When the three men finished eating they stood.
Abraham stood and followed them as they walked eastward.
Jesus stopped. The others did, too. “I must explain to Abraham what I’m about to do since he must pass down My requirements of righteousness and justice to the nation I have chosen through him. Every nation shall be blessed by him.”
The two men walked on toward Sodom.
Jesus turned and faced Abraham. “The people of Sodom have become extremely corrupt. I must see if they are as bad as is reported. They must be stopped.”
Abraham looked at the valley, then back at Jesus. “You are too righteous to take the good with the bad. There must be some righteous folks in that city. Would You save them for fifty people who follow You? Will You really take the righteous with the wicked?”
Jesus nodded. “I will spare Sodom if I find fifty righteous people there.”
Abraham cleared his throat. “Suppose there are five fewer than that. Would you spare the city for forty five?”
“If I find forty five they shall all live.”
“How about forty? Will you spare it for forty?”
“Yes, for forty they will live.”
“Please be patient with me. If you find thirty good people will You spare them all?”
“Yes, thirty will save them all.”
“If I may speak again. Would twenty be enough to divert Your judgement?”
“Twenty will be enough.”
“Please allow me one more request. Ten people, if you find just ten can they all live?”
“If I find ten I will relent.”
Abraham stared at the city. When he blinked Jesus was gone.
The next morning Abraham gasped when smoke filled the sky from the fire in the valley. He fell to his knees and worshiped God.
Intercessory prayer is a mighty weapon we wield from our arsenal. Sometimes even that isn’t enough to save people from their consequences.
Abraham knew these people in Sodom and Gomorrah personally. He had refused to take any of their goods as payment for saving them from a more powerful king not too long before this exchange he had with God.
He knew his nephew Lot chose to live among them. Surely Lot would have affected change in some of them. Nine converts is all it would have taken to divert God’s wrath on their sinful ways.
Perhaps Abraham held up both hands when he made his last request. God didn’t even find enough godly folks to fill one hand.
The men of Sodom had walked so far away from God’s plan for men their lust couldn’t be diverted at all.
We aren’t told how much Abraham knew of this wickedness.
Was he creeped out whenever he was near them?
Did they openly perform their lust in his presence?
How could he know the extent of their lifestyle?
He realized they were worth a prayer.
He had talked with God face to face before. This time a boldness took hold as he bartered for their lives…50…45…40…30…20…10
There must have been ten people who feared God in that city. Wasn’t there?
Who are you praying diligently for?
Don’t give up.
They need you to continue to intercede for them.
God told Abraham He would have withheld His judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah because of his intercession. It’s the only chance they had for a second chance.
It may be the only chance the person you’re praying for has.
Don’t give up.
God is listening to your heart as it cries out for change. He can bring about change in ways that nobody else can.
Stay on your knees.
Jesus told a story of a persistent widow who won her case simply because she didn’t give up. She was successful when dealing with a corrupt judge. Just imagine how much more effective she would have been with a righteous God.
Maintain your focus.
When you run out of words to pray stay at it. God promises us the Holy Spirit continues our request with groans to God when we’re out of words in Romans 8:26.
Have you ever wondered why God hasn’t stepped in and ended life on this planet because of how bad things have gotten?
It’s because there are at least ten godly people here who fear God and follow Him.
We are the salt preserving life as we know it.
Numerous people will believe after the core group of believers are raptured off of this planet. Their lives will be demanded of them during the Tribulation by God’s enemies.
Introduce as many people to Jesus as you can. They may reject Him now, but your words will echo in their ears after you’re gone.
Sodom and Gomorrah were a massive object lesson for Abraham. He needed to see how sincere God is about sin.
Abraham was chosen by God to begin a mighty nation of chosen followers. God’s judgement was put on display so Abraham would be able to pass down this event to his descendants.
Doing what seems right in our own eyes doesn’t cut it as God’s chosen child.
It wasn’t then.
It isn’t now.
Abraham’s offspring were set aside in Egypt for over four centuries so they wouldn’t be corrupted by those around them who did as they pleased.
When they came out of bondage God gave them laws to follow that would keep them pure from other cultures.
Their failure to stay the course was why Jesus came to die for our sins. We can’t do it on our own. We aren’t strong enough on our own free will.
The temporary pleasures too frequently appeal more than the long-term benefits of God’s promises.
We must make a conscious decision to deny our own lusts, both the big ones and the small ones.
Purity is tough. Jesus is tougher than any weakness you have.
Give your life to Him so He can build in you the stamina you need to persevere.
Stand up for truth and for those who can’t stand for themselves.
I’ll see you later. Wade