Question: What is God telling us (in the following verses), beyond the obvious? Both cities where these events took place were totally destroyed. Did God provide the detailed description of these people’s sinful behavior so that we could conclude that EVERY city state in Canaan was guilty of this identical crime and MUST be totally destroyed? Are we being told homosexuality was customary for those who worshiped Baal and Asherah?
“They shouted to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out so we can have sex with them.'” (Genesis 19:5) NIV
“While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men in the town surrounded the house. They began beating at the door and shouting to the old man, ‘Bring out the man who is staying with you so we can have sex with him.'” (Judges 19:22) NIV
Answer: You make some good points and I found this quote about Sodom. “The tragic experience with the men of the city, at Lot’s house, demonstrated that the ugliest situation imaginable prevailed in Sodom. The angels, who had come under divine orders to discover the extent of human depravity there, needed no further disclosure. The vilest, most unspeakable brand of sin was practiced openly and brazenly. The messengers from God had only to pronounce official sentence, give due warning, and seek in every way possible to lead Lot and his reluctant family from the doomed city.” (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)
“The inhabitants of Canaan were addicted to Baal worship, which was conducted by priests in temples and in good weather outdoors in fields and particularly on hilltops called ‘high places.’ The cult included animal sacrifice, ritualistic meals and licentious dances. Near the rock altar was a sacred pillar or massebah, and close by the symbol of the asherah, both of which apparently symbolized human fertility. High places had chambers for sacred prostitution by male prostitutes (kedishim) and sacred harlots (kedeshoth) (1 Kings 14:23, 24; 2 Kings 23:7). The gaiety and licentious character of Baal worship always had a subtle attraction for the austere Hebrews bound to serve a holy God under a rigorous moral code.” (Unger’s Bible Dictionary)
“For they also built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. And there were also perverted persons (Hebrew qadesh, one practicing sodomy and prostitution in religious rituals) in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.” (1 Kings 14:23, 24)
Speaking of King Josiah and his reforms it says: “Then he removed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the places all around Jerusalem, and those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations, and to all the host of heaven. And he brought out the wooden image (Asherah, a Canaanite goddess).Then he tore down the ritual booths (literal houses) of the perverted persons (Hebrew qedeshim, those practicing sodomy and prostitution in religious rituals) that were in the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the wooden image.And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnon, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech. (2 Kings 23:5-10)
You see once Israel started down that proverbial “slippery slope” into homosexuality, related to their idolatry, there was no stopping until God judged them, even though there were some revivals of holiness. I am afraid for America, that we are about to experience God’s wrath if we do not repent of our sins. Homosexuality is portrayed on television anymore as very nice and neat. They make it look like homosexual ‘marriages’ are the same as heterosexual marriages. This is not the case if you study into the statistics. They want children to be adopted and grow up in this environment.
As is pointed out in the two references you mentioned from Genesis and Judges there is this thing among homosexuals, to continue to make conquests, and often it is to get younger and younger ‘blood.’ No one can tell me otherwise, you can look at the statistics, but I know first hand. This is not something I have really told other people, but it should be known to help prevent its spread. A neighbor teenager tried to seduce me even as a child, thank God his mother found him out, and what he was trying to do before he was able to commit his act.
How many other boys were not as fortunate as I, and are living with this guilt to this day? Listen if this is the case for you personally; God has forgiven you, if you have asked Him to. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
You only need to look at what has happen in the Roman Catholic Church to see what a problem homosexuality has caused among some of their priests. I am not attacking the church when I say that because I believe we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. I believe this is happening in many churches, but has not been exposed as yet. It will all come out in the wash, as they say. The point is, homosexuality spreads like wild fire when it gets started. Just a few years ago, there was some ‘play kissing’ among actors of the same gender, now look at the real thing happening in movies and television sitcoms. I know at the high school in our area they want to start a homosexual club. In another high school near here, there are young girls openly kissing each other in public, and claiming to be lesbians. A few years ago this would be unthinkable!
I am not saying these things to “bash homosexuals,” I am just sharing with you what I see happening. I am sure that you have seen this same thing if you are alert at all. My desire is as Paul had, and that is that they repent and are washed in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. God loves them as He loves all of us, and we are to love them, but hate their sin. However, if they hold on to their sin unto death, it will take them down to hell. “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” (Revelation 22:14-15)
So, yes, I believe you have hit on something here when you see that God destroyed every place where this vile, immoral behavior was practiced. As Billy Graham is quoted as saying, “God would have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah if He doesn’t judge America for its homosexuality.”
Thanks for your questions and may God bless you,
Gary T. Panell
For more information email me at [email protected]