WAKE FOREST, NC, February 14, 2013 ― Before God destroyed Sodom, He indicted its people for some specific sins. The poignant question is: Once we know what those sins were, how will we respond?
“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: Pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16:49)
You might have assumed from the title that this article would be a condemnation of homosexuality in America. But there are other issues directly relevant to the current state of our nation. The objective here is not to defend same-sex relationships or so-called “alternate lifestyles.” But it is intriguing that many who consider themselves Christians express enormous indignation over the homosexual lifestyle while ignoring God’s words through the Prophet Ezekiel. Consider the things mentioned in that text:
Pride is an attitude of self-indulgence and self-importance. It proclaims to the world that we believe that we are the gods of our own world, and that our personal desires are more important than anything or anyone else. Pride denies the importance of spiritual things, nor does it acknowledge the sovereignty of God over our lives. Once pride is pervasive in a person’s mind and heart, anything goes. “If it feels good: Do it!”
“Fullness of bread” suggests an attitude of hoarding, especially food. Gluttony and excessive indulgence in fleshly desires (and addictions) have a broad connection to this as well. The attitude here is, “I want to consume ‘stuff’ until I am satisfied.” The sad truth is that when we seek satisfaction through materiality or carnality, we are on a perpetual journey of futility and frustration.
“Abundance of idleness” includes time wasting, slothfulness, non-productive activity, and laziness. Ezekiel plainly stated that the people should be busy about their work, but instead, were absorbed in an unproductive existence. This is not a good thing, and it is actually destructive to the positive fabric of any society. The Fourth Commandment says that the Seventh Day (Sabbath) is a day of rest. However, before the day of rest, God’s Word commanded that the people are to do their work in the preceding six days. Unfortunately, as with the other nine commandments, most people consider the Fourth Commandment to be the Fourth Suggestion.
“Not strengthening the hand of the poor” is Ezekiel’s indictment of people who refused to help lift up the poor, who did nothing to make them independent. Remember, God already commanded that the people accomplish the work of their own hands. Implicit in this statement is that the people of Sodom did nothing to help the poor become strong enough to do for themselves.
“…when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
This is not an indictment against all who receive outside assistance. We are in an economic recession, and times are tough. We should, both as individuals and as communities, reach out to help those in need. But sadly there are millions who are able to work who choose to not work (and let the so-called rich pay the bill), and the U.S. government encourages it.
With about 50 million Americans on Food Stamps, our government (like ancient Sodom) is perpetuating a mindset among the masses that they don’t have to work; just chill-out and let the government provide what you need. This, my fellow Americans, is reckless! By so doing, our government is debilitating, not strengthening, the hand of the poor.
The lesson is this: The sins of Sodom are behaviors that sap our strength and make us blind to our weakness. They keep us from returning our nation to a state of health. They drain away our financial stability, prosperity and overall security. We must as a nation challenge an ever-expanding, self-serving and burdensome government and its policies. We will do so by insisting that our elected officials stop and reverse the self-inflicted internal destruction brought on by the “Welfare State.” Never-ending handouts and expanding bureaucratic programs have done nothing to eliminate poverty in the 50+ years it has been attempted. Rather, such actions by the public sector (government) have stymied the initiative and industry of a large segment of the population.
Let us have the courage and resolve to bring this madness to an end. We cannot afford the alternative!
“It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.” (Martin Luther King Jr., “I have a Dream” speech, Aug 1963)
Bill Randall is a 27 yr. retired U.S. Navy veteran, a small business owner, and certified Community Chaplain in Wake Forest, NC. He is also a published author of the book: “Examining God’s Purposes for Fasting and Prayer” (Author House, 2005).
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