What was the reason that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah? When we examine all of the scriptures of the Bible regarding these two cites, we see a picture that helps us understand why so many people lost their lives. Genesis 18 and 19 describes the sins of those who inhabited these cities as “very grave,” necessitating fire and brimstone from heaven. Jude wrote that the sin that is described in Genesis 18 was “sexual immorality,” and a people who had “gone after strange flesh.” Peter described the destruction of these cities as an example of the judgment that God will inflict upon those who live sexually immoral lives.
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When we read the story of Nineveh, this city had also reached a similar place of evil that required the judgment of God. When Jonah walked through the city and informed the inhabitants that God would destroy their city in forty days, all of the people ceased from their sins and turned to God in repentance. No destruction came to Nineveh.
JONAH SPEAKING TO THE PEOPLE OF NINEVEH:
“Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them…Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. Jonah 3:1-10
What we learn from these two examples is that God does not want to destroy the lives of human beings, He wants to save us from ourselves. It is not the will of God that evil should overtake our cities and destroy the beauty and serenity that is possible when people live together in peace.
As we examine who it was that determined that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah should be destroyed, we find that it was the pre incarnate Jesus in one of his many appearance in the Old Testament, who issued the order. As we examine the text of Genesis 17 and 18, we see that the LORD, and two angels had come to Abram and Sarai to announce that they would have a son, who would be the first in a long line of descendants that would bring the Messiah into the world. God was sending us a Savior, and this ninety-nine year old man and ninety year old woman would be the parents of the first descendant. Through this son, the entire world would be blessed. God was going to make a way that every person who has been born on the earth, could have all of their sins removed and obtain heaven as their eternal destiny.
It was while bringing this wonderful news to Abraham and Sarah, as they would later be known, that the LORD also determined to destroy two cites, whose inhabitants had digressed so far into sexual immorality that their continued existence would threaten the peace, and safety of every other city and people. This sin in Sodom and Gomorrah had existed for a very long time, with no repentance or desire to cease their immoral actions. When we examine the moments when God had determined that a nation should be destroyed for their unwillingness to turn from evil, we find that hundreds of years of forbearance were given to these nations by God. In the case of the Canaanites, God waited nearly 900 years before the order came for judgement. (more…)