All week long, I’ve been thinking about why You destroyed Sodom, Father. For years I sat in my father’s congregation and heard it was because of what those people did.
But in Ezekiel 16:49-50, I see an additional reason! Speaking to Jerusalem, You said:
49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom : She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. [emphasis mine]
50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” NIV
So You destroyed Sodom for what they did not do, too — for failing to be concerned about those who were worse off than they! And it’s not that they didn’t have anything to give. They had abundance and prosperity all around them! They were selfish, self-centered, and self-obsessed!
People in pain also become selfish, Father. You know my present circumstances, and you know my painful struggle to remember that You, alone , are in control of this situation. I have been subject to self-pity, abject loneliness, and fears of what the future holds for me. I think I’m as guilty as the Sodomites were.
I’ve become complacent in my own struggles, as if no one else in this world needs to be ministered to. It’s so easy to forget others when one is in pain.You tell us, in Psalm 82:3-4,
“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” NIV
And then I remember what You, Yourself, did to cure Your own loneliness. Your Word says “For God so loved that He gave…” You gave!
Father, in my present circumstances I have been so selfish! Friends say I am justified in my feelings; but You have shown me there is no justification for selfishness. You gave to the weak, the poor, and the oppressed. You gave the most precious thing You could give: You set aside Your Own Glory and came down to my level so I could reach out to you! And You’ve whispered in my spirit that I must do the same. I must give out of my own lack if I’m to be victorious in these circumstances.
This week I started making a list of all the places there are where people are worse off than I. I must take my eyes off of my own struggles, trust You with the outcome , and open my eyes to see others who feel unloved, unwanted, and hopeless.
I need to feel better about myself, and I know that will happen only as I please You. Show me how to express my love for You by concentrating on others , Father. Send me to the powerless people You love so possessively.
Give me a heart for other hurting people, and show me how to fill their needs so that You will become real to them. Live Your life through me, and give me courage to reach out in concrete ways to the needs of others.
There are so many who have never heard of You, or if they have, they don’t understand how much You care for them. Take these circumstances and use them for Your glory, Father. I don’t want to be like the residents of Sodom: I want to see You smile when we meet face-to-face.