The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is that of a microcosm of God’s love, and demonstrates the balance between Divine Mercy and Divine Justice. It also demonstrates how God views sexual sins, especially homosexuality, and the ultimate demise of these two cities shows the outcome of rampant and blatant misuse of God’s gift of sexuality to mankind. It also reflects the principle of the full cup, and how God will eventually break into history and pronounce and carry through on His judgments. And the last point is that both cities were destroyed by fire. This fire was so consuming that not a trace of the cities were left and God cursed the ground so nothing would ever grow there, nor would a city ever be built in that location ever again.
The story starts in Genesis 18:16 and runs through chapter 19:29, and is effectively broken up into three stories within the main story. The first is the fairly well known discourse Abraham has with the Lord pertaining to how many righteous men it would take to ‘save’ the cities. The second story is of the two angels who enter the city, and the men of the city want to ‘ravish’ them. The third part is the total destruction of the city with fire and brimstone, and Lot’s wife turning to look, and becoming a pillar of salt. This particular story, and series of events also have an eschatological meaning for Revelation times, as it demonstrates the need to be ‘in touch’ with God, and to utilize free will in matters of faith.
The discourse starts with the Lord stating to the two angels whether the Lord should inform Abraham of his plans to destroy the cities. Abraham then jumps into the conversation, and challenges the Lord on the Lord’s own precepts of not destroying the righteous with the wicked, and treating them the same. The Lord acquiesces on this point, and Abraham is able to get the lord to promise that if only 10 righteous could be found in the cities, the Lord would hold off judgment. This discourse shows, hermeneutically, that man is an active participant in the outcome of matters, and that calling God on his word, if done accurately, results in constancy of application.
The idea of only 10 righteous people holding off this severe of a judgment demonstrates how important each individual is to God, and that even one person living a righteous life, can change the outcome of regions. It is also a perfect demonstration of last week’s topic of the full cup principle, as there were no righteous people to be found, other than Lot and his family, and they were ordered to leave immediately. Given that the continued existence of Sodom and Gomorrah would have caused only needless suffering, God in his Divine Justice acted to end this needless suffering.
Abraham accompanies the two angels and goes to the home of Lot. The Men of Sodom observed Abraham with the two angels, who were incarnated as men. The inhabitants were so engrossed and/or possessed by their sexual passions that they surrounded the house and demanded to have these two men sexually. Even with the offers of Lot’s two daughters, the men of Sodom were only interested in the men. The punishment dealt to these lustful men was literal blindness. However, this judgment mirrored the moral blindness these men already suffered from, and they were now in the midst of physical darkness, mirroring their spiritual darkness. These men did not see the light, so they had their ability to see any light extinguished. This is often how it is with God. Very often, the consequences and judgments sent by God are very similar to the nature of the sin committed, so there will be no mistaking what the source of this is.
After the men are struck with blindness, the Lord is clear in his pronouncement that the cities will be destroyed, and that Lot and his family must leave immediately. The story states Lot ‘tarried’ and the angels responded by taking Lot and his family by the hand and removing them from the cities. This demonstrates that once God decides to act, it is sudden, and on his time line. God is clear with Lot and his family that the destruction is going to be so harsh and complete, that they are not even allowed to look at it “lest they die’. Lot’s wife, like someone in a garden in days gone by, decided to challenge those words, but this time God carried through with his promise. Lot then hid in a cave with his two daughters, as the only survivors of this judgment.
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah has eschatological ramifications. It was totally destroyed by fire and brimstone and nothing was left but ash. In the times of Revelation, fire and brimstone will be used on three separate occasions. The first trumpet is ‘fire mixed with hail’ that will destroy 1/3 of the trees and green plants, but will destroy all of the green grass. The city of Babylon will be destroyed by fire, and will burn in an inferno while the unsaved are forced to watch and contemplate their own fate, and finally the whole earth will be cleansed by fire that will consume virtually every archive and sign of sinful man to have ever existed on this planet. However, like Lot, the righteous will be told to leave the city before this fate occurs. Part of their righteousness will be to listen to this prompting and to obey. God will then finish off this ultimate monster, created by both evil men and the evil angel king. This destruction will be complete and permanent, so that nothing will be left from the age of sin to contaminate a new and perfect eternity.
For those who may be skeptical of many of the biblical accounts in the Old Testament, here is a site that may peak some of your interests. I was introduced to this information while Ron Wyatt was alive, and had access to some picture and information I no longer see on the site. It gives one pause to see such information and to contemplate how such judgments took place, while thinking about a God who is unchanging and will carry through with the same principles, no matter when in history sin takes place. For your discernment.