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Shall Not the Judge of All the Earth Do Right?

On 21 August 2022, the Prime Minister of Singapore spoke during his annual National Day Rally. One of the topics that he touched on was a proposal to repeal a law known as Section 377A, which criminalized sexual acts between male adults. Unsurprisingly, the following days saw robust discussions in both online and offline venues, concerning the “rightness” or “wrongness” of the decision. Some were pleased that sex between male adults would be decriminalized, but wished that further steps could be taken in the future to legitimize homosexual marriages. Others were dismayed at what they saw as the breakdown of the traditional Singaporean norm of a family structure consisting of a man, woman, and children.

Amidst the clamouring voices wanting to have their say on this issue, I think it is wise for us as Christians to let the Bible, God’s inspired word, have the final (and only!) say. In Genesis 18, God was determined to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, because “their sin is very grievous” (Genesis 18:20). What was this grievous sin? Jude 7 reveals that Sodom and Gomorrah had “given themselves over to fornication, and gone after strange flesh”. The phrase “strange flesh” refers to sexual intercourse that is outside the course of nature, which would include homosexuality (cf. Romans 1:26-27). Genesis 19 shows that the men of Sodom, both old and young, from every part of the city, demanded that Lot bring out his two visitors (angels who had taken the form of males) so that they could have sexual intercourse with them (Genesis 19:4-5), showing that homosexuality was so pervasive and openly sought after in that city.

Going back to Genesis 18, we see God informing Abraham of his plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:20-22). Abraham begins a process of negotiation with the LORD, stating that “shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). Abraham was pleading on behalf of a potential righteous remnant within the city (Genesis 18:23), and he finally persuades God to spare the city if there were just 10 righteous people within it (Genesis 18:32). The fact that God later destroys Sodom goes to illustrate that there were not even 10 righteous people within it, for only Lot and his two daughters escaped alive.

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Often, we appeal to this phrase to show the loving and kind nature of God. God is a God of love, of mercy, and of patience. God is indeed all of that, and so much more, because He is “patient towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). However, a truly righteous Judge must also see that punishment is eventually inflicted on the unrighteous, for how can a Judge be truly righteous if wrongdoing goes unpunished forever? (cf. Ecclesiastes 8:11).

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? The same God who was willing to spare Sodom for their sins of homosexuality if there were just 10 righteous people in it was the same God who had to destroy Sodom for their sins of homosexuality when there were not even 10 righteous people to be found.

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? The same God who is patient and longsuffering towards homosexuals and all other sinners, hoping that they will be changed by the gospel, and washed clean through baptism (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), is also the same God who will eventually have to punish all those who commit the works of the flesh, including homosexuals (cf. Galatians 5:19-21) in the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8).

Which is more loving? To keep silent in front of our homosexual friends, colleagues, and family members, so as to avoid discussing sensitive issues? Or to show them the truth that there is a God towards whom we are all accountable, a Judge of all the earth who will do right? Let us pray for continual doors of opportunity to be opened to us despite the opposition we may face for speaking up against homosexuality (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:9). Let us pray for wisdom to speak gently and sensitively about this topic, yet not shunning away from revealing the truth about the righteous Judge to our friends (cf. Colossians 4:6).

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?


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