Abraham was a friend of God (see 2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23) and God makes much more known to His friends than He does to others (see John 15:15).
The LORD let Abraham know that He was considering complete judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah, so God sent the two men (angels) before Him. Abraham immediately thought of his nephew Lot, so he began to intercede on His behalf. This is a fascinating conversation/prayer between Abraham and God. First Abraham expresses his faith in the justice of God, “Far be it from You…to slay the righteous with the wicked. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
As Abraham continued to pray and ask God not to judge the righteous with the wicked, in all reality he was praying for his nephew Lot. He asked God, would You spare the city for 50? 45? 40? 30? 20?
And then we read in:
Genesis 18:32 (NKJV) “Then he said, ‘Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: suppose ten should be found there?’ And He said, ‘I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.’”
Apparently there weren’t even ten righteous in these cities and our just and holy God was forced to judge Sodom and Gomorrah. We read back in Genesis 18:20 that the outcry against these cities was great, that their sin was grave, it was flagrant. No doubt there were MANY sins in Sodom and Gomorrah, but a simple reading of the account reveals blatant, unashamed, and aggressive homosexuality. This sin was so horrible in the eyes of even the marginal believer Lot, that he offered his daughters as wives instead of the men. But the men of Sodom and Gomorrah would not back down.
God was forced to judge Sodom and Gomorrah and rained down fire and brimstone (Genesis 19:23) but before He did, God was merciful to Lot (Genesis 19:16) and his two daughters. God remembered the prayers of intercession from His friend Abraham (Genesis 19:29) and removed them before the land was leveled.
So many lessons to learn.
The value of intercession. That God won’t judge the righteous with the wicked, pointing to the Rapture of the Church before the Tribulation Period (1 Thessalonians 5:9). The sin of homosexuality (something that used to be recognized as wrong is now strutting down main street – aggressively). The way we need to flee the counsel of this world, its ways, and the judgment to come. May I never look back, as Lot’s wife did and was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot’s wife didn’t simply look back to see the fireworks, she wanted to go back; somehow her heart was attached and wouldn’t let go. Jesus warned us in:
Luke 17:32 (NKJV) “Remember Lot’s wife.”
Got Questions said this about Lot’s wife, “The Hebrew for “looked back” means more than to glance over one’s shoulder. It means “to regard, to consider, to pay attention to.” The Scriptures don’t say whether her death was a punishment for valuing her old life so much that she hesitated in obeying, or if it was a simple consequence of her reluctance to leave her life quickly. Either she identified too much with the city—and joined it—or she neglected to fully obey God’s warning, and she died.”
Jesus also said in:
Luke 9:62 (NKJV) “But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’”
In Genesis 19:30-38 we have the horrible beginning of the nations of Moab and Ammon through drunken incest. What a broken world we live in.
Jesus reminds me not to worry about anything, including clothes and food. If our Heavenly Father takes care of the birds of the air, will He not take care of us? His children?
When Jesus asks the question about whether or not anyone could add one cubit to his stature through worry, I have a hunch He’s telling us that no one grows by worrying. On the contrary, we grow by NOT worrying, by simply trusting our Father!
I cannot overstate the value of priorities. Is God first in my life? If He is, He promises to add “…all these things.”
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
How I need to be careful of a critical spirit. It’s okay to want to help your brother or sister who’s struggling, but it must be done with the utmost care. Jesus informs us that the only way to be able to remove the speck from my brother’s eye, is to remove the plank/beam from my own eye (Matthew 7:5).
Sandy Adams, “Optical surgery and confronting a brother are both sensitive operations. Be careful before you barge into another person’s life with a stain on your own.”
Be persistent in prayer (Matthew 7:7). In the Greek language we literally read that we are to “Keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking.”
I know it’s more than this but I believe we are to keep on asking for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit, we are to keep on seeking the Lord Himself, and we are to keep on knocking on those doors of ministry opportunity; let’s see which one’s He opens (1 Corinthians 16:9; Colossians 4:3).
Our Father is eager to give good gift to His children!
What a beautiful Psalm on how much God values mankind. The Maker and Maintainer of all things is mindful of us and even visits us! (Psalm 8:3-4)
A few takeaways from this section of Scripture
Proverbs 2:7b, “He is a shield to those who walk uprightly.”
Proverbs 2:10a, “When wisdom enters your heart…”
Abide in Christ, stay on track, keep on believing, for there are those , “…who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness,” (Proverbs 2:13) soberly heartbreaking.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.