The Book of Genesis - Sun Myung Moon
Chapter Seven - Sodom And Gomorra
And the Loud said, "If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city. I will spare the whole place for their sake."
One Righteous Man
18:23 Then Abraham drew near: and said. "Wilt thou indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?
24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou then destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?
25 Far be it from thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fair as the wicked! Far be that from thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
26 And the Lord said, "If I find at Sodom fifth righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
If you look at Isaiah 6:13, it is written, "As the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land." Here God emphasizes that if any root remains, He is going to use that root to blossom new buds and begin a new dispensation...
Abraham, who was like the hidden root, did not evade any situation but overcame all of them, even when the era was laden with vices. History was haunted by confusion, and the environment was chaotic. He felt heartbroken about the declining cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and appealed to Heaven on their behalf.
Sodom and Gomorrah deserved to be punished by God, but they had nothing to do with the place where Abraham was. It did not directly concern Abraham whether or not the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah understood the will of God, or whether the people were doomed.
But because he had a sense of mission toward the dispensation of Heaven, and he felt that he must take the responsibility, he was concerned and anxious about the two cities night and day. What is written in the biblical verses reveals such internal feelings of Abraham.
Today when we are witnessing the concluding period of the 6,000-year history, you are able to sleep in peace, wear good clothes and eat good food, not because of some merit on your part. You will be doomed if that is what you think. The reason that the world can at least sustain us like this is because in the background, there were unknown people who have become the hidden root and were building the altar of appeal on which they have been shedding tears and blood.
If there were even just a few righteous people, no matter how wicked Sodom and Gomorrah were, Abraham would have used the fact that there were righteous people as a condition, and would have appealed to God, "Father, who determines and judges with justice, is not judging both the good and the evil people equally with fire contrary to Your will?" When he realized that it was only he who was praying for Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham's heart was deeply hurt.
Do you know the main reason Abraham became such an historical figure? We must never forget that, eschewing his own happiness and comfort, Abraham risked his life for the sake of his tribe, without others even knowing about it.
The Responsibility of Those Who Have Become the Root
July I, 1956
18:27 Abraham answered, "Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to speak to the Lord, who am I but dust and ashes.
28 Suppose five of fifty righteous are lacking? Wilt thou destiny the whole city for lack of five? ... Suppose forty are found there... Suppose thirty are found there... Suppose twenty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it."
32 Then he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there." He answered, "For the sake of ten I will not destroy it."
33 And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
In the time of Abraham, God announced His judgment on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham pleaded with God not to destroy those cities, so God promised to relent if Abraham could find ten righteous people in them. Abraham could not come up with even ten righteous people, so the cities were destroyed.
Do you think New York City today is better or worse than Sodom and Gomorrah? It is worse. This means that New York, and actually every city on the earth, deserves fire and brimstone today. The angels told Lot to leave Sodom because God was going to destroy it. Such an order is about to be given to people in the world today, "Leave that place behind; don't try to save anything, just come out of there." What would you do in such a situation?
November 2I, 1982
Within each individual, there is that borderline between God and Satan. Perhaps one person has every part of himself on God's side, with only one foot straddling the line over to the Satanic side. Or maybe he has only his big toe hanging over in Satan's realm and he thinks he is okay. But Satan can loop a string around that toe and try to pull him all the way over to the other side. Once Satan successfully pulls half of him over, he will claim the whole person. Satan uses winches and ropes and drags him completely over and God cannot do anything to prevent it.
Between hostile nations, the border is watched very carefully. If someone steps over the line with just one foot, he is considered to have invaded the other country. He might argue that he was mostly on his side, but that would not prevent the other country from claiming an invasion. By the same token, when a person steps one foot on Satan's territory, he is claimed by Satan and God cannot do anything.
According to this viewpoint, are you clearly on Gods side or are you still on the borderline, moving back and forth? If you are standing on Gods side, do your eyes still wander over to the satanic side? Now it is the Christmas season and you are involved in your mission work, which means that you probably have to make the sacrifice of not seeing your family during this special time.
