Why California? Why San Francisco? Why Now? (Part 4)

Do you think there were any babies and young children in Sodom and Gomorrah when God rained brimstone and fire on the cities?

Yikes! This is the type of question that skeptics ask us Christians which causes us to stutter and stammer. We may even end up second-guessing God and His motives. After all, did God’s anger push Him over the edge so that He became a baby murderer?

Okay, take a deep breath and let’s study sin.

“Sin is sin,” proclaim many people who think all types of sin are equal in God’s eyes, but is that really true?

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:7)

The Bible separates sin into three specific types: sin, transgression, and iniquity.

Although the word sin can be used as a generic catchall word for all three types, its biblical definition really means “missing the mark,” as an archer’s arrow misses its target.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

Basic sin is disobedience to God’s commands and His word, but without willful intent. Examples of sin: losing your temper with your spouse; getting caught up in gossip with your neighbor; exaggerating your importance at work to a new employee; and so forth.

All basic sins can easily be taken care of by asking forgiveness of the Lord and the person involved.

The word transgression means revolt or rebellion and is willful disobedience of God’s commands.

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Timothy 2:14)

Eve knew that God had commanded them not to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil, but she rebelled and did it anyway. As with all acts of rebellion, Eve suffered consequences for her transgression.

Truthfully, we all have transgressed at different times in our Christian journeys and can probably give interesting testimonies about the consequences we suffered. But as with sin, transgression simply requires us to ask forgiveness of the Lord and anybody involved. Then, we need to change our ways and not continue in the same transgression.

Yet, continuing in a transgression without repentance eventually leads to iniquity. The word iniquity means depravity (evil perverseness or moral corruption) and always carries within it the hatred of God and His ways.

Iniquity is not a voluntary or involuntary disobedience to the commands of God, like sin and transgression are, but instead, it is a second nature sin. It is a demonic stronghold within the individual which may have been passed on through one’s ancestors or the result of continued willful transgressions or the surrender of oneself to an evil principality over a region.

The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. (Proverbs 5:22 ESV)

Ridding oneself of iniquity is not as easy as it is for sins or transgressions. Because it is intertwined with the individual’s personality and attitudes, it requires acceptance of truth, God’s mercy, and the fear of the Lord to set an individual free. This totally depends on a deliverance move by the Spirit of God upon the people.

…For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting [punishing] the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me (Deuteronomy 5:9)

Iniquities are not committed in spiritual vacuums. They are committed before the throne of God and cry out to the Judge to be avenged.

So, when God acted against Sodom and Gomorrah, the people’s iniquity had reached completion. In fact, there were not ten people in the cities who were not filled with this horrible sin. This included young children which the parents had defiled by passing iniquity on to them through the bloodlines. It was then a part of the young children’s second nature and attitudes.

Now, I believe the Father foresaw the iniquity that would be committed by the babies and the young children. And because of His love, He removed the young people of Sodom and Gomorrah before they were accountable for their iniquities. By doing this, the children died in their innocence and not in full-bloomed iniquity.

Our God is a good Father who views eternity as more important for His creation than the present.

So, why San Francisco now?

(Continued in Part 5)

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Why California? Why San Francisco? Why Now? (Part 4)

  1. Simple Theologian

    Very profound. Thank you for this explanation of God’s anger towards Sodom and Gomorrah. It also helps identify the different levels of sin that is experienced still today.

    Simply “missing the mark” once realized is easier for us to repent or “turn back to God. If we allow sin to fester with out treating it, it becomes a willful disobedience (transgression) against God. Finally, if it is still not dealt with, it is not only in control of our own lives but the lives of our children and bloodline because of our iniquity.

  2. Simple Theologian,

    Thanks for your encouraging words.

  3. ok. I am going out on a limb here…….the children of Sodom and Gomorrah were given a reprieve from God for their parents sins..and this has something to do with San Francisco?

  4. Naphtali,

    I chose to use the word “remove” rather than use a harsher word, like “kill.” The babies and young children perished along with the whole city, but because the children were not accountable for their actions as yet, I believe they went to Abraham’s Bosom, rather than Hell.

    For your theory on San Francisco: “Ah, Grasshopper, be patient.”

  5. “By doing this, the children died in their innocence and not in full-bloomed iniquity.”

    Amen, Larry … a good Father and a merciful one. Thanks.

  6. Larry, thank you for writing about sin, transgressions and iniquity. I didn’t realize that they were different and in what ways they were different. I love to get the opportunity to keep learning! God bless you as us grasshoppers wait patiently.

  7. rogerw,

    Thanks. An awesome Father is our God.

  8. Debbie,

    Thanks. Don’t be jumping too far away now, grasshopper.

  9. This was a wonderfully clear teaching. I spent much of yesterday afternoon researching sin, transgressions (with trespasses), and iniquity in Strong’s. A word that’s usually translated “iniquity” is translated “sin” in the account of the woman whose son was raised by Elijah–but, she was a Gentile and could well have understood her status with Elijah as a person of iniquity. Thank you. It provided understanding for a specific problem I’m facing.

    I’ll also mention that I researched another writing by looking up a verse in Micah–and discovered the final verses which use all three words. And they fit your teaching–or rather, you teaching fits the way they’re used.

  10. Solveig,

    Thanks. I appreciate your words and research, too.

  11. Pingback: Why California? Why San Francisco? Why Now? (Part 9) | Larry Who

  12. Pingback: I’m Enraged! Are You? (Part 3) | Larry Who

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