Read: Ezekiel 16:42-17:24, Hebrews 8:1-13, Psalm 106:13-31, Proverbs 27:7-9
Sodom’s sins were arrogance, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. She was haughty and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen. (Ezekiel 17:49-50)
Relate: I can be arrogant sometimes. No, lets be honest, I can be arrogant most of the time. I can call it a healthy self image, personal confidence, a by product of being extroverted or whatever, but the fact is, I’m arrogant.
I can also be gluttonous. Just yesterday I went to the store on my way home and picked up some stuff to make chili. At home I was just about finished getting it all into the pot when a couple roommates came home and said they already had plans to go to Nirchis for some meatball pizza. So I jump in with them and have three slices. A bit later there I am sitting on the couch watching election results, eating a bowl of chili and almost feeling sick I am so stuffed.
I’m lazy. I can literally sit for an entire day curled up in a chair with a good book reading while my to do list goes ignored. I am a master procrastinator and the harder a task might be to accomplish, the more I will put off getting it done.
It is easier to see the needs of those around me that I do nothing about than it ever was in Ezekiel’s time. By “outside her door” Ezekiel was talking about those she (Sodom) had the power to do something about. In our day and age, we have fewer and fewer excuses for not doing something about the needs we see and hear about. Beyond that, with a bowling alley across the street, McDonalds to my right and the park to my left, there is a steady stream of people walking up and down my street who have needs that I am far too often blind to.
I am haughty. Where arrogance is an overemphasis on my own supposed greatness, haughtiness is an overemphasis on the weakness or failings in others. Sometimes I feel like I have an internal radar whose sole job is to seek out and exploit any weaknesses I can find in others. Sometimes I think that radar is far too good at its job.
React: The fact is, I am Sodom. Just as I pointed a mirror of their sins on my own life, I could do the same pointing to how Western, particularly American, culture is guilty of them all as well. The fact is, Jesus did the same when he said about the towns he had preached in that it will be worse for them at the day of judgment than for Sodom and Gomorrah. They were a very religious people, but they weren’t followers of Jesus. Sodom never heard the gospel but Israel did… America has… so have I. So the people of Jesus’ time were worse than Sodom. America and most of the Western world today is worse than Sodom. If not for the grace of God, I am worse than Sodom. What about you?
Dear God, I repent. I am sorry for my arrogance, my laziness, my apathy, and the rest. I am sorry for my sin. Help me to change. Help me to stop being so religious and start being a better follower of You. Help me also to stop focusing on the “detestable” sins of others but rather to focus on Your beauty and holiness. Slowly, gradually, step by step and day by day I ask that You would let that holiness and beauty be reflected in me that the world will see. Help me to remember that it is Your kindness that leads us to repentance.