"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good." (Ezekiel 16:49,50)
The words Sodom and Gomorrah mean any location known for vice and corruption or a wicked or depraved place.# Sodom was called the chief city of the "five cities of the plain," which are Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar. Sodom and Gomorrah were cities with blatant sexual immorality, promiscuity, violence and open self-indulgence. For these sins and the wickedness of these cities, God rained down his judgment upon them.
In Genesis 18, we read that the Lord Jesus himself, along with two angels, appeared unto Abraham. As they conversed with Abraham, they made it apparent that they had come for a purpose. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah had become very grievous.# The long-suffering of the Lord had been about exhausted in their case, and the time of the judgment was drawing nigh.
These cities had seen the power of the Lord. They had been delivered from a terrible fate at the hand of the kings of the East through Abraham's rescue, and at the same instance had heard the testimony of Melchizedek. God had given them a special opportunity to know Him, and they had rejected Him and fallen into even grosser wickedness than before.
"And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord." (Genesis 18:20-22)
As Abraham walked with the men towards Sodom, the Lord revealed the purpose of His visit. He tells him of the destruction yet to come. Abraham then became concerned and asked the Lord if He would spare the city for 50 righteous men.# He did not know how far God would extend His mercy, but in his inquiry he learned that if just ten righteous people could be found, Sodom would be spared. After Abraham's intercession on behalf of the city the Lord went His way and Abraham returned home.
"And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;" (Genesis 19:1)
Abraham's nephew Lot and his family lived in Sodom and had grown accustomed to the wickedness of the city. Lot being the keeper of the gate had seen the two angels approach the city. Lot immediately greeted them and invited them to his home, where he prepared for them a feast.
The hour of rest has not come before a crowd gathers in the streets and besets the house where the strangers have gone to repose. They become more clamorous, with infamous outcries and the rude assault, as night wears on. They are so blinded and besotted in the sensuality that they would do violence to God's mighty angels, who can wrap their city in flames and open the pit of destruction beneath their habitations in a moment.# No wonder God had told Abraham that "the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great because their sin is very grievous".
"And the men said unto Lot, hast thou here any
besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy
daughters, and whatsoever thou has in the city,
bring them out of this place: For we will destroy
this place, because the cry of them is waxen great
before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath
sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and
spake unto his sons in law, which married his
daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this
place: for the Lord will destroy this city. But
he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.