It continues to amaze me at the way the Word of God, written ages ago, is relevant to my generation. After all the years that have passed, every lesson God taught the earlier generations, are lessons we need, too.
Today's scripture text is a prime example. The words come from the mouth of Ezekiel, and they come in one short verse. "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.” Ezekiel 16:49
Those who were inspired by God to pen the scriptures, had a way of getting a message across to us, seemingly without regard to "stepping on toes." The truth of their message was delivered in a straight forward way and the importance of the message can be understood when we know these are the words from God who spoke through the prophets.
Look at their problem. Ezekiel said it was the same problem of the people of Sodom. Look again at the things Ezekiel used to describe them:
1. Arrogance -- Don't we need to know today there is no place for arrogance when we stand before God? If the sins of our lives have been forgiven because of the blood of Jesus, through the love and grace of God, where is there any room for arrogance? We are delivered, not because we were strong enough, rich enough, smart enough, or important enough to make it happen. It happened because God loves us even though we are sinners.
2. Overfed -- While we are a people who love to eat, and sometimes to excess, look beyond just the eating part and understand this could also include any and all of our over indulgences. Note also how the progressive nature of our list is growing. Arrogance was the beginning point, then it grew into indulgences, and it keeps on growing.
3. Lack of Concern -- Apparently Ezekiel was surrounded by a majority of people who simply did not care about others. They were an unconcerned people. Often, our words profess that we care, but our lack of concern shows through our facade when we do little or nothing help those who suffer, those who struggle, or those who have nowhere to turn.
4. They did not help the poor and needy -- We as a church are to be concerned with the needs of others. True, our message is the truth of the gospel, and we believe it, practice it, cling to it, and try to make it the core of our existence. But what we say we believe and live by, loses its believability when we do not accompany it with whatever help we can provide. Didn't Jesus spend most of his earthly ministry in the company of the poor and needy? Additionally, it is good for the church to recognize the needs of others and assist when they can, but this message is much more personally applied. Ask yourself, "What am I doing to help those who do not have enough food? Those who are homeless? Those who are sick?" Think of someone you can help in some way, today. Not only will you be a blessing to others, but you will be blessed, too.