The Sin of Sodom
Ezekial 16:49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
I’m sure I could create a long devotion, on the sin of Sodom, their wickedness, and many have used the destruction of Sodom, as a text for preaching against homosexuality. I understand how the gay predators tried to rape the angelic strangers that visited Lot’s house, as the traditional interpretation of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Homosexuality is wrong, as is any sex outside of a marriage covenant in the eyes of God, but look at this verse, tucked away in the book of Ezekiel.
The real sins of Sodom mentioned here are:
1. Pride and arrogance.
2. Gluttony, and being overfed.
3. Unconcern for the help of the poor and the needy.
Let’s Look at these some:
Pride: Holman’s Bible dictionary has a long definition: http://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/view.cgi?number=T5098
Yet, I have a very simply one: Pride is simply having a better idea than God, in any area of life.
This past couple of years has been interesting for me and my family, as we went from a comfortable income, able to go and eat whatever we wanted, to no income, having to eat at food banks, to finally turning my truck back into the bank, and then our house as we went through foreclosure.There has been a wonderful walk of discovery from what is truly a need or merely a want. Things that I had taken for granted, when removed, become prayer points, where I discover where my heart has really been at.
Learning to survive for weeks, without a dime in our pocket, no vehicle, eating at food banks, has quite honestly changed me, and made me a far better human being, far more accepting, willing to help, non-judgemental, and grateful for the little things in life. Now, I am able to simple see and listen to the poor of this nation, and learn many things, that I could never have heard before.
I remember hearing the story of Heidi Baker, after receiving her PHD from seminary, asking Jesus what He would have her do, and receiving the instruction to go to Mozambique with her husband, with nothing but faith in God, and to ‘sit with the poor and learn of my kingdom’
As I reach out internationally, to Christian brothers and sisters serving the Lord who honestly have to trust the Lord not only for their next meal, but in many cases, the meals of those orphans that have come to them for their daily sustenance, sacrificial living at a level that we here in America cannot comprehend, and as I cry out to God for our daily needs, I am acutely aware that the God I am praying to loves them, exactly as much as He loves me and my children. The nature of my prayers has radically changed. The old cliché’ is true: ‘You never truly discover that Jesus is all you need, until He is all that you have!’.
He can create a humble pathway of provision, that requires a radical, strict obedience, and I am convinced that He is doing exactly that in my life. I am a prosperity preacher! I honestly believe that one of the benefits of serving Jesus is financial prosperity:
3 John 1:2
King James Version (KJV)
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
Yet, as I have walked this pathway of radical obedience, I have discovered that many, many things in my life were simply wants, soulical desires, that were often born in the world and this culture, not birthed in the fire of the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God.
Let’s talk about a couple of these:
Fitness: I love to stay in shape. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and I like to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. To do this, used to live P90X, for those of you who know what that is. This involved 6-10 work-outs/week, a structured diet, many protein and body-building supplements, and of course high dollar multivitamins. These all cost money, usually around an extra $200-300/month, plus a gym membership fee. Money has been non-existant, and in many cases, so has food, any food, so work-outs have been in my make-shift gym in my back yard, 3-4 times/week, and then, and only then, when we actually have enough food in the house to justify it, because I have children to feed.
Coffee: I love me some good coffee. Yet, the days of exotic coffee’s have long gone, and I drink regular Folgers when we have been able. I can live with it, or without it.
Desserts: When we have ice-cream or some sweet for dessert or at a church function, I am simply grateful. I’m fighting for healthy meals for the family, simply putting decent calories on the table, with nutrition in them, sweets are low on the priority.
Pets: We have two dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and an aquarium. They eat well, but as I see orphans around the world starving, can I justify the expense of feeding pets, when I should be feeding people, starving children that honestly need food?
Entertainment: Used to hit the movies, and watch the latest and greatest flicks at the theater. Netflix, internet access, and movie nights have not been possible, which has led to family time together where we actually talk to each other, read the Bible, have tickle fights, and love on one another. A walk by the river, and building sandcastles is free, yet builds memories for a lifetime. We still hit movies at the dollar theater as we are able, but my appetites have changed. We enjoy the things of God far more now, because Jesus draws close to us there, as we have drawn close to Him.
Vehicle: For many years, we have had two vehicles. For over a year, we had none. We walked each day to the library for internet and home school, and viola, accomplish a fitness activity, and often skip and sing our way here, laughing as we go. I have believed God for another reliable vehicle, and He has surely heard and answered that prayer, but know this: I will be far more grateful to Him, and far more sensitive to driving others around, for I know intimately what it is like to walk by faith. (He has answered, providing for us a 1998 jeep Cherokee, for which I am very grateful)
Utilities: Never been without them before. Over the past year and a half, we have been without water, gas, and electric for several extended periods of time. Nothing like dark nights, cold showers, or hauling water to simple flush the toilet to make you appreciate services that up until now, I have simply taken for granted. After we moved from our home in November, we have lived with friends, learning that there are radically different ways to do family life than we knew, and we have learned much from each family home we have stayed in. As we travelled to Indian reservations, and spent time with natives, we discovered many have no heat, nor running water, in often extreme climates, yet they are a resilient people, with a deep joy and peace, that has been a great example to us.
The sin of Sodom was in my face, for I now see how I have not only committed all of these three sins, but have lived in them for many years.
We cry out for revival, that we are willing to pay any price, yet the price God requires, is heart change.
There is financial prosperity in the kingdom of God,
2 Corinthians 8:9
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Jesus died upon the cross for our poverty, our sin, and our sickness.
Yet, during this season of my financial poverty, I am changing, where human eyes cannot see. Deep in my soul, I am prospering, and in my due season, wealth and riches shall again be my portion in life. Gratefully, humbly, in wisdom, will I again walk in the wealth of this world.
Why? Because I believe, no longer blindly, but because Jesus has spoken to me personally about my finances. One morning, in fervent prayer, He reminded me of who He is, King of the Universe, and He said: ‘Son, you cannot seek me the way you have these past years, and come away diminished!’
True faith always has a good report!
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
This season too, shall pass, and Jesus, my faithful Lord, shall again honor His Word in my life, and cause me to prosper, increase, and walk in wealth, for I have believed.
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
How about you?
I think in my testimonies I have discussed how gluttony has died its horrible death in my life, but let me talk about concern for the poor.
I have honestly not been able to give anything to the poor, despite the thousands of requests we receive for financial aid from those who read this blog. Not one goes by, unnoticed any more. I honestly fervently pray with compassion for every need, trusting Jesus to do what I personally cannot.
I have faced many days of trouble, and I need the Lord to deliver me as the days have come. Jesus said the poor you will always have with you. Consider them, love them, do not oppress them, and help wherever you can to alleviate human suffering.
‘Father, in every season of life, there are lessons to be learned. Help us to recognize the season You have us in, and to be content and faithful in it. May we be quick to learn the lessons we must learn, now, deep within our soul, that in the season of our promotion and favor, we remain humble, grateful, and fully dependent upon You Lord Jesus, Amen’