In the book of Genesis God spoke through Moses about the homosexual practices of the people in the city of Sodom (Genesis 19:1-26). In Isaiah 3:9 the prophet Isaiah spoke of what Moses wrote about in Genesis 19 when he compared the sin of the people of Israel with the sin of the people of Sodom. He said, "And they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it." This does not mean that Israel's sin was the same as Sodom's, but that their attitude toward their sin was the same. God pointed out through Isaiah that Israel was like Sodom in that they declared their sin and did not try to hide it.
When one reads the account of Sodom in Genesis 19, he sees a picture of people who were so accepting of their sin that they did not try to hide it. When one looks at America today he sees much of what Sodom looked like in Abraham's day. Homosexuals have "come out of the closet." They no longer try to hide their sin. In fact, they declare it. In America today there are many, perhaps now a majority, who accept the sin of homosexuality as a normal and healthy lifestyle. In fact they flaunt it, and expect all who believe what the Bible teaches about homosexuality to deny what they know to be true and accept homosexuality just as they do. The nineteenth chapter of Genesis gives us much information concerning the fact that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination in God's sight. Please study this chapter with me, along with related passages in the New Testament, and learn what the Bible teaches about homosexuality.
A STUDY OF GENESIS 19 AND RELATED PASSAGES IN THE BIBLE
The account in Genesis 19 begins with two angels entering a city named Sodom. Lot, who was a righteous man (2 Peter 2:7), was sitting at the gate of the city and saw the two angels enter the city. When he saw them he immediately invited them to go to his home and spend the night there. The angels said, "No, but we will spend the night in the open square" (Genesis 19:2). But for some reason Lot, "insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house" (Genesis 19:3). I wonder if Lot was so insistent because he knew what would happen if the two angels stayed in the square at night. Lot lived in Sodom and knew what went on there. The Bible says in 2 Peter 2:7 that "Lot...was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked"... and that it "...tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds" (2 Peter 2:8). Whatever sin the people of Sodom were guilty of, it is described by the Holy Spirit as filthy conduct, wicked, something that tormented the souls of the righteous, and lawless deeds. Evidently, they also practiced their sin where everyone could see and hear it.
In Genesis 19:4-5 the Bible says, "but before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, 'where are the men who came to you tonight?'" Notice that the Bible emphasizes that it was "the men of the city," and then it says, "the men of Sodom," and then it says "both old and young', and finally it says "all the people from every quarter surrounded the house." This verse describes a city wholly given to sin.
The people then demanded of Lot where the men who he had taken into his house were. And then they said, "bring them out to us that we may know them." I know that those who defend the homosexual lifestyle will tell us that the men of Sodom just wanted to get acquainted with the men who came into Lot's house. But there could be nothing further from the truth. The word "know" is the same word that is used in Genesis 4:1 where the Bible says, "And the man knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain..." The fact that when Adam knew Eve it resulted in the conception of Cain, shows that this word is used in this verse to indicate that Adam knew Eve sexually. In other words, he had sexual relations with her. I realize that the Hebrew word is used in different ways in the Bible, so the meaning of the word must be understood in light of the context in which it is used. In other words, the context determines what one seeks to know. In the case of the people of Sodom, it meant to know them sexually. It meant to have homosexual relations with them.
