â€œEven as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.â€ (Jude 1:7)
These cities provide two stern examples of Godâ€™s judgmental wrath. Their sin had reached such an intensity and had become so widespread that the entire region suffered the â€œvengeance of eternal fire.â€ Just like the awful misuse of human sexual potential distorted by the angelic beings cited in the previous verse, these cities had become so perverted that Godâ€™s longsuffering and mercy had ended.
â€œBut the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedinglyâ€ (Genesis 13:13). Whatever they were involved with had become so heinous and so completely a distortion of everything God created man for that God appears to have reached the limit of human vocabulary to describe it. Their character (wickedness) and their deeds (sins) were â€œtoo muchâ€ for God.
Two classifications are listed. The first, fornication, is cited nearly 100 times in the Old Testament and is referred to over a dozen times in the Newâ€”always as a condemnation of sexual behavior outside of the intimate relations of husband and wife. The other classification is going after â€œstrange flesh.â€Â Genesis 19Â makes it perfectly clear that this â€œexceedinglyâ€ awful sin was homosexual perversion.
For these sinsâ€”especially the homosexual cravingsâ€”God rained down â€œbrimstone and fire from the LORD out of heavenâ€ (Genesis 19:24). The Scripture is precisely clear: Vengeance belongs to God (Romans 12:19), and He made Himself absolutely clear about His view of widespread fornication and homosexual behavior. This example is a sobering warning for those societies who promote such lifestyles. HMM III