A quick thought came to me that just had to be written down. We have a UKIP councillor (ex-UKIP now) who has blamed all the freak storms lashing our coasts as the judgement of God upon the UK for adopting same-sex marriage. Now I am loathe to make such declarations, for unless you know you have a specific call to be a prophet to a nation, it’s not your place to make such cries, in my humble opinion. Being prophetic in general, calling to God’s people about right and wrong and pointing out what our Lord is trying to say (being a voice) is fine and dandy; I suppose this is my platform for such proclamations!
A relevant case-in-point is the rise of AIDS in the 80s. Many started saying it was judgement upon the gay community, but this left proclaimers face down in the mud when it was pointed out that worldwide it was more of a heterosexual disease than it was in the developed west – so it was judgement upon all sexual sin and promiscuity, then! Ah, but God must not be so judgemental of lesbians then, since they were the least affected by HIV, due to the nature of its means of transmission. Add to that the drug injectors, haemophiliacs and innocent babies who caught it (particularly in Africa – I’ve seen the swathes of orphanages there; the result of so many parents gone AND with so many HIV-positive children) and you don’t seem to have a coherent argument about AIDS anymore. I try to avoid such sweeping gesticulations at a nation or a community.
But hold on, we all know that Sodom was judged, and judged severely by God. The word sodomy in English has come to be a byword for homosexual practices, since the account of Lot’s sojourn in Sodom in Genesis 19 makes it clear that homosexuality was rampant there. God had already stated his intention: “Then the Lord said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me.'” (Gen. 18:20,21) So was this ‘outcry’ against the sexual immorality? What exactly was it that angered the Lord so much that he’d destroy them?
Ezekiel, the prophet who was called to prophesy to the nation of Judah, much later, gives us the single, most clear answer to that:
“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.” (Ezek. 16:49) Still wary of grand sweeping proclamations myself, I’ll ask one question: do we have a government in this country that cares about the poor and needy? Answers on a postcard not required!
In fact, Ezekiel is highlighting the sins of Jerusalem and God’s people within that city, and is using the sins of Sodom to state that they are nowhere near as bad as Jerusalem:
“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. Samaria did not commit half the sins you did. You have done more detestable things than they, and have made your sisters seem righteous by all these things you have done. Bear your disgrace, for you have furnished some justification for your sisters. Because your sins were more vile than theirs, they appear more righteous than you. So then, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.”
Grace be with you.