Summary: Sodom was guilty of "an abomination" - and when God saw it "He removed them." What was this abomination and what can that tell us about God's attitude toward this sin? Also, can this "abomination" be forgiven?
OPEN: A man went to see a psychiatrist, and told him, "I’ve been doing some bad things, Doc, and my conscience is troubling me."
The psychiatrist thought about that and then said: "And you want something that will STRENGTHEN your will power?"
But the man replied, "Well, no. I was thinking of something that might weaken my conscience."
Jerusalem was a city with a weakened conscience. They had sinned so terribly that God said that even Sodom and Samaria hadn’t done half of the evils that Judah had done. God declared: “Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways.” Ezekiel 16:47
In Scripture, Sodom is a by-word of evil. Deuteronomy 32:32-33 (talking to Israel about their forefathers’ disobedience): “For their vine (the disobedience in Israel) comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter; their wine is the poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps.”
Essentially Sodom was the benchmark against which all evil was measured. And at the heart of Sodom’s sin was (PAUSE) AN ABOMINATION. Jerusalem is told by God: “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.” Ezekiel 16:49-50
In other words… there were SIX sins Sodom was guilty of. But the last was an abomination, and when God saw that ABOMINATION He “removed them.” But what exactly was this abomination Ezekiel was talking about? Well Genesis 19:1, 3-11 tells us: “The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth…. They turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. But before they lay down, the men of the city, THE MEN OF SODOM, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, THAT WE MAY KNOW THEM.’…
Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.”
The book of Genesis does not mention any OTHER sin Sodom committed. The only sin that Sodom is known for in Genesis is “sodomy” – what we call homosexuality. All the men of the city were guilty of that. They were ALL trying to break down Lot’s door so that they might have sex with Lot’s male visitors (angels). As you can imagine, that didn’t work real well for the Sodomites.
That kind of activity is called an ABOMINATION in Scripture. Leviticus 18:22 warns Israel: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an ABOMINATION.”
In case you didn’t catch how serious this was, God drives the point home in later in Jude 1:7 “…Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities… likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire (and) serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”
In our text this morning in Ezekiel 16 God was essentially saying that Sodom was guilty of 6 different sins - but it their blatant endorsement of homosexuality that was like the icing on the cake. God declared “I removed them, when I saw it.” Ezekiel 16:50
Now, homosexuality is not the only sexual sin that’s called an abomination. Leviticus 18 has a whole list of sexual sins that God detests and calls ABOMINATIONS: “You are not to come near any close relative for sexual intercourse; I am the LORD. You are not to shame your father by having sex with your mother. She is your mother; you must not have sexual intercourse with her. You are not to have sex with your father’s wife; it will shame your father. You are not to have sexual intercourse with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s, whether born at home or born elsewhere…” Leviticus 18:6-9 (HCSB Version)
And the list goes on and on and on. We’re not going to read the whole thing because some of it just plain embarrassing. Ephesians 5:12 “it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret”