“ ‘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.”
Ezekiel 16:49 NIV

We spend a lot of time trying to label who is the biggest sinner and who’s going to hell. The list changes every decade. It use to be in the 50’s that if you listened to Rock-n-Roll you were going to hell. If you cursed and used the Lords name in vain, if you committed adultery; if you were suspected to be a witch, if you were gay, if you murdered someone. We all have our “proof texts” to condemn anybody that sins different from us to hell.

The truth is that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The only way we can be saved is through the grace of God as expressed through Jesus giving his life in exchange for ours. We are saved by grace!

We often reference Sodom and Gomorrah as the litmus test for what the greatest sin was. God destroyed the town of Sodom because the wickedness of the city had reached the nostrils of God. He sent his angels to warn Abraham’s nephew Lot to get out of town. The men of the town tried to rape the angels. Redactionists have tried to suggest that God destroyed Sodom because of their sexuality but in reality their lack of hospitality signaled a deeper sin problem. They were guilty of a deeper sin that we struggle with today. There are three sins that put us all in danger of missing eternal life with God and life more abundantly on earth. It’s A.O.U.!

  1. They were arrogant. It’s arrogant to think that you and your tribe are the only ones God loves. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have ever lasting life. These men of Sodom were arrogant and tried to force themselves on their guests. Then there was arrogance on the part of Lot to offer his daughters in their place. It’s arrogant to condemn one sex act and be silent about another. We condemn homosexuals but don’t condemn adultery, sex trafficking, sexual harassment by the rich (grabbing women in the vagina), and sexual objectification in entertainment. Arrogance!
  2. Overfed. Those who have plenty to eat are making all the decisions for those who barely have anything to eat. It’s easy to take away healthcare and cut taxes for the rich when you are already overfed. I talked to a senior citizen on SNAP that just lost her food stamps of $40 a month because the Trump administration reduced spending for SNAP. If we were to take one week of the military’s budget and put it in the hands of the 50 million poor people in America we could eradicate poverty. We spend $550 billion a year on poverty initiatives but never reduce poverty. We attack the symptoms but never alleviate the source which is caused by all the overfed people making all the decisions.
  3. Unconcerned. We have become desensitized to the sufferings of the poor. We have taken Flava Flave’s song as our anthem, “I can’t do nothing for you man!”Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? (James 2:15-16) We live in a world where we have no concern for anyone other than ourselves. 

Our greatest sin is that we are arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned as it relates to the poor. When you take care of the poor God repays you. When you ignore the poor God will say this at judgement: “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ Matthew 25:41-45

Dear God,

Help us to help those who can’t help themselves. Silver and gold we may not have but that which we do have through the power of Jesus Christ we can give. We can give a hand up if we can’t afford a handout. We can help people earn living wages through workforce development. We can build affordable homes for the poor and working poor. But first we need you to replace our arrogance with humility, help us to share our bread instead of wasting it. Help us to see the poor and stop ignoring those we can help when it is within our power to help. Give us compassion for the least of these. Help us to treat people like we would want to be treated if we were in their predicament.

In Jesus’ Name,