The story begins in Gibeah when an old man extends hospitality to an unnamed Levite, his concubine and his servant and lodges them for the night. In the middle of the night, however, a strange thing happens.
"As they were enjoying themselves, suddenly certain men of the city, perverted men, surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, "While they were enjoying themselves, the men of the city, who were wicked men, surrounded the house and pounded on the door. They said to the old man, the master of the house, 'Bring out the man who came to your house, so we can have relations with him'" (Jud. 19:22)
The expression "perverted men" literally means "sons of Belial," and it refers to a group of vile men who sought to satisfy their homosexual desires on the unnamed Levite visitor. The men of Sodom also made a similar request to abuse Lot's visitors in a sadistic, homosexual manner (Gen. 19:5). These accounts reveal the decadence of both of these periods of time in Israel's history. Homosexuality is the only reason the Scriptures give for Sodom's destruction. Jude 7, which is referenced later in this article, confirms this also.
Ceremonial laws were specifically for Israel to obey, but moral laws are universal and apply to the entire human race. One of the universal moral laws of Israel states:
"There must never be a cult prostitute among the daughters of Israel nor a cult prostitute among the sons of Israel" (Deut. 23:17)
The Hebrew word for "perverted" is qadesh, which means one practicing sodomy and prostitution in religious rituals.
Isn't that the height of deception—to mix sodomy and prostitution with religion?
Under God's Law Israel was commanded to remove this type of evil and wickedness from the land. This is a type and shadow of what is now operative in this Church dispensation. Paul commanded the Corinthian church to "put away from yourselves the evil person" (1 Cor. 5:13).
We need to understand that the practices of the Old Testament do not carry over into the New Testament, but the principles do. For example, we don't stone violators and transgressors of the Law in the same way they did in the Old Testament, but we are to apply the same principle in disciplining the church member (1 Cor. 5).
"The tribes of Israel sent men throughout the whole tribe of Benjamin, saying, 'What is this evil that has been committed among you? Now hand over the wicked men in Gibeah, so that we can kill them and purge the evil from Israel.' Yet the Benjamites were not willing to listen to their fellow children of Israel" (Jud. 20:12-13).
After an ensuing battle with the tribe of Benjamin, who refused to comply with God's Law, godly order was eventually restored as the land was indeed cleansed of perversion. But the cycle of sin and perversion resurfaced again in Israel during the time of the kings.
"And there were also perverted persons in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel" (1 Kin. 14:24).
The abominations of the nations were infiltrating into Israel and influencing them in the same way the sin and immorality of the world has infiltrated much of the Church today.
David's son, Asa, was a godly king and he did right in the sight of the Lord and cleansed the land once more.
"And he banished the perverted persons from the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made" (1 Kin. 15:12).
Jehoshaphat followed in his father Asa's footsteps and did the same during his reign.
"And the rest of the perverted persons, who remained in the days of his father Asa, he banished from the land" (1 Kin. 22:46).
Then in a later period King Josiah did the same.
"Then he tore down the ritual booths of the perverted persons that were in the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the wooden image" (2 Kin. 23:7).
Do you see a pattern here? Israel, just as the church is today, were God's chosen people, and they were to be separate from the world and the sin, immorality and perversion that is in the world.
We are no longer under the Law as they were, but the Law is still good for the lawless and insubordinate (1 Tim. 1:8-10), and accounts like these are given to us as examples for our admonition (1 Cor. 10:1-11). As I said, moral laws are universal laws that apply to everyone.
These and other examples serve as a warning to the church today to stand true and hold fast to the ordinances of God so that in the end they would not suffer the same vengeance of eternal fire. We are not to let the culture of our nation dictate the direction of the Church. If we do, we can actually lose our standing with God.
"But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude 1:5-7).
Once again, in this Scripture "strange flesh" is speaking of homosexuality. God has not changed. His attitude toward sin and this sort of perversion has not changed.
The manifestation of the wrath of God in eternal fire against sin is seen in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Scriptures do not balk at the use of very plain language to describe the revolting sexual depravity as a prime justification for their annihilation.
The burning commentary on this record is seen in Romans 1, with Paul's indictment of "men with men committing what is shameful" so rightly described as unnatural.
By such deeds men dishonor their own bodies and become lower than the beasts of the field.
Sodomy is one of the most degraded sexual offenses, and it is appalling how our culture has embraced it and celebrated it, and continues to promote it.
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