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Sunday, September 2 2018
A Bible Journey, 19: Why Did Jesus Christ Rain Fire and Brimstone On Sodom?
"Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven"
While the LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God) was delayed with insistent Abraham (see A Bible Journey, 18: The Promise To Sarah), the two angels went down to Sodom (Hebron is in the hill country, Sodom was in the adjacent valley-plain).
It was near sunset. They were greeted by Abraham's nephew Lot at the city gate (the city was beautiful; its behavior was ugly; see A Bible Journey, 13: How Lot Became A Sodomite). Knowing what would happen if they remained outside all night, Lot insisted that the two angels, who appeared as men (whether or not Lot knew that they were angels is irrelevant), stay as guests in his house. But it didn't matter. The property was soon surrounded by sexual predators who demanded "Bring them out unto us, that we may know them."
"19:1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 19:2 And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways.
Lot was a righteous man (see the verse quotes from 2 Peter below), but living in Sodom had twisted and perverted his healthy judgment. Lot made an offer that any sane father would find absolutely disgusting: "Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes."
"19:6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 19:7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 19:8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
The two angels pulled Lot back into the house and warned him to get his family out of the hell-hole city. Notice that Lot had offered his two young, unmarried daughters - who would escape the city with their father and mother. There were others however, married daughters, who refused to heed their father's warning: "Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law" (see Why Did Lot's Wife Look Back?).
"19:10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 19:11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
So it was the Lot and his wife, and only their two unmarried daughters, fled the self-doomed city of Sodom.
"19:15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
At some point during the night, the LORD had left Abraham's home at Hebron. "Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven."
"19:23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 19:25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." (Genesis 19:23-26 KJV)
Early the next morning, Abraham, looking down on the plain from the hill country of Hebron, "looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace."
"19:27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: 19:28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.
Lot and his daughters survived the incineration. They apparently thought that all of humanity had been destroyed - hence the carnal logic of Lot's daughters.
"19:30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. 19:31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: 19:32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
While many have used the example of Sodom to sit in judgment of the particular kind of sin that was rampant there, the LORD doesn't play favorites with the righteous, or with the wicked. Leviticus chapter 18 provides a long list of sexual perversions, of which sodomy is just one.
People who commit any sexual sin, including adultery and fornication, are just as vile in the LORD's sight as Sodomites. That applies to all of God's Laws and Commandments e.g. those who pervert the true seventh-day Christian Sabbath are viewed no differently than Sodomites in the LORD's sight. Notice very carefully this summary listing by the apostle Paul that makes no distinction of degree of seriousness between "fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners." All require repentance, and the LORD's forgiveness is available to all who do genuinely repent.
"6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 KJV)
So too, Peter used the burning of Sodom as an example of what is going to happen to everyone who refuses to repent, including those with "eyes full of adultery."
"2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.
Fact Finder: Why does the LORD refer to end-time Jerusalem as that "which spiritually is called Sodom" (Revelation 11:8 KJV)?
This Day In History, September 2
47 BC: Cleopatra VII of Egypt declared her son to be co-ruler, with the name Ptolemy XV Caesarion (see The Greek Empire: Cleopatra and The Ptolemies Of Egypt).
31 BC: Octavian, later known as Caesar Augustus (as he is also recorded in the Bible i.e. Luke 2:1-7) defeated Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium. Some historians regard this date to be the end of the Roman Republic (see The Roman Emperors: Julius Caesar and The Founding Of Rome: The Curious Tale Of Romulus and Remus) and the beginning of the Roman Empire (see The Roman Emperors: Augustus).
1547: Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes died at age 62. The "Conqueror" battled Aztec emperor Montezuma in Mexico.
1649: Castro, Italy was destroyed by military forces at the behest of Pope Innocent X.
1752: The last day that the Julian Calendar (named after Roman emperor Julius Caesar) was used in Britain and its colonies. The present Gregorian calendar (named after Roman Catholic Pope Gregory XIII) began in use the next day. Rome's calendars are Bible-ignoring and contradicting (see Creation Day 4: The Calendar).
1807: The British began bombarding Copenhagen to stop Napoleon from using the Danish fleet against Britain (see also The Rockets' Red Glare).
1859: A solar storm caused outages in telegraph service (see also What Is Unique About Earth's Sun And Moon?).
1864: During the U.S. Civil War, Atlanta, Georgia fell to Federal troops.
1870: During the Franco-Prussian War, France suffered a devastating defeat at Sedan when the Germans captured an entire French army along with emperor Napoleon III. The new German Reich chose September 2 - in commemoration of the German victory and French humiliation - as a national holiday. The French response to the German victory was the deposition of Napoleon III and a proclamation of a republican Government of National Defense.
1901: U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt stated his famous imperial policy that the then-emerging U.S. empire (ironically, the U.S. has become what its founders rebelled, and warned, against) should "speak softly and carry a big stick."
1935: The "Labor Day Hurricane of 1935" killed over 400 people in the Florida Keys (see also The Origin Of Hurricanes, Cyclones and Typhoons).
1944: Anne Frank, at age 15, was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. The Dutch-Jewish girl, famous for her Diary of Anne Frank died at the Belsen concentration camp the next year, shortly before it was liberated by Allied troops near the end of the Second World War.
1945: "VJ Day" at the end of the Second World War. Japanese officials signed the terms of surrender with Allied leaders in Tokyo Bay (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).
1945: Vietnam declared its independence, forming the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The country was later divided into North and South by French imperial forces, who called the country "French Indo-China," thereby triggering the later Vietnam civil war that the U.S. became involved in during the 1960s, before the Vietnamese people were again unified into a single country in the 1970s, free of foreign interference.
1958: A U.S. Air Force C-130 spy plane was shot down by Soviet warplanes in Armenia when after it flew into Soviet airspace. All crew members are killed. No military response was done.
1980: Terry Fox (who lost a leg to cancer) was forced to stop his cross-Canada "Marathon of Hope" run at Thunder Bay, Ontario, after he learned that his cancer had returned.
1998: The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found Jean Paul Akayesu guilty of genocide.
2001: South African heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard died at age 78. In 1967, he became the first to perform a heart transplant on a live human.