Powered by Fr. Abraham Mutholath Foundation NFP

Sodom and Gomorrah


SODOM AND GOMORRAH

Formerly, God had destroyed all humans, animals, and birds except the family of Noah because of the great wickedness of human beings and their heart always conceived nothing but evil (Gen 6:5). Sodom and Gomorrah were two of the five ancient “cities of the Plain” (Gen 13:12; 19:29) that went into destruction during the time of Abram. The other cities were Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela or Zoar (Gen 14:2). God destroyed Sodom because “the inhabitants of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD” (Gen 13:13). That the cities of the Plain were fertile areas is clear from the selection of Lot when he and Abram parted for peace among their people. “Lot looked about and saw how abundantly watered the whole Jordan Plain was as far as Zoar, like the LORD’s own garden, or like Egypt. This was before the LORD had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot, therefore, chose for himself the whole Jordan Plain and set out eastward. Thus they separated from each other” (Gen 13:10-11). Instead of thanking God and keeping a good relationship with Him, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah ignored God and indulged in serious sins. There were no other righteous people in the land. So, “the LORD rained down sulfur upon Sodom and Gomorrah, fire from the LORD out of heaven. He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil” (Gen 19:24-25).

God did not want to destroy the innocent. So, He saved Lot and his family from the destruction. Afterwards, “The LORD rained down sulfur upon Sodom and Gomorrah, fire from the LORD out of heaven. He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil” (Gen 19:24-25). Through Ezekiel, God clarified for the Israelites why he destroyed Sodom. “Now look at the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were proud, sated with food, complacent in prosperity. They did not give any help to the poor and needy. Instead, they became arrogant and committed abominations before me; then, as you have seen, I removed them” (Ezek 16:49-50). According to Jude, “Gomorrah, and the surrounding towns, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual promiscuity and practiced unnatural vice” (Jud 1:7).

Though God sent two angels to Sodom before its destruction, the people attempted for sexual relations with them without finding out their whereabouts. The attempt to attack the divine guests led to the destruction of Sodom with no opportunity for repentance for the sinners and forgiveness from God (Gen 19:4-11). The people at Capernaum welcomed Jesus and made use of his divine power for their physical needs. However, they ignored his message for repentance and the renewal of their lives. Jesus said that if he had done such mighty deeds in Sodom, they might have repented and saved themselves from the destruction of their souls, their potential generations, and the fertility of their land.

The sodomites per se did not get a warning from any messenger of God, calling for repentance. Later, the Israelites also became sinful because they rejected the warnings God gave them through His prophets and even through Jesus Christ. When Jesus reproached the towns of Chorazin and Bethsaida, he said, “If the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes” (Mt 11:21). He spoke similarly about Capernaum, “Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld. For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgement than for you” (Mt 11:23-24).

Unlike Sodom and Gomorrah, God gave warning to the Israelites of the imminent punishment if they did not repent. Jesus proved himself as the Messiah through his signs and preaching. Since they rejected to repent, they deserved more punishment than the people who were destroyed at Sodom and Gomorrah in the past.

So, Sodom was better compared to the towns where the disciples and Jesus preached the gospel and performed mighty deeds. Despite the Good News and favors they received, they continued to live in sin. Those who reject the gospel, after listening to the preaching of Jesus and his disciples, have no excuse on the day of judgement.

When Jesus sent out his apostles during his public ministry, he cautioned them to expect acceptance and rejection. About those who would reject them, he said, “Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words–go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town” (Mt 10:14-15).

Though God had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their grave sins, they, along with other wicked people, are waiting for their last judgement. The punishment and reward will have varying degrees based upon the situation in which they lived and their receptivity to the warnings they had received.


©Bibleinterpretation.org. All Rights Reserved 2024