Summary: Sodom was guilty of six sins and the first on the list was "pride". What is it about pride that makes God so angry and how can we avoid that sin?
OPEN: A man told of driving West Texas highway. There were no cars in sight and he was going about 70 mph when suddenly, as he went over a crest in the road, he could see up ahead a huge hawk feeding on a rabbit who’d been killed by a passing vehicle. Now ordinarily, what do you think a bird would do when faced by a speeding car? That’s right, it would fly away. But not this bird. The giant hawk straightened up and looked into the man's head lights, spreading its wing and opening it beak in bold defiance … just before he hit it. There was this "whump" sound, and suddenly this once proud bird lay dead on the highway. The man ended his story by saying that neither the dead rabbit the bird had died defending, nor the bird’s pride, were of any good to him at that point.
Proverbs 16:18 says: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” And that giant hawk was proof of that.
For the next few weeks we’re going to be talking about the sins of Sodom. Most people believe that Sodom only had one sin. In fact, if I were to ask you what sin Sodom was known for, what would you say? (Homosexuality). In fact the sin of homosexuality if often called “SODOMY”
We’re told the story in Genesis 19:1-7 & 10-11 “The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. ‘My lords,’ he said, ‘please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.’ ‘No,’ they answered, "we will spend the night in the square.’ But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.’ Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, ‘No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing…. ‘The men (the angels) inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.”
So Sodomy/homosexuality is the sin that is identified with Sodom. And that’s the sin we think of when we hear the name of that city. But here in Ezekiel God’s telling us there were ACTUALLY 6 sins of Sodom: Pride; Gluttony; Laziness; Neglect of the poor and needy; Haughtiness; and an “Abomination” (that last word is the one Ezekiel uses for homosexual behavior).
For the next few weeks we’re going to focusing on each one of those sins…and we’re going to ask WHY each of those sins made God so angry. But today we’re going to be looking at the sin of Pride.
The Bible tells us that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble" James 4:6. Notice that God doesn’t just NOT LIKE proud people, He ACTIVELY opposes them. He deliberately works against them. His intention is remove them from the board.
But what’s the big deal? I mean, a lot of people are “proud” of things in their lives. They’re proud of their family/ car/ home/ job/ accomplishments. But that’s not the kind of pride God talking about here. If I say I’m proud of kids, I’m saying I’m pleased they’re part of my life. In fact, I’m so pleased that I want YOU to know how blessed I am. (I pulled out my wallet and pretended to show the picture section) I’ll show you their pictures, I’ll tell stories about what they’ve said and what they’ve done, I’ll tell you what they want to do with their lives. I’ll brag about them every chance I get. And that wouldn’t necessarily be a BAD thing. It might be annoying… but not necessarily bad. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever read in Scripture where God was angry with that type of pride, because that’s just ME telling YOU how blessed I am to have them in my life. That’s not a bad thing!!!!
So if that’s not a bad thing, what kind of pride is God talking about here? Well, the key to understanding this sin is in that verse: "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." What’s a humble PERSON known for? Well, they’re humble. They don’t brag about themselves. They’re not all wrapped up in themselves.