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A Powerful Personal Finance Lesson From An Old Decadent City

by Jason on August 16, 2011

Don’t you love how God uses tiny, seemingly insignificant verses in the Bible to blow you away sometimes?

Whenever he does this, it’s kind of like finding a diamond in the rough.

He did this not too long ago for me with a little verse in Ezekiel, and I was reminded of it again yesterday.

It has to do with the city of Sodom.

Every memory I had of Sodom from the Bible was their self-indulgent sexual lifestyle.

Sodom was the Las Vegas of the ancient world.

What happened in Sodom, stayed in Sodom.

They were the epitome of disobedience.

And because of their disobedience God eventually rained down fire and brimstone to punish them.

I always thought God’s judgment was a result of their immoral lifestyle, but reading through Ezekiel I saw a different picture.

And it relates perfectly to us today in regards to our money.

Here’s what Ezekiel 16:49-50 (ESV) says:

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.

A couple things to note:

1. Sodom’s Wealth Fueled Their Pride

It’s okay to be rich.  They had excess food and prosperous ease.  Many of us in America do too.

Where Sodom went wrong  (and many of us go wrong too) is that they were haughty. They were proud of their accomplishments and their wealth.

Their money was their identity.

Their self worth was based on their net worth, and because they were rich they thought highly of themselves.

Food for thought: Does your net worth drive your self worth?  Do you look down on others who have less than you?

2. Sodom’s Wealth Wasn’t Used to Help the Poor

Sodom didn’t use their money to assist those who needed help.

Sodom wasn’t eager to help the poor.

They had loads of money, but not an ounce of love.

They couldn’t care less about the poor, and they certainly weren’t generous to needy.

Food for thought:  Are you using your money to care for others and assist the poor and needy?

The Lesson

Money is a means for helping others, not a tool for self indulgence.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think generosity helps fight against pride?

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