The subject of the wrath of God has been one keenly contested in recent platforms. This is so especially when the subject of the cross and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70ad comes into focus.
The wrath of God was connected to the Old Covenant system, which existed and continued until its final destruction in 70AD (Hebrew 8:13).
Paul said in Romans 4:15 “Because the law works wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” Until the law was given on Mount Sinai, the Jews did not experience the wrath of God. Each time they complained and grumbled, they saw the goodness of God manifest in provision and protection but after the law was given. They witnessed manifestations of the curses as contained in the Mosaic covenant.
We need to see that God judged that Old covenant system after he had introduced a new covenant that did not contain His wrath. This new covenant had settled the transgression of man when forgiveness was offered on the cross.
So the question that has been there in many people’s mind is if the wrath of God came after the law was given, how do you explain what happened at Sodom and Gomorrah.
Many voices have sounded that homosexuality is the reason God would judge America and that if he did not then he would have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. With the recent decision by the Supreme Court in the US to legalize gay marriage, many are already proclaiming a Sodom-like wrath of God coming.
I don’t think that their homosexuality alone was the cause of their predicament. The scriptures in Chapter 18 that there was an outcry against the city. It reminds one of the cry of the blood of Abel against his killer.
“Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” – Genesis 18:20-21
This outcry doesn’t seem to have come from Abraham because God had to inform him of the outcry and coming destruction. Neither was it from Lot or his family as he saw fit to be in the city gates doing business with the people in the city – Gen 19:1. It is also possible that Lot could have been established as an elder of the city as that is where they tended to do the business of overseeing the people. I believe that it could have come from the victims of the ruthlessness, inhospitality and perverseness of those in the city? The angels that came visiting proved the outcry right.
You also have to consider that the destruction was not because the Angels were sought out by the men. God had already told Abraham in Chapter 18 of the coming destruction. The Angels only went to provide evidence that was acclaimed of the city was true.
Now Genesis 14 describes that Sodom and other cities had just engaged in brutal warfare, savagely pillaging surrounding cities and shedding innocent blood. It makes sense to me that the surviving victims of such heinous violence cried out against Sodom for their war-mongering, violence, and lust for conquest. In turn, Sodom was also invaded and pillaged, caught up in the cycle of warfare and violence. It was a society that ran itself into self-destruction due to perverse and violent structure that was in place back then.
Abels blood cried for justice, the voices in Sodom cried for justice but the blood of Jesus speaks better things. It declares “Avenged!, Released!, Forgiven!
It was more like God was responding to the call of justice. God did not judge according to the law as they existed before it was given on mount Sinai. We find the real REASON for Sodom’s destruction in Ezekiel 16:49-50.
“Look, 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 abominations before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit,” (NKJ).
Isaiah 1:9-11, Jeremiah 23 and 49, Lamentations, and Matt. 10:14-15 collectively lists the sins of Sodom as the following: perversion of justice, cruelty and neglect of the poor, oppressed, orphaned and widowed, shedding innocent blood, inhospitality, greed, pride, falsely prophesying, lying in God’s name, abusing power, neglecting God’s flock, leaving the hungry unfed, causing others to err, making up visions, and cannibalism.
It is also interesting to note that the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah was likened to Old national Israel. That is why Israel was referred to her in the book of Revelation. There was also outcries against the Israel as she had murdered the prophets and in their time the Apostles of the Lord.
“9 Now when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been violently killed because of the word of God and because of the testimony they had given. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” (Revelation 6:9-10)
Jesus said in Matthew 23
32 Fill up then the measure of your ancestors! 33 You snakes, you offspring of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 “For this reason I am sending you prophets and wise men and experts in the law, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35 so that on you will come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 I tell you the truth, this generation will be held responsible for all these things!
– Revelation 11:8 (NKJV)
8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified
When the Apostles asked about the pending destruction of the temple, Jesus uses the example of Lot’s escape from fire in Luke 17:29-32:
28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, and they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Lot was given a chance to escape, but the rest remained. The Jews had a chance to escape the coming wrath that was landing on disappearing covenant. John the Baptist and even Peter pleaded with their kindred to repent of their wickedness in order to receive “times of refreshing” and escape this pending catastrophe. But they refused to their own deaths in 70AD. The entire city of Jerusalem was destroyed by fire in 70AD like Sodom and Gomorrah.
We are now under the New covenant, there’s no more wrath in the future. The justification for His wrath has been done away with. The only blood that cries now is the blood of Jesus on Mount Zion, whom we are. The finished work of Jesus has put God in a good mood forever even towards sinners. He is not holding out any man. He is gracious and that is the message we have been called to share.