Sodom & Gomorrah: Example of Judgment
Places of Interest
Sodom & Gomorrah
Example of Judgment to Come
1. Sodom and Gomorrah are located around the eastern side of the Dead Sea.
2. Gomorrah is located at the base of Masada, and Sodom is about 13 miles (20 km.) south of Gomorrah.
3. Though the actual locations of the cities are somewhat disputed, the growing evidence reveals that the locations are quite certain. This evidence is provided in the following section.
1. Josephus, a historian writer during the time of Christ, said the ruins could still be clearly seen in his day.
2. Archeologists have discovered around 1.5 million bodies in graves in these areas around Sodom and Gomorrah.
3. There are a lot of brimstone (old name for sulfur) balls in these cities.
4. This sulfur is unique and different from all other sulfur found in the world.
It is around 90-95% pure.
It is white, unlike any other place in the world.
It is so pure you can light it on fire, and it burns a hot blue flame.
These sulfur balls are not found between the cities.
5. There is a lot of ash in these areas which fits the biblical narrative.
2 Peter 2:6: And if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter.
6. The material of these city formations is calcium sulfate, which is what limestone and sulfur become when heated.
7. The choice building material in Israel is limestone, so these cities fit the scientific evidence as well.
8. There is a lot of charcoal layers found in the strata of these cities.
9. The amount of ash, charcoal, and calcium sulfate reveal overwhelming evidence of extreme heat in these cities.
10. There is also no geothermal activity in these areas to explain the ash, charcoal, and calcium sulfate.
11. In addition, there are many unexplained shapes in these areas that look like buildings, Sphinxes, pyramids, and palaces.
12. These cities existed around 4,000 years ago, so their remains would be difficult to distinguish. Plus, God destroyed and reduced them to ashes as well.
13. These cities fit the location as described in the Bible.
Genesis 13:10: Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar [Zoar has been identified as being south of Sodom and Gomorrah].
14. Because the Dead Sea basin used to be like the Garden of Eden, it was an extremely desirable climate that was great for agriculture and life in general. It was, therefore, a very populated area.
15. The thought of God raining down fire and brimstone upon the cities and peoples in this area is staggering and gives me chills up and down my spine. This fire and brimstone were so hot and intense it destroyed everything in its wake.
16. God also used Sodom and Gomorrah to refer to all of the cities of the Dead Sea basin.
Places of Interest
7. Lot’s Wife
Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible
1. God told Abraham through two angels about His plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.
Genesis 18:20–21: And the Lord said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 I will go down now and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
2. During a dialogue between Abraham and God, Abraham pleaded with God to spare the cities on account of the righteous ones living in them (Gen. 18:22–31).
3. God told Abraham that He would spare the cities if only 10 righteous people could be found in them.
Genesis 18:32-33: And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” 33 As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the Lord departed, and Abraham returned to his place.
4. In the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah lived hundreds of thousands of people. The fact that there were not even 10 righteous people speaks of the extreme wickedness of these cities.
Genesis 13:13: Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the Lord.
5. The wickedness of Sodom revealed.
Genesis 19:1–11: Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” 3 Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4 Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; 5 and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” 6 But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. 8 Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. 10 But the men [two angels] reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.
6. God warns Lot and his family to flee for their lives.
Genesis 19:12–17: Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; 13 for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the Lord will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting. 15 When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city. 17 When they had brought them outside, one [angel] said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.”
7. God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah.
Genesis 19:23–29: The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar [located south of Sodom and Gomorrah]. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 27 Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the Lord; 28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley, and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace. 29 Thus, it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.
God used Sodom and Gomorrah as examples of judgment upon the ungodly throughout the Bible.
1. Moses used Sodom and Gomorrah as warnings for the future generations of the Israelites.
Deuteronomy 29:23: All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.
God specifically states that He destroyed two other cities besides Sodom and Gomorrah (Adman and Zeboiim). However, it appears He also destroyed Zoar because after Lot left Zoar his two daughters said there was no one in the land for them to marry.
2. The prophets continually used Sodom and Gomorrah as examples of God’s wrath on the ungodly.
Jeremiah 49:18: Like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah with its neighbors,” says the Lord, “no one will live there, nor will a son of man reside in it.”
Lamentations 4:6: For the iniquity of the daughter of my people Is greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands were turned toward her.
3. Jesus used Sodom and Gomorrah as examples of God’s judgment on the ungodly.
Luke 17:28–30: It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.
4. The Apostles used Sodom and Gomorrah as examples of God’s coming judgment on the ungodly.
2 Peter 2:4–10: For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.
Jude 1:5–7: Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Repeatedly, throughout the accounts of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the sin of homosexuality is highlighted as the main wickedness for which God destroyed them.
Some, who defend homosexuality, claim that God destroyed them because of their lack of hospitality.
5. God uses the same imagery of fire and brimstone in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as for what hell will be like.
Revelation 20:10: And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Faith Lesson from Sodom and Gomorrah
1. The lesson from Sodom and Gomorrah is a serious, sobering message we should allow to sink in deeply.
2. The primary sin for which God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality. However, they sinned in many other ways as well.
3. Sodom and Gomorrah are a foreshadow of what hell will be like.
4. Jesus talked about how His second coming would be like that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Jesus also spoke more about hell than heaven.
5. If God, the prophets, Christ, and the apostles used Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of the eternal judgment in hell that awaits the ungodly, then we should do the same today as well.
6. God is a God of love and has done everything He can to save us, but for those who reject His offer of salvation, eternal suffering in the Lake of Fire awaits them (Rev. 20:10).