In the book of Jude, verse 7, Jude wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit about Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them and said, "as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." There can be no doubt that the people of Sodom were guilty of sexual immorality. In fact Jude describes them as "having given themselves over to sexual immorality." That means it was their lifestyle. The sexual immorality that they were engaged in consisted of going after "strange flesh." The word that is translated "strange" in Jude 7 literally means "other" or "different." It is often used to give a contrast (cf. Matthew 6:24; Luke 5:7; Luke 7:41; Luke 23:40 etc...). Since Jude 7 is speaking of sexual immorality (fornication) then there is a contrast between what is immoral sexually and what is not immoral. It was immoral for the people of Sodom to go after "other flesh." The phrase "strange flesh" reminds us of what Paul wrote in Romans 1:27, "Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due." Jude was talking about what Paul spoke about in Romans 1:27 when he said they went after strange flesh. The Holy Spirit through Paul pointed out that when it comes to sexuality there is something that is natural and something that is shameful. It is natural for a man to have sexual relations with a woman. It is shameful for that man to have sexual relations with another man. And the Holy Spirit also points out that there is a penalty to pay for the person who engages in sex with a person of the same sex. There can be no doubt that the people of Sodom were guilty of sexual immorality and that the sin they were guilty of was homosexuality. There is also no doubt about what people who are guilty of sexual immorality and who go after strange flesh deserve. Jude says "they are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." The Holy Spirit points out that the people of Sodom, Gomorrah and the cities around them were set forth as an example for us to understand that such sin results in the vengeance of God and that God's vengeance consists of eternal fire. Eternal fire is used in the case of one place - Hell (Matthew 5:22; 18:9; Mark 9:44-46).
There is something else that Genesis 19 teaches that shows us that the men of Sodom's desire to know the men who came into Lot's house was not just wanting to get acquainted with them. In verse 7 Lot replied to the question that the men of Sodom had ask by saying, "Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!" Whatever was involved in the people wanting to know the two men who came into Lot's house is described by Lot as wicked. The word translated "wickedly" is a verb that means "to be bad, to do wrong." It often refers to moral evil and is often translated in our English versions by the word evil (cf. Deuteronomy 15:9; Genesis 44:5; Proverbs 4:16; Jeremiah 4:22). The knowledge that the people of Sodom sought concerning these men was wicked, evil, bad and wrong. This again refers to the same thing that Romans 1:27 refers to: "...Men...leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful." But God not only condemns such taking place between men but also women. In Romans 1:26 the Holy Spirit said that "God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged that natural use for what is against nature." Notice the phrase "vile passions." It is against nature for a woman to have sexual relations with another woman. The Holy Spirit describes that as "vile passions." So the inspired apostle Paul taught that it is shameful for a man to have sexual relations with another man or for a woman to have sexual relations with another woman and those who do so sin (violate God's law), and will receive the penalty for their error.
I don't know what Lot was thinking or what prompted him to say what he did next, but he said something else that shows that the word know means more than just getting acquainted. Look at verse 8, "See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof." When Lot said that his two daughters "have not known a man," there can be no doubt that he meant they were virgins. They had not had sexual relations with a man. It is interesting that the word translated "known" here is the same word that is translated "know" in the phrase "that we may know them" in verse 5. There can be no doubt that the men of Sodom wanted to have homosexual relations with the two men in Lot's house. Also, the fact that the men of Sodom told Lot, "we will deal worse with you than with them", shows that whatever they intended to do when they knew the men who were in Lot's house was a bad thing, because whatever they intended to do to the two men who were in Lot's house was less than what they then threatened Lot with. The fact that they threatened Lot in this way shows that what they intended to do to the two angels was wicked.
It is interesting that the men of Sodom responded to Lot's plea by saying, "'Stand back!' Then they said, 'This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.'" Isn't this the way it is today? When one suggests that homosexuality is a sin, that it is vile, against nature, and deserves the penalty for error (as the Bible teaches), that person is accused of judging, of being a "homophobe", of being "unloving, unkind and intolerant," of being a "bigot", and now even of being a "racist"! But if these accusations are so, then they must be made against God Himself! It is God who ordained marriage between a man and woman (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6). It is God who judged Sodom and Gomorrah and those cities of the plain who were so wicked (Genesis 19:12-29). It is God who condemns the act of homosexuality and says that it is unnatural, vile, wicked, shameful (Romans 1:26-27), that it comes from a debased mind (Romans 1:28), that it is unrighteous and will keep one out of heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), and that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only those who practice them but those who approve of them (Romans 1:32). So, when one begins accusing those who teach what the Bible teaches about homosexuality or any other sin, they are in fact accusing God Himself!
When one reads the account in Genesis 19 and then compares all of the other passages in the Bible that deal with that account there can be no doubt that the men of Sodom wanted to have homosexual relations with the angels who came in to Lot's house. There is also no doubt that God condemns homosexuality, and that those who continue to commit that sin and/or support it contribute to the downfall of our nation and will be lost in Hell for eternity.
