The Gateway Sin

Proverbs 6:16: These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

A proud look is first on the list. And yet we barely notice it in ourselves while we despise it in others.

This devotional was written by Evangelist Wil Rice on Ezekiel 16:49: 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.

If you could name one sin for America, what would that sin be? Sodom was a society for whom a notable sin has been named. We speak of the sin of sodomy, and the Bible tells us exactly what that sin was in verse 49.

Ezekiel 16:49-50 says, *Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her… neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy…they were haughty, and committed abomination before me.* The sin of Sodom was pride.

How was that pride manifested in Sodom? The Bible says, *They were haughty, and committed abomination.* The sin of Sodom was the sin of pride that manifested itself in the sin that we usually think of when we think of Sodom, the sins of homosexuality.

Pride says, *God has no call on my life. I will do what I want, where I want, when I want. God can*t tell me what to do or even who I will be.* There is nowhere to go from here when we reject God*s right to even define what we are.

The sin we associate with Sodom and the prominence of pride go hand in hand. Pride is the gateway sin. It is a fair question to ask oneself, *How is pride revealed in my life?* One way is by unthankfulness, the feeling of being entitled. Sodom was so prosperous. They had time on their hands and pride in their hearts. It is so easy for us, especially in America, to feel as if we work hard, and have no one but ourselves to thank for what we have. That is the sin of Sodom, pride, which reveals itself in an attitude of unthankfulness.

Being defensive is another character trait that reveals pride. If you can*t help a person without hurting their feelings, you can*t help them. When a person is overly defensive, it shows that they don*t want to admit there is a problem.

Selfishness is a third way that pride is revealed. Verse 49 says, *Neither did she [Sodom] strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.* They were selfish and haughty, and they weren*t thinking about anyone or anything else except themselves.

God*s people had less of an excuse for where they were than Sodom did. Verse 48 says, *As I live, saith the LORD God, Sodom thy sister hath not done…as thou hast done.* Jesus said that it would be more tolerable on Judgment Day for Sodom and Gomorrah than it would be for those who had heard the truth and rejected it.

Sodom had but one backslidden witness, Lot, to tell them of God Jehovah. In our day, we have many witnesses, including God*s Word. The question is whether we will have the humility to hear it, to heed it, and to live it.

The sin of Sodom is pride. If there were a sin of which we are guilty today it is pride. Though pride may be revealed in many ways, it is the same thing as ever it was and leads to destruction.

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