The ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because they lacked ten righteous men.
If you don’t know the story, the God of Abraham condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to absolute destruction because the wickedness in the cities had become great and exceedingly grave.
Eating while others hunger.
Sodom’s wickedness and the wickedness of the cities that had grown up around it was that its citizens exaggerated their own importance, had more than enough to eat but didn’t share with the hungry, pushed all of their work off onto others but didn’t provide for the poor.1
Abraham begged for the cities to be spared.
Abraham2 pleaded with God not to destroy the cities because righteous people might get executed alongside the wicked even though they were innocent. God agreed that if ten righteous men could be found He would stop the destruction. Abraham did not call for the destruction of the wicked. He pleaded for the righteous.
There were not ten righteous men.
The saddest part of this story is Lot who was Abraham’s nephew. Lot sat at the city gate of Sodom (and was therefore esteemed among the city government). Even though Lot was surrounded by hundreds, perhaps thousands of men, he did not have ten friends that he persuaded to be righteous.
The cities were destroyed.
What if God was looking at your city right now? Would it be destroyed or would it be saved? What role would you play in either fate? Consider these three questions that might make a difference:
- The next time you focus your attention on condemning something you think is bad, can you shift your focus onto something righteous? Something good?
- Can you take some step (no matter how small) to care for the poor and needy in your city?
- Can you encourage nine others to shift the energy they put into showing off into gratitude?3