HOW THIS APPLIES TO HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGESI would like to make some application of God's condemnation of homosexuality to the call being made by many of our government officials and others in places of influence for the approval of so-called homosexual marriages. I want to begin by asking this question of those who support it: Since God condemns homosexuality and calls it vile, unnatural, wicked, shameful, debased, unrighteous and tells us that it deserves death, do you expect us to just dismiss everything He has said and accept homosexual marriages, which in reality is an acceptance of homosexuality? Who are you to ask us to do such a thing? Do you think you have authority to demand that we circumvent God's will? We cannot do such a thing. If you demand that we do so, "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
Homosexuality is just like any other sin. We are to love the sinner, but hate the sin. If one chooses to be involved in this sin he has made his choice and unfortunately has to live with the consequences, both physical and spiritual. Those of us who believe in God and that the Bible is His word must love people enough to warn them of the consequences of this sin. However, I should not be forced to approve of this sin by having my government enact laws that make it acceptable. I have often wondered how many of those same government officials would approve such a law for polygamous marriages? For marriages between animals and humans? Between Pedophiles and children? And I have to ask, how far will you go with this??? Since the door has been opened to accept homosexual marriages, and since the same arguments will be used to justify these other kinds of "marriages," there is no stopping place.
Unfortunately, shamefully (in my opinion), among those who have jumped on the band wagon to support the homosexual agenda is our President who has expressed his support for homosexual marriages. According to the White House blog, our President consulted different authorities in making his decision to support homosexual marriages. I guess he consulted what he considered to be the "highest authorities." Notice who he consulted: "He's talked to the first lady about it....He's heard from folks - gay and lesbian friends, staff members in long-term, loving relationships, as well as brave young servicemen and women...He's sat around his kitchen table with Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples..." and according to the President, "that's the kind of thing that prompts a change of perspective - not wanting to somehow explain to your child why somebody should be treated differently when it comes to eyes of the law."
I wonder if it ever entered the Presidents mind that just maybe he ought to consult with God about this decision? After all, it is God who created us all. It is God who ordained marriage between one man and one woman for their lifetime. It is God who tells us in His word that homosexuality is a sin and against His will. But the President seems to think that there are higher authorities than God. Sadly, some day the President and all those people who practice and support homosexuality, as well as the other sins listed in Romans 1, will find out that there is no higher authority than God. And some day they will find out that what God said in Romans 1:31 about those who practice sin and who throw their support behind those who practice it will suffer the penalty due to them. That penalty is spiritual death. Eternal separation from God in Hell. At that time there is no doubt that the President will wish he had consulted God above all others about this matter. At that time there is no doubt that the President will wish he had explained to his children why somebody should not be given the right to live in sin and have the U.S. government support that sin. The statement made by the President in that regard just does not connect with reality. There are thousands of people who are not treated the same as other people when it comes to the eyes of the law because they have chosen to commit crimes. They have violated the law. They committed wrong. We ought to be telling our children the truth - that the law treats some people differently than others because of those people's bad decisions to do wrong. Those people who commit crimes are not allowed to vote, they have had their freedom taken away in some cases etc... And it is all because of the bad decisions they have made to break the law. If the President wants to really come clean, he can tell his children the truth about the sin of homosexuality and the fact that when people decide to break God's law they have to suffer the consequences.
It is our prayer that the eyes of those who lead our nation will be opened to the truth of God's word and that they will take a stand against those things that are evil and for those things that are good. Our nation will never survive as a great nation until we turn to following God's will and direction as set forth in His word, the Bible. We need to repeat Isaiah's words, but this time let's read the whole verse: "The look on their countenance witnesses against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves" (Isaiah 3:9). For the homosexuals and their supporters to declare their sin as Sodom and not hide it is to bring woe on their souls and evil on themselves and on our nation. May the righteous have the courage to rise up and declare God's will to this lost and dying world! It has been said, and it is still true: "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).