The end of Genesis 18 shows God conversing with himself about what to do about Sodom and Gomorrah’s wickedness. In these verses, part of God’s character is revealed. We can see that he is Abraham’s protector and intends to keep his promise to Abraham of making him a great nation. God also exposes his plan to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sins. This shows us how serious God is about sin, which is exhibited multiple times throughout Scripture, as it is written in Leviticus “Be holy because I am holy.” Reading through Genesis 18:20-21 we know God’s plan, and we witness Abraham praying and asking God to save Sodom rather than destroy it if he finds at least ten righteous people in the city. As Abraham intercedes for them, he is appealing to God’s characteristics of mercy and righteousness. Verses 22-33 expose Abraham’s prayer of
Abraham’s prayer is consistent with God’s will. God doesn’t want to destroy those whom he’s created, but he also is determined to remove sin from the world. Like Abraham, we can also pray God’s will. It is a good and right thing to seek God’s provision through prayers of petition, but we must make sure we are asking for God’s will to be done. As Jesus taught us, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”
God’s promise to be faithful to Abraham and guide his path of righteousness is true for us today. Abraham is called our Father of Faith because he believed and trusted God’s promises. He demonstrated how to pray, which requires us to know God on an individual and intimate level, which will allow us to understand his character and his will. Abraham uncovers how to intercede and ask for God’s will to be done. Jesus also validated this when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. In his gospel, Matthew records Jesus being sorrowful to the point of death, but he persisted in prayer. I imagine Abraham felt sorrow for those in Sodom and Gomorrah because some of the residents there were the men, women, and children whom he had journeyed with out of their homeland and through Egypt. In prayer, Abraham asked that if ten righteous men were found, God would spare the city, but not even ten were among them. Therefore, the city had to be demolished. However, “God remembered Abraham” and rescued his nephew, Lot, from destruction. Again, God demonstrated his faithfulness to Abraham by sparing his loved ones. God also wants to spare the ones we love, but how can he save them if we do not share the love and truth of Jesus with them?
Through studying scripture, God reveals his character to us. Through spending time in the Word and prayer, we build a relationship with God. Although these events in Scripture took place centuries ago, it’s applicable to us today. It may be uncomfortable to read and challenging to comprehend the abundance of wickedness displayed by those living in Sodom and Gomorrah, but our culture is not much different. God still calls us to walk in righteousness, and he still plans to wipe out sin. We can look to Abraham and Jesus for guidance on how to presently respond