Summary: The 3rd sin of Sodom was slothfulness. Why does God hate this, and how can we be condemned of this sin? Hint: too many churches and church goers actually do commit this sin and risk His wrath.
OPEN: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo0KjdDJr1c–time stamp 0:0 thru 2:44 - A Millennial Job Interview)
Now, how would you describe that young lady? Was she a self-centered, selfish woman?? Well, yeah. It was very clear that she absolutely had to have a specially created coffee latte every morning; and (when her interview went south) she said she wanted to talk to the HR director because she wanted to take off a day as a “mental health” day.
Did she feel Entitled. No question. She said she needed validation and encouragement, and it was obvious that she believed she deserved this job just because she showed up!!!
And was she lazy? Unquestionably. She said she stayed up till 3 skyping with her boyfriend, and 8 o’clock only came once a day, and it was not in the morning. “Who gets up at 8?” she asks.
She’s an excellent example of what we’re talking about this morning. According the ESV the 3rd sin that Sodom was condemned for was called “Prosperous Ease”. The KJV is a little clearer when it calls it an “abundance of idleness.”
Now THIS kind of sin (abundance of idleness) has been around for centuries. It’s a kind of a feeling of entitlement, selfishness and laziness all wrapped up in one neat little package.
One of the terms the Bible uses for this kind of behavior is “slothfulness”.
Proverbs 12:24 says “The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.”
And Proverbs 19:15 declares “Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.”
God warns us against this kind of lifestyle. One of my favorite passages on this topic is this from Proverbs 6:10-11 (and I repeat it to myself anytime I feel like getting a little too lazy) “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.’
Someone once said: “Hard work spotlights the character of people: Some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.” (Sam Ewing, radio announcer and writer.)
God didn’t create us to sit around and contemplate our navels. When God created Adam and Eve what special place did he create for them? That’s right, He created a garden for them. Now, what do you do with a “garden?” Well… you plant vegetables in it, you weed it, you cultivate it, you spray it for bugs. You WORK in the garden.
That’s one of the reasons I don’t have one.
In Genesis 2:5 we’re told that BEFORE God created that Garden “…no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up — for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to WORK the ground.”
God created us to DO work. In the Mosaic Law God declared: “Six days (a week) you SHALL LABOR, and do all your work but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work…” Exodus 20:9-10
So what we’ve learned so far is: We were created by God to do honest labor. And we’ve also learned that sloth/laziness can make us poor.
But the people that God condemned in Sodom were NOT poor. Ezekiel tells us they that - not only had an abundance of idleness - but they also had an “abundance of bread” (which was probably a reference to their wealth – they had more food than they knew what to do with). So what’s going on here? I mean their “laziness” is obviously not making them poor. In fact it seems that their riches are what’s making them lazy. And I got to thinking – why then would God say the Sodomites were slothful?
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells this interesting parable:
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’