The Old Testament on Homosexuality, II
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What Does the Old Testament Say?
Another popular movement today is male and female bonding. It is not wrong for men to get together, or women to get together, and enjoy each other’s company. The idea, however, that our closest bond on earth is with those of the same sex is a blatant lie. Our closest bond on earth is to be with our husband or wife. God has provided the perfect helpmate for us through that person. This is why it is so important that the scriptural position on men’s and women’s roles be clearly taught. When we don’t have a clear understanding of Scripture, it is only a matter of time before we are lured from the truth of the Word of God by the “unprincipled” teachers Peter warned us about.
Rebellion against the Word of God is usually stronger in one area than another. This is a direct result of the fall of mankind seen in Genesis 3. Since that time, every man and woman has been on a course of rebellion against God, rebelling in one area at one time, and another at another time.
For example, homosexuality was once viewed as sinful behavior in our society. Now it is viewed as an acceptable lifestyle, and it is openly encouraged. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were also in this situation. Their prevailing sin was sodomy (unnatural sexual acts with members of the same sex). Many proponents of gay rights say that Sodom and Gomorrah cannot be considered as a scriptural basis for the sin of homosexuality because these homosexual relationships were not between two loving, monogamous homosexual partners. Rather, they claim that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah had to do with the fact that sodomy was forced on those who did not willingly participate. In other words, homosexuality was not the sin, rape was.
These same people also quote Ezekiel 16, saying that the real downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah was their love of materialism. Certainly the people of Sodom and Gomorrah had many sins. Their corruption ate away at their moral fiber and created an environment that was open to decadent practices. The book of Jude specifically says God judged Sodom and Gomorrah for their “gross immorality,” and because they “went after strange flesh” (Jude 7). The focus of Jude was their sexual sin, not their love of money.
Genesis 19:4, 5 is also clear on this point. In reference to the angels disguised as men who were staying with Lot, Moses said, “Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.’ ” Some people have twisted this verse, saying, “This doesn’t mean the men of Sodom wanted to have sex. They just wanted to get to know, and be friends, with these new people.”
Lot’s response to the men who came to him, however, indicates otherwise. Lot said, “Please my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof” (Genesis 19:7,8). This response makes clear that Lot understood what these men really wanted. They wanted to have sexual relations. In our society, it is impossible for us to understand how Lot could offer his own daughters for the sexual fulfillment of these men. In biblical times however, the worst thing that could happen was to have a house guest come under harm. Lot was forced to offer his daughters to save his guests.
Genesis 19:9 illustrates the attitude people have when they are told their behavior is sinful: “But they said, ‘Stand aside.’ Furthermore, they said, ‘This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge.’ ” Not much has changed since the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. When you confront someone about their sin, what do they normally say? They usually say, “Who made you the judge? Go away and live your own life.”
What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah is clear. God judged them based on their sensuality and utterly destroyed the cities (Jude 7). Leviticus 18:22 warns us that homosexuality is sinful, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” An “abomination” is something defiled and offensive to God. Homosexual activity defiles the individual who practices this behavior, and also defiles the nation that tolerates this activity. This was the case in Sodom and Gomorrah. In Leviticus 18:24, 25 God said, “Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land has become defiled, therefore I have visited its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.”
God then warned Israel in Leviticus 18:28-30:”So that the land may not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the Lord your God.”
Scripture is absolutely clear: there is to be a difference between the people of God and the people of the world. To be perfectly blunt, it is a puzzle how the homosexuality issue has become such an intense debate on Christian college campuses across the nation. The Word of God forbids the practice of homosexuality, period.
Some advocates continue to twist and distort Scripture, claiming that all references to homosexuality refer to the practice of male or female prostitution or rape. They theorize that if two homosexuals have a loving, monogamous relationship, God does not condemn their union. This is a blatant lie. Leviticus 18:22 refers to all acts involving homosexual behavior. It doesn’t matter if they love each other or not. God says homosexuality is sin.
The same is true for bestiality. Bestiality crosses the line that God has established. This is evidenced in the fact that a human cannot have offspring with any kind of animal. Homosexuality crosses the line God has established as well. Homosexuals move from the natural to the unnatural which Romans 1 emphasizes so strongly. Adultery or fornication between a male and a female is a perversion of the natural relationship God intended for man and woman, but homosexuality and bestiality move into the realm of the unnatural. They are activities that are contrary to the laws of creation.
How seriously does God take homosexuality? Leviticus 20:13 declares, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.” Leviticus 20 is in the context of the holiness of God and His people. Leviticus 20:7 says, “You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.” Again in Leviticus 20:26, God said, “Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.”
Supporters of homosexuality often claim this passage refers only to incest, but they limit the context. Leviticus 20 is in the context of incest, bestiality, and homosexuality. When the door is open to activity such as bestiality, other corruption and sinful behavior follows close behind. Obviously homosexuals are not put to death today, but the seriousness of homosexuality and all sin is made clear in Leviticus.
Another passage in the Old Testament that concerns homosexuality is found in Judges 19. Here there is an account that is very similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. In Judges 19, a Levite man traveled to Judah to bring back a concubine who had been unfaithful to him. She was living in her father’s house. As they traveled back he decided to stay in the Benjamite city of Gibeah. While waiting at the city square, a man invited them to spend the night at his house. In biblical times, it was customary to wait in the city square until someone offered their hospitality.
After they arrived at the man’s house, the men of Gibeah approached. “While they were celebrating, behold, the men of the city, certain worthless fellows, surrounded the house, pounding the door; and they spoke to the owner of the house, the old man, saying, ‘Bring out the man who came into your house that we may have relations with him’ ” (Judges 19:22). This is almost the same situation that occurred earlier in Sodom and Gomorrah. How could God’s own people do this? This was supposed to be a safe city in which to stay. The sin so repugnant to God had become a characteristic of some of the people of God’s elect nation.
This is a perfect example of the total depravity of man. Sinful behavior that once took place only in cities such as Sodom and Gomorrah began to take place in the nation of God’s chosen people. “Then the man, the owner of the house, went out to them and said to them, ‘No, my fellows, please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not commit this act of folly’ ” (Judges 19:23). The owner of the house offered his daughter as Lot had. The men of the city took the visitor’s concubine and raped her all night long until she died. The visitor then cut his concubine into 12 pieces (one for each tribe of Israel). He sent the pieces throughout Israel, proclaiming what happened to him and his concubine while he was staying in a city that was part of the nation.
The other tribes condemned the actions of the men in the city of Gibeah saying, ” ‘Now then, deliver up the men, the worthless fellows in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and remove this wickedness from Israel.’ But the sons of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the sons of Israel” (Judges 20:13). Even the people of the tribe of Benjamin who did not participate in this sinful activity believed that those who did had every right to do what they wanted, and were willing to defend their right to participate in that behavior. In fact, they were so adamant in defending the rights of the wicked, that 25,000 of them died for the cause.
Did this make any sense? The tribe of Benjamin was almost annihilated while defending the rights of a group of bi-sexual rapists. Do you see how corrupted they had become?
Many are concerned that the Church is on the same track today. The same path to acceptance that the tribe of Benjamin took in Judges 19 seems to be the way many churches are going.
The Old Testament is very clear that all homosexual activity is sin. It is an abomination to God. The Good News is that God has provided a solution for all our sins: the God-man Jesus Christ. The New Testament reveals the forgiveness, redemption and freedom from sin (including homosexuality), that God has provided through Jesus Christ.
By: Pastor Gil Rugh http://www.ihcc.org/
Retrieved from: Bible Bulletin Board http://www.biblebb.com/