By dedicating yourself now, you know you are offering that sacrifice for the sake of God and the world. When Lot was commanded to leave the city of Sodom, he had no idea of where he was going, or what he was going to do. He and his family were leaving behind familiar, comfortable surroundings and heading towards the unknown When Lot's wife was tempted by her past situation, and she looked back, she tuned into a pillar of salt.
Emergency Time Period
December 12, 1982
Today, we in the free world see many kinds of love, and the problem we have is finding a true discipline or standard of love. Commonly people think that when men and women have a good time together, that is love. In many cases that enjoyment is an expression of carnal desire and there is no real beginning or end, just a phenomenon with no direction.
That kind of love could not form that nation of peace and freedom and unity. People talk about love today, but tomorrow they could he strangers or even mortal enemies. There is no guarantee of happiness there, only chaos and setbacks.
That kind of love causes destruction and does not possess what we call the central theme of true love. I want you to understand that Satan mobilized the force of such love to destroy the world. Using this kind of love as bait, Satan is taking true freedom, true peace and true unity away from us.
We know about Satan, but there is also a God, the opposite of Satan. God is talking about love, but of an entirely different kind, one which has a beginning and end, with some background and tradition. From this standpoint, the satanic expression of love is truly His adversary.
The word "sin" refers to violation of the law of the love of God. God abhors sin, and the misuse of love is the crime God abhors the most. It is the principle that ultimately the law and love of God will prevail. Therefore, whoever indulges in unprincipled love can only perish.
In Italy the lustful and immoral city of Pompeii was destroyed by instant calamity. Sodom and Gomorrah perished under the same law. The Roman Empire once prevailed in the world with unparalleled power, but it collapsed when it violated the will of God. America today is no exception, so it must not violate the law of the love of God or it too will be destroyed.
Mankind and the Ideal World
April 29, 1979
19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening; and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them there, he :went to meet them, and bowed himself with his face to the earth,
2 and said, "My lords, turn aside, I pray you, to your servant house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise up early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the street."
3 But he tugged them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city. the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house.
Adam and Eve are the dwelling place of God -- a holy place, a temple. The human heart is meant to be the dwelling place of God's love. Thus Adam and Eve represent a walking and visible form of God on the earth. God is meant to dwell within them and through them to have dominion over all the creation.
This is the secret of the universe; no one in history has known this. If there had been no Fall. God would have fully loved Adam and Eve. They were the most holy temple and dwelling place for God's love. But Satan took away that most holy place. This was the worst disaster of history. That is why the misuse of love is a cardinal sin in the sight of God; thus such places as Sodom and Gomorrah, in which immorality was rampant, were destroyed by fire and brimstone.
January 1, 1987
19:9 But they said, "Stand back" And they said, "This fellow came to sojourn, and he would play the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them." Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door
10 But the men (the angels) put forth their hands and brought Lot into the house to them and shut the door.
11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the door of the house, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves groping for the door.
In the Bible verses I read at the beginning of this sermon (Gen, 19:18-29), the aching heart of God, who had to bring judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah, is expressed. When God was about to cast down judgment upon those cities, there was Lot, the nephew of the beloved Abraham.
God allowed Lot to escape from the judgment. He did not let Lot escape from the judgment because of Lot's personal merit. It was because God loved Abraham that He allowed Lot, who did not have much personal merit, to escape the judgment. It does not mean that the family of Lot understood the heart of God.
Although Lot and his two daughters escaped to the place God directed them to, Lot's wife did not understand the will of God. Because she turned back with more longing for the house and environment that she used to live in than she had concern about her determination toward the will of God, this became the condition for her to receive the wrath of God even as Sodom and Gomorrah did.
There is a path which human beings must walk. That is a path in which we must follow the will of the heavenly principles and be determined to face any kind of difficulty. This is the fateful path that all fallen people must walk.
Lot's wife died because she did not have the determination to step forward without regard for all the things that belonged to her. If she had believed in her husband, who obeyed the direction of Heaven, and had complied with his directions, then she world not have died.
In the course of providential history, God raised someone who could represent His heart so that if the people could not believe in God, they could at least believe in His words and make a determination. However, those who cannot even do that will not avoid the judgment.
Let Us Not Weaken Our Determination Toward Heaven
February 23, 1958