Genesis 19 The Story of Sodom and Gomorrah


Dear Friend,

You have asked about the well-known story of Sodom and Gomorrah, related in chapter 19 of the Book of Genesis. 
In chapter 18 the Lord and two angels visit with Abraham, who receives them with the respect and generosity due strangers in that harsh land. The Lord shares his intention of destroying Sodom and Gomorrah because “the outcry is great ... and their sin is very grave.” Abraham bargains the Lord into agreeing that he will not destroy the cities if even ten good men can be found.
The two angels go on to Sodom, and are received by Abraham’s brother Lot with the same tradition of respect and generosity. The rest of the city, however, reacts to the two strangers with arrogance and belligerence. Through the centuries, traditional Christian interpretation has become that the men of Sodom intended to sexually violate the two men. The entire story is thus seen as a warning against homosexual behavior. This is a possible interpretation, but certainly not the only one. It’s an interpretation that evolved in the third and fourth Christian centuries as part of a general concern with sexual behavior. In Jewish tradition the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality. The cities were punished because they did not observe the laws regarding hospitality to strangers—laws which were extremely important if travelers were to survive in the harsh land. 
Metaphysically, angels always represent divine ideas—emanations from Divine Mind meant to join with and expand our own Christ consciousness. The question, then, is how receptive—how hospitable—we are to those ideas when they arrive. Do we welcome them, nourish them, open our consciousness to the new energy they represent? Or do we reject them, or even worse, try to use divine ideas for selfish purposes? If we insist on being unreceptive to the emanations of Divine Mind seeking to awaken and empower us, then we will certainly experience a life of conflict and disaster. The choice is ours.


Rev. Ed