If you ask almost anyone why God judged Sodom and Gomorrah you will 99% of the time get the same proverbial answer. (You can all fill in the blank on that here. . . .). Several years ago I was studying scripture and found that my belief was wrong. As I read and studied I was shocked to find an unexpected answer. Look with me at Ezekiel Chapter 16 starting in verse 48.
48 As I live," says the Lord God, "neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done. 49 Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.
Did you catch that? God’s judgment came because of:
2. Fullness of food
4. Failure to reach out to those in need
Now let me give you a few statistics:
*This year Americans spent an estimated 370 million dollars on Halloween costumes for their PETS!!!!
*We spent over 70 billion dollars on soft drinks last year.
*It would cost about 30 billion a year to END WORLD HUNGER.
Is it safe to say that America has a fullness of food? When we spend 370 million on pet costumes is it safe to say that we are idle to the needs beyond our borders? Is it possible we are also prideful about our position in the world? We love to point the finger at someone else. It grieves me to see a popular face-book post of the Catholic Pope in a gold liturgical robe with a starving child pictured right next to it. It does not grieve me for the reasons you may think. Did you know that the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the U.S? They sent over 5 billion dollars to aid the poor in 2010. My grief in the face-book post is how quick we are to point a finger without realizing we have four fingers pointed right back at ourselves! Myself included. . . I have recently asked myself to take ‘revenue’ of everything I have. To count all my blessings and name them one by one. How many outfits, shoes, jewelry are in my closet? How many sets of dishes do I own? How much do I have set back in storage because my cup truly runs over and I don’t have room to contain everything?
My point is not that any of us should feel guilty about the blessings we have. My point is that we need to examine WHY we have those blessings. . .are we blessed to grow full bellied and idle or are we blessed to extend our hand to strengthen the poor and the needy?
Matthew 25:34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'
'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'