In 1965, a friend of mine from Omaha, and I were stationed briefly at the Naval Station on Treasure Island across the bay from San Francisco. We found San Francisco an exciting liberty port, but even in those days it was dangerous at night. One night we were fortunate to find a bar owned by the once famous Cisco Kid, Duncan Renaldo. We stayed a little later than we should have and on the way back ran into a group of men dressed as women! Yes, even in 1965 San Francisco was a “gay” city. They got a little aggressive with us and we were frightened a little bit but managed to walk away from the situation. But we learned to stay away from that section of Market Street at night. I say all this to comment on Genesis 19:1 where we have two angels make their way to Sodom and Gomorrah at night. The verse simply says that: “The two angels came to Sodom in the evening.” When the crowds outside of Lot’s house got aggressive and wanted to rape the two angel/men, they were blinded.

As the story progressed God sent fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed the two cities totally. On our tour in Israel there is a salt flat near the southern tip of the Dead Sea that is said to be the previous site of Sodom and Gomorrah. Nothing will grow there. There is strange standing stone on the hill overlooking the spot at the dead sea that many argue are the remains of Lot’s wife who struggled with leaving her life in Sodom behind and against the Angel’s instructions she turned around and looked and was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot too was hesitant to leave his life in Sodom and bickered with the Angels to let him stay in a small town close by. In a cave home, his two daughters got him drunk and had sexual intercourse with their father and Lot became the father of Amon and Moab, two peoples who opposed God’s people coming out of Egypt hundreds of years later. Ross and Oswalt observed that, “Lot is not alone in this conflicted lifestyle. Down through the ages countless believers have fallen in with a corrupt world rather than willingly flee a society destined for destruction.”1

In the behavior of the men in Sodom and Gomorrah we see that nearly everyone in the cities were involved in some way. When describing the crowd that called for the men to be sent out to them for lewd purposes, Genesis 19:4 says that the crowd consisted of “both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house.” There is no shame to it at all! Our society has moved in that same direction. It’s hard to find a TV show that doesn’t have at least one “gay” situation or relationship. They are always put in a positive light. And people like me, who still see it as a sin, are the outcasts of society. In the course of my life the tables have completely turned. If you suggest that homosexuality is sin or against the laws of God and nature, you are the one that needs to be ashamed. At least when I was younger homosexuality was still seen for the most part as aberrant behavior. It’s celebrated today. Isaiah 3 described today and it was written almost 3000 years ago. Isaiah 3:9 says, “For the look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves.”

1 Allen Ross and John N. Oswalt, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Genesis, Exodus, vol. 1 (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2008), 130.