Follow Me: Evil Perceptions

abe interceedsObservations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Genesis 18[1]

God returned with two angels less than a year after he told Abraham when the long awaited child would be born. They waited patiently while Abraham provided water to wash their feet and prepare a meal. While they ate God repeated Sarah would have a son next year. Initially God only spoke about the child but had not told Abraham when. This was the second time God gave him when the child would be born.

Sarah who had been listening at the door laughed in disbelief. Abraham had also laughed in disbelief a few months earlier. Apparently, both of them thought God was delusional. In the face of unbelief and arrogance, God never wavered from his plan for them. Instead, he asked why Sarah mocked him with laughter and, for the third time, repeated Sarah would have a son at the appointed time. When Sarah also called God a liar, saying, “I did not laugh” he rebuked her. “Yes, you did laugh.”[2]

As they were leaving, God repeated that all nations would be blessed through Abraham. Apparently, Abraham would accomplish that task by teaching everyone in his home to keep the “way of the Lord” by doing what is “right and just”. Righteousness was imputed to Abraham when he believed the Lord would multiply his seed into a great multitude, which implies doing what is “right and just” has a lot to do with faith God will keep his word.

Having affirmed he will keep his promise and that he has confidence in Abraham to do the right thing, God turned his attention from the future to the present. He was on his way to Sodom and Gomorrah. Jesus said a servant does not know what his master does, but a friend does. God treated Abraham like a friend when he told him he was on his way to investigate the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s interesting to note that God will not act on our word alone. If we have a complaint, he will check things out for himself.

Abraham was concerned God might do the wrong thing and stepped in to intercede for the righteous, not for Lot, for the righteous. “Far be it from you to do such a thing – to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”[3] Did Abraham really believe God would slaughter everybody without a thought to his own that might be living in the area? How could Abraham ask this question without exalting himself as more right and pure than  God?

God listened to the insult and assured Abraham he would spare the wicked if he found fifty righteous people living among them. Abraham brought the number down in increments of five until he reached ten righteous people. Why did Abraham stop at ten? Do nine righteous people deserve to die with the wicked?

I am amazed at God’s patience, perseverance and faithfulness. God never tried to defend himself or correct Abraham’s evil perceptions. Abraham had interceded because he was concerned about Lot, but so was God.

 

[1] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] Genesis 18:15

[3] Genesis 18:25

About Teena Myers

Teena is the Vice Chairman of the Southern Christian Writers Guild, author of three books and a freelance writer.
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