Sodom, Gomorrah, Israel, Judah and You :: by Mark Susswein

Question time: Why would the judgment God carried out on Israel and Judah be any different than the judgment He carried out on Sodom and Gomorrah?

Let’s go to Isaiah 1:9.

“If the Lord of hosts had not left us a few survivors, we should have been like Sodom, and become like Gomorrah.”

Sodom and Gomorrah were, and for all the wrong reasons, pretty well-known cities due to the horrific but righteous judgment God put upon them, stemming from the people’s sexual immorality.

The names Sodom and Gomorrah are without question infamously noted for what transpired there. Most people know exactly what and who you’re talking about even if they have limited, or no knowledge of the Bible.

So, what about the good old U. S. of A.? Are we off the hook for being what Sodom and Gomorrah were? Aren’t we a sexually immoral nation? No, to the 1st question, and of course we are to the 2nd.

Judgment comes to all who sin and turn away from God. As Billy Graham’s wife Ruth Bell Graham said years ago concerning America, “If God doesn’t judge America, he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.”

I can’t even imagine the horror of brimstone and fire raining down upon us. But, as we know from the scripture, that is the judgment God rained down upon those cities. We shouldn’t expect anything less.

Also, in Isaiah 1:9, we come across the term “Lord of hosts” which is another way of saying ‘God of the armies of Heaven.’

He is aptly named that due to the fact that it was the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies, who put down those who rebelled against Him. It will be the ‘Lord of hosts’ putting down man’s rebellion led by the anti-Christ in the end times as the Book of Revelation tells us. That is also prophesied in Isaiah 24:21:23.

“On that day the Lord will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, for the Lord of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders.”

And one more thing about that name “Lord of hosts.” He is our Lord, Jesus the Messiah.

Also, in Isaiah 1:9 we read of “survivors.” Here the Prophet is speaking of a remnant of Jews, and God always has a remnant. The proof of that runs throughout Jewish history.

Israel, in the earliest parts of her history, was enslaved by the Pharaoh of Egypt who commanded every first-born male child was to be killed at the moment of birth.

Moving forward in the Jewish people’s history, it was the Assyrians and Babylonians carrying out the destruction of Israel and Judah respectively, and exiling the people.

Then it was the Roman and Greek Empires doing pretty much the same horrible and violent things that, sadly, humans are quite capable of doing. The Jews were eventually scattered throughout the four corners of the world.

Then came the Middle Ages with its horrors that were heaped upon the Jews. And then, the most evil and wicked event in their history is undeniably the Holocaust.

These historical events aren’t an exhaustive list by any means, but you get the idea. Sometimes it is not so good to be a “chosen nation and people.”

Yet, the Jews have not only survived due to the grace of God along with the promise He made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but today the nation of Israel and her people are thriving. However, the time of Jacob’s trouble lies ahead for them, which will be a time like no other.

That event, also known as the Great Tribulation, will far surpass the horrors of the Holocaust. But, and praise God, the day is coming when Israel and the Jewish people will finally shout out, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 118:26). When that happens, all Israel will be saved as Paul tells us in Romans 11.

As evil and as wicked Israel and Judah were, the judgment put upon them was less than what God put upon Sodom and Gomorrah.

Sodom and Gomorrah’s iniquity is commonly thought to be solely their sexual immorality, which was the norm for them. It was without question the lifestyle of the day. But what I personally find to be the most despicable and disgusting thing Sodom did is recorded in Genesis 19:4-5.

“Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, ‘Where are the men [these “men” were angels sent by God] who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may have relations with them.’”

The name Sodom literally means “to scorch or to burn.” The name Gomorrah means “a rebellious people.” The God of Israel ensured Sodom and Gomorrah lived up to their names. Both cities and their rebellious people were burned up. It is hard to fathom two entire cities and populations completely wiped out. However, because of this judgment, it is easy to see that God is Holy, righteous and justified in everything He does.

On a side note, those evil and wicked cities were deeper than deep in the sexually immoral act of homosexuality. However, that wasn’t the only reason for which God judged them, though it was a primary one for sure. There were other sins which added to their guilt. Look at Ezekiel 16:49-50.

“Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.”

Hmmm. America? Perhaps? Maybe?

To this day the geographical area which scholars conclude is Sodom and Gomorrah remains a desolate wasteland. This is a prime example of how a Holy God hates sin, each and every bit of it.

The answer to the question this article began with is God could have judged the people of Judah and Israel the very same way, but He didn’t. Instead, His amazing grace intervened along with keeping His promise of the coming of Israel’s Redeemer. It is the very same amazing grace and promise that saved you and me. Even before we ever knew Jesus as our Savior, He knew us and died for every one of our filthy sins. Do you know Him?

If you don’t, that same amazing grace and promise is still yet available, and God, who created you while in your mother’s womb, made it so, so easy.

Yes, I know and understand how we believers in Jesus have turned you off when it comes to giving out the message of salvation which, in case you didn’t know it, is a message to save you, the unbeliever, from God’s “final” wrath.

Listen, if that message has been a turn-off because it may have sounded way too pious, complicated or whatever the reason that has deterred you from His amazing saving grace and promise, how about a message that is so, so simple? Look at this:

“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved'” (Romans 10:9-13).

As Pastor and Prophecy Teacher J.D. Farag says every week… it’s as easy as ABC.

However, there is a catch. His amazing and saving grace and the promise of Jesus our Redeemer are available, but for a limited time only! My unbelieving friend, God’s wrath is coming just as it did for Sodom and Gomorrah.

Please come to know Him. He already knows you.

Bless You,

Mark Susswein/