Beginning of the End


The Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah

This chapter is based on Genesis 19.

Among the cities of the Jordan valley, Sodom was “like the garden of the Lord” (Genesis 13:10) in its fruitfulness and beauty. Rich harvests clothed the fields, and flocks and herds covered the encircling hills all around. Art and commerce enriched the proud city and the treasures of the East decorated her palaces. Caravans brought supplies of precious things to her markets, and with little thought or work, people could live comfortably there. BOE 69.1

Idleness and riches harden the heart that has never been troubled by poverty or burdened by sorrow. The people gave themselves up to fulfilling their sensual desires. “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. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit” (Ezekiel 16:49, 50). Satan is never more successful than when he comes to people in their idle hours. BOE 69.2

In Sodom there was laughter, partying, feasting, and drunkenness. The most evil passions were unrestrained. People openly defied God and His law and delighted in violence. Though they had the example of the pre-Flood world and knew of their destruction, they followed the same course of wickedness. BOE 69.3

When Lot settled in Sodom, corruption had not become universal, and in mercy God permitted rays of light to shine amid the moral darkness. Abraham was not a stranger to the people of Sodom, and his victory over much stronger forces prompted wonder and admiration. No one could avoid the conviction that a divine power had made him conqueror. His noble and unselfish spirit, so strange to the self-seeking inhabitants of Sodom, was another evidence that the religion he had honored was superior. God was speaking to that people by His providence, but the last ray of light was rejected, as all before had been. BOE 69.4

Now the last night of Sodom was approaching, but no one was aware of it. While angels drew near on their mission of destruction, people were dreaming of prosperity and pleasure. The last day was like every other that had come and gone. A landscape of unsurpassed beauty was bathed in the rays of the setting sun. Pleasure-seeking crowds were going this way and that, intent on enjoying the hour. BOE 69.5

In the twilight, two strangers approached the city gate. No one saw them as the mighty heralds of divine judgment. The careless multitude little dreamed that in mistreating these heavenly messengers, that very night they would reach the pinnacle of guilt that doomed their city. BOE 70.1