“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 26, NO. 9&10 – SODOM REVISITED
After reading the last bulletin, where I examined the real issue with Sodom, (and Gomorrah) A friend sent me this e-mail: “So, actually I’m a Sodomite, as are most believers.” He then quoted Ezekiel 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 the needy.” The context is about how Jerusalem and other Jewish-linked peoples are acting.
Because of space, in the last article I didn’t mention that the author of the article I was reviewing not only started his diatribe on a false foundation, but he then went on to say something like, “And that’s not all they (Sodom) were guilty of, and then quoted some Old Testament scriptures. Actually, it is the scriptures that explain what was really Sodom and Gomorrah’s problem. So let’s, as they say in detective dramas. “Follow the evidence.”
Remember, the most common view is that the Israelites were in Egypt for about 400 years. It is estimated that Abraham lived about 250 years before Moses. Therefore, the story of Sodom had been around about 150 years or so before it was ever mentioned in the Bible.
Following the evidence, Sodom is first mentioned beyond the book of Genesis in Deut. 29:23. There, in a warning about what would happen if the covenant was not kept, it says, “It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah…” A similar thought is expressed in 32:32.
Almost 700 years passes before anyone else writes about Sodom. Isaiah 1 again refers to Israel becoming “…a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption.” In vs. 9, 10 it says unless God had left some survivors, they would have become like Sodom…” They were called “rulers of Sodom” and “people of Gomorrah.” In 3:9 they are accused of parading their sin like Sodom. So they were “homosexuals”?
In Jeremiah 23:14, in a rant against Israel’s false prophets, he writes, “I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness. They are like Sodom to me…” In 49:18 and 50:40 he uses Sodom as an example as to how God feels about Edom and the Babylonians. In each case it has to do with their wickedness toward those around them. In one citation from Lamentations, it says, “The punishment of my people is greater than that of Sodom.” That’s pretty bad!
It is Ezekiel who uses Sodom in a string of verses in Chapter 16 which gives us the best description of Sodom’s sin. He doesn’t mention Gomorrah. The whole chapter should be read, but basically he calls Jerusalem a prostitute (v. 35) and goes on from there. The body of the Sodom text is vs. 46-56. The key verse is v.49. (See above with emphases on “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom”) Verse 49 is also interesting. “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.” Really!?
Both Amos (4:11) and Zephaniah (2:9) use Sodom and Gomorrah as examples as to how God will judge wickedness among the people.
It is in the New Testament where the clear pictures from the Old Testament about Sodom are enhanced. In Matthew and Luke, (for some reason the KJV inserts it in brackets in Mark) there is Jesus’ lament over the rejection of his message. In Matthew 10:5-16 it has to do with sending out the out the twelve with message that the kingdom of God was near. In 11:20-24 it had to do with his rejection at Korazin and Bethsaida. In both case he said it would be more “bearable” for Sodom and Gomorrah than those people. In Chapter 11 Tyre and Sidon get thrown in the mix. Luke 10 echos the same idea as Matt. 10.
It is Jude (v.7) alone who expands on the evil of Sodom by comparing it to some “godless” men who had slipped in among them and were like Sodom and Gomorrah in that they were involved in “sexual immorality and perversion.” (NIV) There’s the evidence. What’s your verdict about the sin of Sodom? And about what my friend said about us who believe?
CONCERNS: Melisha Scruggs has ask for prayer for one of her instructors who works full time and is the care giver for her mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. Martha Foy asks our prayers for Sandra Anderson, her aunt, Sue Huels and Gil Richardson. Remember also Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick, Hannah, a classmate of Garrett Lee Williams Jim Hunter, Gary Overstreet, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, and a friend of Del Bolin’s named Sharon. Jenni Cullum, Helen Nicklas, Tim Elder, and Mary Smith. Also Mrs Matara, the mother of a friend of Jim Hunter.
OUR DAILY BREAD: MARCH 3-8
Monday: Matthew 18:10-20
Tuesday: Romans 14:1-18
Wednesday: II Thess. 3:1-16
Thursday: Genesis 45:4-28
Friday: Mark 10:17-31
Saturday: Psalm 105:1-45
OUR DAILY BREAD: MARCH 10-15
Monday: Ephesians 1:3-14
Tuesday: Philippians 1:3-18
Wednesday: II Corinthians 9:6-15
Thursday: Luke 5:17-26
Friday: I Timothy 6:1-10
Saturday: Psalm 111:1-10
Today (3/2) we have with us Dwayne Castell. Dwayne is a spokesperson for the Church of Christ Disaster Relief Effort Inc. out of Nashville.
Along with the lesson, he will be telling us about how the CofCDRE can help us in the event of a disaster such as the big flood of 1985. Recently they took tractor trailer-loads of bottled water to the folks in West Virginia during the recent chemical spill in the Charleston area. .
Ready or not its time to spring forward. Saturday, March 8 is the end of EST. So before going to bed, set your clocks ahead one hour. After the Winter we’ve had any kind of “spring” sounds good, even if it means losing an hour’s sleep to welcome Daylight Savings Time.
THE UPSTAIRS RESTROOM
An architect Mike Branch contacted has submitted plans for converting the restroom off the cry room into a handicapped facility. It is not going to be as complicated as we thought. We are talking to someone who will do the work and we hope to start soon and not be inconvenienced too long. We may need some help moving a pew to the large classroom downstairs to prepare the room.
ALSO: The overhead lights in the annex have been failing at a record rate. Plans are moving toward improving the acoustics and a new lighting system which will enhance an already charming facility.
Thanks to Martha Albert, Wayne and Alisa Flora, Holly Wagner and Mary Willa Foy for preparing the evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House last Wednesday
As we help the troops in Afghanistan with breakfast items as they prepare to withdraw form that country, it has been good to hear the comments of appreciation passed on to us from Cris Phlegar. Hopefully they will all be home by next year. Please keep them in mind and pick up a list of items needed from the table in the foyer. Be sure to add to that list such things as coffee, sugar and creamer.