The Real Story of Sodom and Gomorrah

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Stash, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Stash
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    For years the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has been twisted and manipulated by religious leaders in order to condemn others and thereby make themselves appear more righteous. The real sins of Sodom were greed and pride, and these are sins that many religious leaders are often guilty of.

    The story of Sodom and Gomorrah’s demise begins in the 18th chapter of Genesis when God told Abraham that he would destroy Sodom, but the destruction of the city takes place in the 19th chapter. Lot was the nephew of Abraham, and he lived in Sodom. Lot was a righteous man, but he remained in Sodom until the very end, and many of his actions indicate that he was trying to save Sodom from destruction. Apparently, Lot did not think that Sodom was all that bad.

    When God told Abraham that Sodom would be destroyed, Abraham tried to bargain with God to spare the city, which means Abraham did not want to see Sodom destroyed. God agreed not to destroy Sodom if ten righteous men were found in the city. This suggests that sometime between the warning and the destruction, Abraham and/or Lot would have searched the city for ten righteous men since that was the deal. In searching for righteous men, they would certainly try to persuade some not-so-righteous men to be more righteous. In conducting this search Abraham and/or Lot would have warned the people of the coming destruction since this was their best argument; but the real sins of Sodom were greed and arrogance; and being greedy, it would be difficult to convince these people to sacrifice some of their wealth to help the poor. Being arrogant, the people of Sodom would tend to reject any suggestion that their great city was displeasing to God.

    When the angels came to destroy the city, Lot was expecting them. Lot even sat at the gates of the city waiting for these angels to arrive. This confirms that Abraham visited and warned Lot which would have led to the search for righteous men in the city. Lot was able to recognize that they were angels, which means that these strangers must have stood out in some way. Other people of Sodom must have also seen the angels, and the arrival of these unusual strangers would have triggered conversations across the city. As word spread, and the people of Sodom talked about the strangers, some of the people of Sodom would start to become concerned about Lot’s warning about the coming destruction. A crowd gathered at Lot’s house to find out who these strangers were. These concerned citizens couldn’t ask the question, “are these angels of God, sent to destroy us?” They were too proud to acknowledge their subordinate position by asking such a question, so they asked a different question. In a typical arrogant fashion, they asked the question in a very cleaver way.

    The crowd was trying to determine if these strangers were human. They were waiting to see the reaction of Lot and the reaction of the strangers. How did Lot react?

    Lot was a righteous man...meaning he was a good man, and he must have loved his daughters greatly. Lot wasn’t actually going to send his daughters out to the mob. This mob was not interested in sex, and Lot knew this. What Lot basically said was, “You can rape and kill my own daughters, but whatever you do…whatever you do…don’t mess with these strangers!” Lot was trying to get the mob to back off, but his words confirmed to the crowd that these were angels of God who were sent to destroy them, and the people of Sodom became more hostile. It was becoming clear that God was displeased with them…that in the great scheme of things they were lacking, but they blamed Lot as in shoot the messenger.

    Notice that Lot went outside to speak to the mob. He even shut the door as if he was going to speak with them privately…away from the angels. Clearly, Lot wasn’t afraid of these people, in fact, he was trying to help them. Lot was trying to get his friends and neighbors to back off, and he wanted to do so without the angels hearing what he said to the crowd...and what the crowd said to him.

    This is why Lot had waited at the gate for the angels to arrive so that he would be the one to greet them. Lot wanted to save Sodom otherwise he would have simply fled the city when Abraham warned him. Notice that when the angels first arrived in the city, Lot had to convince them to stay at his house, and keep in mind that Lot’s actions would later show that he was not afraid of the people, so he didn’t want the angels to stay at his house for that reason.
    Lot wanted to plead for the city of Sodom, but first he had to get the angels to his house, and he also had to keep them away from the people of Sodom. Lot knew the people of Sodom; they had rejected his pleading, and he knew they would react just as they did. Lot knew these people were too proud to humbly ask for forgiveness; he knew they would be confrontational which would only make matters worse.

    Lot’s warning for the mob to back off only confirmed that these strangers were indeed angels who were sent to destroy the city. This caused the mob to become more hostile. Notice that when the mob threatened Lot, it had nothing to do with sex.

    This mob wasn’t after sex. They intended to do harm to both Lot and his guests because they were starting to realize the great insult to them and their great city. They might have tried to escape the city once the reality sunk in that their confrontation was futile. Unfortunately for the people who were gathered at Lot’s house, the angels blinded them so that they had a difficult time even finding the door to Lot’s house.
    Religious leaders have portrayed Sodom as a city of brutal homosexuals who went around in mobs raping whomever they would. But if Sodom was as barbaric as it has been portrayed it wouldn’t be necessary for God to destroy the city as it would have destroyed itself. How could a city that lived off of trade survive if it was so violent? Why didn’t Lot just leave if it was so violent? There are many problems with the way most Christians view the story of Sodom, but that doesn't mean that the story doesn't make sense, just the way it is presented.

    The Real Story of Sodom and Gomorrah is a condemnation of greed and pride, but the greedy and the proud have always tried to twist it into a condemnation of somebody else. As if God doesn't care how we treat other people, He's only concerned about which hole we stick our wee-wee in.
     

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