention for people who deny the Bible’s accuracy. They claimed that all archeological evidence showed that camels were not domesticated during Abram’s time. Thus, they said that people wrote Genesis one thousand or so years after Abram actually lived and did not know that people from Abram’s day did not have tamed camels. Though not widely publicized, archeologists discovered a few years ago evidence that proved camels were domesticated during the time of Abram. However, camels likely would have been a fairly recent commodity; therefore, they would have been a highly valuable gift. This means that Abram was paid greatly for Sarai.

Even though Abram was given rich payment in exchange for his wife, let us not mistakenly believe that he was being blessed, at least in the sense that we discussed it in the previous lesson. The prospering of Abram does not mean that God favored Abram’s actions. This is why it is so important for us to divorce the ideas of prosperity and blessing from one another; there is simply no guarantee in Scripture that the two are innately connected. Prosperity is not indicative of blessing. We must always take great care not to correlate the two. Abram’s prosperity comes in the midst of his sin. Sarai did exactly what Abram asked, and everything did go well for him. However, even with his new wealth, Abram lost his wife. Abram got what he wanted but lost much more. He lost his partner, whom the LORD was going to use to bring his offspring into the world. Like Genesis 3, disobedience to God created a rift between man and woman.

Verse 17: “But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.”

We are not told exactly how the Pharaoh comes to realize that the plagues came because of Sarai, but somehow he comes to that conclusion. Most significantly we must note that God now steps into the story. In Abram’s decision to go to Egypt, God was silent. When he told Sarai his plan to secure his own safety, the LORD did not speak. As Abram was given great wealth by Pharaoh, God still did not appear. Now in the eleventh hour, God shows up. Obviously, Abram was going to do nothing to rescue his wife, so God graciously intervenes. The LORD does this by plaguing the Egyptians. This action gives us our first display of God’s complete faithfulness. Remember that in verse three God promised Abram that He would “bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse.” Some of the greatest ways to dishonor a man is through his wife. Sarai was taken as a bride into the house of Pharaoh. For days or weeks, Abram slept alone, knowing that he gave his wife away to another man. Even though the situation was Abram’s fault, the Pharaoh still dishonored Abram by taking his wife; therefore, God made good on his promise. God cursed Pharaoh for dishonoring Abram, even when Abram was acting dishonorably. There is also a subtle hint of the future events of the Exodus within these verses.

Verses 18-20: “So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.”

The Egyptian king is understandably angry with Abram for such a deceit. Pharaoh asks Abram a series of questions. He strongly implies that he would never have taken Sarai had he known the truth. He then sends Abram and Sarai away. Interestingly, Pharaoh does not demand his previous gifts to Abram back. Perhaps he hoped that Abram’s God would remove the plagues more quickly if he let Abram keep what he gave to him. Thus, we conclude this section of Abram’s story with him being more prosperous than he previously was. If we read the Bible only as stories with lessons of morality, this one will pose some problems. The moral of the story seems to be that Abram sins, gets mildly scolded, and then gets away rich. Yet that is not how we are to read the Bible. Instead, we read God’s Word knowing that everything except God is sinful. This applies to Abram. Nothing in this story condones his actions. Abram failed miserably. Thus, instead of learning about a sinner who prospers from his sin, we should look at this account and see the riches of God’s grace and mercy. Abram was utterly faithless here, but God remained faithful to him. The LORD kept his promise to Abram. He cursed Pharaoh and rescued Sarai. Abram absolutely did not deserve so great a God, and neither do we.

The great lesson to be learned from Abram’s failure here is summed up well by the Apostle Paul: “if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself (2 Tim. 2:13).” Abram did not deserve to have this story end on a good note. He did not deserve to have his wife again or to keep the wealth from Pharaoh. Likewise, we must remember that our walk with God is not dependent upon our own faithfulness. God is continuously faithful to us.

Did Homosexuality Cause the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Since I will be preaching Genesis 19 this week, it seems like a great time to discuss the reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Often, this chapter of the Bible is used as a warning text against the sinfulness of homosexuality as many view homosexuality as the primary cause for its desolation. But is that accurate? Was homosexuality really the foundation for Sodom’s annihilation?

Land of the Free, Home of Extremes

In discussing this topic, it is important to understand that there exist two equally common, erroneous, but also opposing answers to the proposed question.

First, let us view the negative answer to the question, which asserts that Sodom was not destroyed because of homosexuality. To support this claim, some will argue that the men of Sodom did not practice homosexuality at all; rather, God judged Sodom for being inhospitable to travelers. Such belief can only be supported via a grandiose reinterpreting of Genesis 19. It is clearly present in the text that the men of Sodom were intent on having sex with the two angels that were visiting Lot. Others, however, will admit that the Sodomites practiced homosexuality but claim that God did not judge such as sin. Instead, God judged Sodom for various other sins, like rape, pride, and gluttony. Because they refuse to hold homosexuality as a sin, they reinterpret the Bible to support their wants and desires.

On the other hand, some people will answer the question in the affirmative, claiming that God did destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their homosexual practices. To some degree, there really is not a problem with this answer until you begin to dig down into the subtext beneath it. Many people would answer the question in this manner, but the underlying presumption would be that Sodom was only, or primarily, destroyed because of homosexuality. This is where we must take care. Though the Bible clearly declares homosexuality to be sinful, it was not exclusively the sin for which Sodom was judged. We must be equally careful not to reinterpret Scripture into saying something that it never meant to say.

Though both of these answers are on the opposite end of the spectrum, they can be equally incorrect in how they interpret the Bible. For many, changing the meaning of something that is blatantly stated is clearly wrong, but few recognize the subtle danger of misplaced emphasis. Thus, in order to develop a proper answer to the question, we must consider what the Bible claims the sin of Sodom to be.

