When Petulant Children Are In Power
The first five chapters of Isaiah describe the state of Israel during the days of the kings listed in Isaiah 1:1. Isaiah, with scathing rebukes, points out the moral lapses of those who were in power. He likens these leaders to those in Sodom and actually calls them by that name. One of the signs of their moral condition was the fact they had “petulant children” in high places. “And I will appoint boys to be their rulers, that is to say, petulant children shall rule over them…children are their tyrants…” Isaiah 3:4,12.
So what were they doing that made them “Sodomites?” Turn to Isaiah five for the answer. Here we have a list of six woes.
1. 8-10 They engaged in corrupt and fraudulent real-estate ventures which amounted to land theft.
2. 11-17 They held lavish banquets to celebrate their “deals.”
3. 18-19 They used religious talk, they practiced a “form of godliness,” which sanctioned their corruption.
4. 20 They, because of their ways, developed a warped sense of morals.
5. 21 They considered their “ends justifies the means” methods as a mark of wisdom – they brag about their exploits.
6. 22-23 The justice system, the courts, were in their pocket and it skewed judgments in their favor.
This is why the common people put forth their “cry” against their oppressors. This was the same cry of the poor in Sodom.
“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.” Ezekiel 16:49 – 50
Look at that list carefully:
3. Abundance of Idleness.
4. Ignoring the Poor and the Needy.
5. The “abomination” is a reference to idolatrous practices that included sexual acts and human sacrifice – it’s a religion that justifies #1-4 above.
A Sodomite is one who is arrogant, gains wealth by oppression and deception, is devoted to pleasure, is cold-hearted to the plight of the poor, and practices a religion that sanctions his way of life and attitudes.
These are the things Isaiah and the Prophets rebuked with such fervor. The language of grace, however, shows us a completely different manner of life. Paul doesn’t thunder against such behaviors, but in the language of grace suitable to this dispensation, he gently calls upon us to follow a different path. Let us follow Paul’s instructions to us and avoid the sins of Sodom: