Part 9 – What the Bible Says About Sodom and Gomorrah
In verses five, six and seven of Jude’s Letter he has spoken of three different groups of people/creatures from the Old Testament who fell under the Lord’s judgment and will be punished eternally for their disobedience and unbelief: The unbelieving Israelites during the exodus; the fallen angels who became sexually involved with human women; and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (and surrounding towns) for their sexual sin and unbelief. Because Jude knows that his readers/listeners already know about the particular sexual sins of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah he doesn’t speak specifically about the homosexual sin that these cities are infamous for. But the words that he uses speak of sexual sin that is ‘unnatural’ and involves ‘strange flesh’.
Homosexual Bible commentators, or those sympathetic to the homosexual agenda will interpret this verse in Jude, and more importantly, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah found in Genesis 19, by either saying that the men of Sodom wanted to simply ‘get to know’ by conversing with the two visiting angels. This understanding of the Hebrew word for ‘know’ is completely off base since this word ‘know’ implies intimacy, specifically sexual intimacy. We know that this could not be what the men of Sodom were referring to because:
1. Lot was fearful of allowing the angelic men to spend the night in the town square.
2. Lot squeezes out his front door and begs the men of Sodom ‘not to do this wicked thing’, and of course, simply conversing with the men in order to ‘get to know them better’ would not be considered a ‘wicked thing’.
3. Lot then horribly suggests that these men of Sodom take Lot’s two ‘pledged to be married’ virgin daughters to satisfy their lust.
4. The Lord had already decreed that these cities would be destroyed because of their despicable sin, but would just ‘getting to know someone socially’ be considered a sin?
The second erroneous interpretation is to say that the men wanted to have sex with the angels because of some strange fetish of angelic sexual relations that apparently began in Genesis 6 when the angels became sexually involved with the beautiful human women. This is based on the understanding of the phrase that begins verse seven: ‘In a similar way’, which connects verse six about angelic sexual relationships with verse seven and the supposed angelic sexual relations that the men wanted to be involved in. This theory also doesn’t work either because:
1. Since Lot didn’t know that these visiting men were angels, then surely the men of Sodom didn’t know they were angels either.
2. It is hard to fathom that angels appeared on earth that often that the practice of sex with angels was a common and popular occurance – common and popular enough that the Lord was planning on destroying not only Sodom and Gomorrah, but two other cities – Admah and Zeboyim.
3. “In a similar way” does not have to mean that both parties were involved in angelic sexual relations, but simply that since the sexual contact between angels and human women was unnatural or ‘strange flesh’, then the homosexual sex between the men of Sodom and the visiting ‘men’ was also unnatural and described as ‘strange flesh’ because men are made by the Lord to be sexually compatible with women, not other men.
So, the conclusion is that the Lord had destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of the homosexual lifestyle and other acts of sexual promiscuity. Jude’s original intent was not to so much speak against homosexuality, but rather about the eternal punishment that has been decreed for all those who are unbelieving and rebellious against the ways and will of the Lord.
The lessons to be learned from this message from Jude are:
1. Jude was reminding the Christians of his time – as well as to who believe – that the as the Judge of all the earth will do right and will justly and righteously deal with all wrongdoers, so we don’t have to lose hope or become discouraged or bitter because we don’t often see justice prevailing on earth.
2. Even though humanity’s and society’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors appear to be constantly changing or ‘progressive evolving’ (to the worse) God’s Word, and what He says about sin, holiness, and righteousness have not changed. Not only is Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever, but His Word will never pass away either.
3. Although the topic of homosexuality is a hotbed for controversy in our day and age, and it has become legally and politically incorrect to hold beliefs contrary to the pro-homosexual agenda, we as followers of Christ are called to remain loving, compassionate, merciful, gracious, encouraging and prayerful regarding those who believe and act differently, always remember that it is God’s kindness that leads sinners to repentance, and that no matter how ingrained an unbeliever may be in their actions, behaviors, lifestyle and belief system, the power of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit is able to heal, reconcile, transform and repurpose any sinners life.
So with that in mind: Don’t hate, but rather love and pray for those who believe differently, whether it is one with a contrary sexual lifestyle, or someone who is simply rebellious against the Lord: All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God – including us. So, remain humble and thankful for the Lord’s redeeming grace.