The Sins of Sodom

As we discuss what the Bible calls the sins of Sodom, I would turn your attention primarily to Genesis 19 and Ezekiel 16:49-50. These texts most clearly show the transgressions of Sodom and Gomorrah.

1. Homosexuality & Sexual Immorality

Here is the most obvious and most discussed of Sodom’s sins. Despite what some may claim, the Bible definitively declares homosexuality to be a sin. By this point, the biblical arguments for why it is sin have already been done by people who are much more studied than I. Yet for the sake of covering bases, let me present the evidence with much brevity. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 both specifically state the sinfulness of homosexuality. As for the New Testament, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Timothy 1:10, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 all directly mention homosexuality as a sin. The greatest claim, of course, is that Jesus affirmed marriage to be between one man and one woman, citing Genesis 2 in His reasoning.[1]

Yet in the discussion of homosexuality, we often overlook another grievous sexual sin that Sodom was guilty of: rape and abuse. To be fair, we are never explicitly told that the men of Sodom ever raped anyone; however, because of their bloodthirsty desire for the two angels in Genesis 19, we can logically assume that such behavior was not abnormal for them. It perplexes me that the Sodomites were so clearly desiring to violate the angels, yet the topic of rape is rarely discussed from said text. Sodom was guilty of a plethora of sexual sin, including rape and homosexuality. It is wrong to think of Sodom as being a “free love” hippy-ish society where love abounded for anyone and anything… until God came along and ruined their fun. Instead, the Bible portrays Sodom as a city full of predators hungry for victims.

2. Lack of Hospitality

This one may sound strange to us, but hospitality is a biblical command. Leviticus 19:34 states, “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” In the New Testament, Peter commands us to “show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”[2] Paul urges us to “contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”[3] Furthermore, elders and deacons are required to be hospitable in leading the church.[4] Because hospitality is a friendly and generous reception of visitors or strangers, who should be more inclined to hospitality than those to whom God has been exceedingly generous? God, therefore, expects hospitality to flow from His people since the lack of hospitality signifies a lack of love. Once again, the Bible does not explicitly state that Sodom lacked hospitality; however, it is evident by their treatment of the two angels in Genesis 19. Or to put it another way, attempted rape is certainly not a means of showing hospitality.

3. Pride

We now move into sins that are not seen in Genesis 19 but are explicitly stated in Ezekiel 16. The first is pride. Sinful pride occurs when we value ourselves too highly. The book of Proverbs repeatedly warns about the dangers of being prideful.[5] In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis even goes so far as to claim that pride is the great sin. But why is pride so bad? Ultimately, pride is sin because it is a form of idolatry. In being prideful, we essentially worship ourselves or give ourselves credit rather than God. Pride is about usurping the glory of God. We are often proud because we long for glory; specifically, we long for God’s glory. In fact, the first sin within the Bible was a sin of pride. The serpent deceived Eve into eating the fruit because he said that upon eating it she would be like God. Sodom apparently was no different.

4. Gluttony

The people of Sodom were guilty of being gluttons. In my opinion, this is likely the great sleeping sin of the United States. Throughout the Bible, gluttony is considered a serious transgression. Proverbs declares, “And put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite”[6] and “Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.”[7] We often have no problem with calling drunkenness or drug usage a sin; however, the Bible frequently mentions gluttons in the same category, and alongside, drunkards. Both gluttony and drunkenness are matters of self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit for Christians.[8] Though over-consumption of food is primarily of the body, it reveals the heart. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:12, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.” Food itself is not a sin. After all, God created flavors and taste buds for enjoying food, yet being mastered by food or eating to excess certainly is sin.

5. Prosperous Ease, Without Aiding the Poor and Needy

Ezekiel’s final item in Sodom’s list of sins is quite interesting. He claims that the Sodomites had “prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” Evidently, Sodom was a very wealthy city. The end of Genesis 14 gives us a hint of the city’s wealth when the king of Sodom offers the treasures of the city to Abraham. Of course, wealth, similar to food, is not innately sinful. Throughout the Bible, we find a wide range of people who were quite rich; however, we must notice carefully the qualifying statement: “but did not aid the poor and needy.” God was not angry at Sodom because they were rich but because they did nothing to help the poor and needy with their riches. The subject of aiding the poor is common to the Bible. Proverbs 14:31 states, “Whoever oppresses the poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” Jesus even claims that how we treat the least around us is how we treat Him.[9] Each person is made in the image of God and, therefore, valuable. Though prosperity is not a sin, failing to use our prosperity to aid the poor and needy certainly is.

The End of the Matter

So let’s revisit the original question in order to provide a definitive answer. Did homosexuality cause the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Yes, but it was far from being the only reason. They were rapists, gluttons, proud, inhospitable, and stingy as well. We would also do well to understand that God used Sodom as an example for the seriousness of sin.[10] They did not need to commit a multitude of sin to deserve God’s wrath. Gluttony, pride, homosexuality, or any other lone sin was enough to separate them from God, and the chances are that each of us has committed at least one of the sins listed above. We, therefore, have no moral high ground on Sodom. We only have Christ, the One who has taken the punishment for all of our sins. So when considering Sodom, let us be thankful for the mercy and grace of God in sparing us from Sodom’s fate.

[1] Mark 10:2-12

[2] 1 Peter 4:9

[3] Romans 12:13

[4] 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8

[5] Proverbs 16:5; 16:18; 29:23

[6] Proverbs 23:2

[7] Proverbs 23:20-21

[8] Galatians 5:23

[9] Matthew 25:40

[10] Jude 7