Friday, January 8, 2016
I'm still thinking about Tuesday’s Genesis 18 reading. I covered the angels’ arrival yesterday – but toward the close of this chapter we see Abraham bargaining with God:
And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis 18:23-25)
Abraham had no books written to describe or explain God. What he had was a personal experience for decades, times he spoke with God and God made promises. One important promise had yet to be filled, but Abraham did not bargain over that – he and Sarah simply laughed.
The bargain was over Sodom. God was headed there:
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. (Genesis 18:20-21)
I don’t believe it was just because Lot ended up in Sodom. Perhaps Abraham believed there were some just men in Sodom. He must not have believed it strongly, because Abraham’s bargaining went from fifty to ten:
And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake. (Genesis 18:32)
I know the rest of the story. There were not ten men. Only one. Not even Lot’s sons-in-laws believed what could happen. I understand that. There are several loved ones – family and friends – who leave me with Lot’s feelings. They will not listen, but scoff and are offended by the message.
I fear there are some who hear the message, follow along for a while, but feel the pull of what had been home and – as Lot’s wife – turn back to what was comfortable, what was known. Weighed against the unknown, it certainly tugged at her, though it was the wrong thing to do.
Pray for those now, that they will listen, ask questions, seek to know the why for our belief, our faith, in what we cannot see. That can place them in God’s grace:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8)
Always one of my favorite verses – along with:
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)