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“A BARBARIC GOD ? “

By Obourba Asante Taado

A group of people mostly non believers of the Bible mistakenly cite the account in Genesis Chapter 19:1-29 to misrepresent GOD as a barbaric being. This assertion is a gross display of their ignorance about the Bible and this article will explain why God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

God created the Universe. HE created man and gave him(man) dominion over all HIS creation. Man was to look up to his CREATOR for instructions but he failed. Sin entered Man and hence wickedness. Should JEHOVAH GOD close a blind eye whilest the Souls of the righteous are tormented by the wicked and the rebellious ?. Should we accuse GOD of barbarism when the recalcitrant receives his just punishment?.Why did GOD punish the people of Sodom?

Most people are only aware of Sodom's sins of sexual immorality and perversion. However a careful study, especially in the prophets reveals a number of other sins that made Sodom the object of God's wrath. Sodom was located in the lush Jordan valley probably just above the northern end of the Dead Sea. The plain of Jordan was well watered every where, before Jehovah destroyed the cities( Sodom and Gomorrah) (Gen 13:10).This fertile plain supported not only Sodom and Gomorrah but three other satellite cities., Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar (Deut 29:23). Two of these smaller cities fell into the same pattern of sin as their neighbours and were destroyed with them(Jer 49:18).

In a stinging rebuke to his degenerate generation of Israelites, Ezekiel, the prophet declared they were greater sinners than men of Sodom. Then he relates the catalogue of Sodom's sins. “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and 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” (Ezek 16:49- 50). Pride went before their fall. It has well been said that pride is at the root of every sin man commits. Pride is one of the most respectable sins, yet to GOD, it is an abomination( Prov 6:16-17, 1 John 2:15). Fullness of bread and prosperous ease were in Sodom( The KJV) renders the second phrase “abundance of idleness”. It is strange that God's blessing of a fruitful land was abused to promote greed, pride, and idleness.

Sodom did not strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. Selfishly indulging herself, she neglected the poor. God did not overlook this heartless act. The people of Sodom were haughty. This is defined to be, ”Disdainfully or contemptuously proud”. It best describes the kind of action and conduct that grows out of a proud heart. The abominations they committed are not specified by Ezekiel but reading ISAIAH 44:19, 66:3, we can conclude that one of Sodom's ills was lack of religion. Even the most corrupt form of worship usually has some restraining power on at least some social evils and sins. Turning to Jeremiah 23:14, we discover yet three more sins of Sodom. Charging the false prophets of Jerusalem with having become like men of Sodom, Jeremiah gives three examples.

“In the prophets of Jerusalem also I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies and they strengthen the hands of evil-doers, so that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them become unto me as Sodom”(Jeremiah 23:14).Before they degenerated to the vilest form of perverse immorality, they had given themselves over to adultery. Those who set out the path of fleshly lust seldom stop until they have plunged themselves to the depths of degradation. An old Arab proverb says “Passion is a tyrant which slays those whom it governs. It's like fire, which once kindled can scarcely be quenched”.

They walked in lies. Not an occasional lie in a moment of temptation, but a way of life marked by lying. They strengthened the hand of evil- doers so that none did turn from his wickedness. In God's sight, not only is the sinner guilty, but he who encourages his evil is held as an accessory to the fact. “He that justifieth the wicked and he that condemneth the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination unto Jehovah” (Proverbs 17:15). Isaiah cried out against the sinners of his day saying” The show of their countenance doth witness against them, and they declare their sins as Sodom, they hide it not( ISAIAH 3:9). Sodom's citizens were brazen sinners. They had no shame. Their moral consciences no longer felt pain when abominations were committed or when others knew about it. We cannot close the page on their records without mentioning her awful sin of homosexuality. This is the import of the disgusting event recorded in (Genesis 19: 4-5) “ The men of Sodom…..both young and old, all the people from every quarter…… called unto LOT and said unto him, where are the men that came in to thee ?....bring them out unto us, that we may know them”. As JUDE states, they gave themselves over to fornication and went after “strange flesh”( JUDE verse 7). Under such circumstances, LOT, to protect his visitors offered his daughters. It seems horrendous to us that LOT would offer his daughters, but we have to understand this in the context of LOT'S culture where the safety of one's guests had to come before any other interest. This was the only thing LOT knew to try. The people of Sodom were so hardened in their wickedness that no argument would stop them. They were totally controlled by lust. Sodom is a picture of what it is like when evil grows unchecked.

Those who argue that punishment is not consistent with the love of GOD may not understand how bad sin can become. Most of us have never lived in a situation where we were surrounded by unbridled evil, but if we did we would welcome GOD'S intervention. Secondly God has to consider what the righteous suffer from the wicked. HE loves everyone and does not want anyone to perish (2 PETER 3:9), but he owes more to his obedient children than HE does to the rebellious wicked. For GOD to relieve his children of what they suffer from the wicked is an act of LOVE.

To God be the Glory.
By: Obourba Asante Taado.