"No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don't do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."
I was reading this chapter in the Bible for my devotions today and was arrested on the verses above.
Genesis 19 is the story of the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The narrative states that "The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it" (Gen 19:13). Although traditionally, it is felt that it was sexual immorality that brought the wrath of God upon the cities, scripture reveals a more foundational reason:
"'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.
The issue of Sodom was that she was decadent, unconcerned about God or one another, and their actions, including their sexuality, showed a blatant disregard for the humanity of others. The text that began this blog demonstrated how the decadence became a culture of pleasure and self-satisfaction. When self-pleasure becomes a god, people are objectified. In that culture, people simply serve our desires. The culture is Sodom was clearly hedonistic and unrestrained.
In this text, males of the city surrounded the home of Lot, who was entertaining Angels (unknown to the city residents) and demanded to have sex with them. Lot's response was to offer his daughters to the mob. Although he was saved from the destruction, he was not a righteous man. His attitude of dehumanization, particularly seeing women as objects of pleasure, to be used to appease the desires of unrestrained lust.
I believe that God sees dehumanization and objectification as acts of injustice. This is why he destroyed an entire city. I have been so overwhelmed in my spirit regarding correlations today. We have entire cultures that worship self-satisfaction, and therefore dehumanize one another. The end of every major empire began with a period of decadence and degradation. I listen to grammy award winning rap music which is now mainstream, and I just hear objectification and degradation. And no one seems to care. Many entertainers use words that see women in the same way that Lot and the Sodom society saw them.
The point is that we can make a difference by honoring God and honoring one another. The greatest goal of a civilization can not be self or it implodes. Are we able to speak truth and not only see injustice, but stand against it. Can we protect those who are regularly dehumanized and objectified, such as when women are described as mere symbols of conquest and pleasure? I think its not only possible, but it could be likely, God helping us!
Lets not be a Lot, but take a stand today.
Pastor M Traylor