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May 9, 2021 | Chris Baselice
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“Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.”—Genesis 18:22 (NKJV)
Imagine you’re Abraham for a moment. The day begins like any other. You take refuge from the punishing heat of the day in the doorway of your tent. But then, God appears to you with two angels, shares a meal with you, and then begins to tell you His plan to bring judgment on the nearby cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Now, here’s an interesting turn in the narrative. The two angels that accompanied the Lord depart towards Sodom to carry out their divine directive of investigating the state of the city. This leaves Abraham alone with the Lord, and that’s by design, because the stage has now been set for the friend of God to show his true colors: “And Abraham came near and said, ‘Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:23-25 NKJV).
What’s Abraham doing here? He’s speaking to God as His friend. Notice the tone never crosses a line of disrespect; and yet, there’s also a sense of boldness that’s undeniably present as Abraham appeals and even challenges God as to whether He could destroy a place where there was also a righteous remnant.
What follows is truly an extraordinary insight into the patience of God. He tells Abraham that He would forego Sodom’s judgment of the city if it contained fifty righteous souls. But Abraham continues to lower the quota of righteous souls by posing if God would destroy forty-five, then forty, then thirty, then twenty, then finally ten (Genesis 18:26-32)!
Each and every time, the Lord honors Abraham’s intercession by promising to not destroy Sodom for the sake of the number offered. If you know this account, you know that Abraham stopped too soon and Sodom was destroyed. But for now, dwell on the exchange between Almighty God and Abraham, and how the friendship between them turned fifty into ten.
Did you know the Lord declares we who believe in Him are also His friends (John 15:15)? Do you know we’re invited to do just as Abraham did, to approach our God with reverent boldness as we intercede on behalf of others (Hebrews 4:16)? As extraordinary as Abraham’s exchange was, it points to what should be the ordinary experience of God’s children, today.
DIG: How does the friendship between God and Abraham come through here?
DISCOVER: What parallels exist between Abraham and every Christian?
DO: Make it a point, today, to experience the example of Abraham’s exchange.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.