19 November 2012

"No, for I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice; so that the Lord may bring about for Abraham what he has promised him." (v. 19)


Abraham, the courteous host, accompanies his guests for part of the way on the road toward Sodom, their ultimate destination.

Aware of the impending destruction of Sodom, Abraham boldly approaches the Lord to intercede for the city. "Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?" is the question that Abraham asks (v. 23). Although Abraham is no doubt deeply concerned about Lot and his family who live in the city, he is mainly interested in the larger issue of God's justice as it relates to the whole of the city. With his keen sense of justice and his genuine love for all, Abraham cannot believe that God "the Judge of all the earth" (v. 25), will destroy the righteous along with the wicked. With this in his mind he pleads with God to spare Sodom if he finds 50 righteous people in it (verse 24). Once God agrees to this, Abraham becomes bolder in his pleadings (verses 28-32).

A number of things stand out in this story:

  • There is the concern of this complete stranger for the wicked citizens of Sodom. Abraham's love for the people springs from his love for God.
  • Abraham's persistent pleading for Sodom reveals an unshakeable faith in the ultimate justice and goodness of God.
  • We see the preservative power of a few righteous people. By the presence of people of faith in the world, the overwhelming power of evil is restrained.

To Ponder

  • How does your love for other people spring from your love of God? Think of some examples.
  • In what way is your faith unshakeable (or not)?
  • What is the power of faithful people?

Bible notes author:  Revd Richard Teal

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