Tuesday, November 17, 2015

In Sodom, those who were not in the mainstream were taken advantage of or ignored.

Image result for sodom and gomorrah

 Sexual sin was not the only sin of Sodom. When most Evangelicals think of Sodom and her sin, they think of sexual immorality. The Scriptures make it clear that the sexual sin of the city and its neighboring Gomorrah was very great (see Genesis 19). But according to God's prophet, Ezekiel, there was more that displeased a holy God than that particular sin. Ezekiel 16:49, 50 tells us, Behold this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it (NASB).

 The above Hebrew word for careless ease, shaquat, means to "be at quiet, tranquil, to be at peace." The Theological Word Book of the Old Testament states, “the word careless ease in the Ezekiel text overlaps with the word 'security' (betah) which is a feeling of confidence." 

 Willful ignorance of the poor and needy
People in Sodom simply walked by the poor. The word Ezekiel uses in Ezekiel 16:49 for help, means literally, "to seize by the hand and set up again." In their insatiable lust and greed they did not reach out and lift up the sick, the afflicted and the poor. The word for "poor" means to find oneself oppressed, afflicted and wretched. The word "needy" connotes having no clothes, no land and no food.These commands to help the poor, the weak, and the needy are through out the
 Old Testament.

Sodom had its good times; the best of times. Again like many today, they had the attitude of "Come on; let's party!" There was plenty of apathy toward the poor and needy in the city of Sodom and her daughter cities. Pleasure and the absence of pain were the ultimate objective of life for these cities. The outcome was an ethical and psychological hedonism at its worst. Those who were not in the mainstream were taken advantage of or ignored. Does this sound familiar to you?


Reach out the poor and the persecuted.
The New Testament Church spoke often of helping the poor (Galatians 2:9-19; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15)
A friend of mine who was from a nation which had no Christian roots. As we entered to our social work agency he  said, "You Americans have to learn how to walk over those who sleep on the sidewalk." This is what Sodom was like. They walked by as though they were not there.

If you are a pastor what is your budget for the poor, especially those who have mental illness? Do you support missionaries to the poor and mentally ill? Do you pray for them?

Heartfelt Counseling Ministries is a ministry which reaches out to a population which is mentioned in this email.  If you would like to make a tax free end of the year gift, please go to our web site http://heartfeltmin.org/how-can-i-get-involved.html 
What about the persecuted church? There are more ways than ever  to pray for and to help our brothers and sisters in this global village.  The writer of Hebrews says,  
Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. 
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