June 2. Genesis 18:16-33
Are you surprised I chose this early prayer from the Bible? I chose it because of the rhythm to the questions and answers and because it reveals so much about the God we serve! Let’s talk about how Abraham prayed, first. Then, we’ll look at what we learn about God from this passage.
Abraham prayed what he thought. In this case, the LORD was with him. Perhaps appearing as Jesus? Not sure, but Abraham could see and talk with Him. So, it’s a little different communicating with God (which we call prayer) when God is physically before you, but it’s still fun to see that Abraham spoke with reverence and honesty. So should we. Abraham acknowledged God’s supremacy and His authority, but he was confused and dared voice his confusion. Would God wipe out an entire city if there were still people in it who were … good? God patiently answered question after question, showing how very patient He is. So, I learn from this that I can voice honest doubts and questions to the Lord. That God will hear me. And that He is patient with His dear ones. But that speaking to Him should still involve a respect because it is owed Him. How about you? What did you learn about prayer?
We learn that God is patient in this passage. SO patient. And not just with Abraham. Genesis 18:20 tells us that a huge “outcry” was heard from Sodom and Gomorrah. Was it the cries of little children being abused? Was it the cries of women being treated as objects without rights or feelings? Whatever it was, God heard the cries of victims of crime and evil. Yet even in the midst of the evil, He would have spared the city for the few who were innocent. I’ve been pondering that mercy as I read this passage. He waited long before destruction for the sake of those for whom there was still hope. God is not willing that any should perish. But there will come a time when He will intervene, and stop those who abuse others. That’s our God – patient, merciful, yet just. Noticing victims and defending them. Only God can get this right. I love how Abraham asks this rhetorical question in verse 25: “Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?” Answer: YES. I’m so glad we can trust our God!
My verse: Genesis 18:32 “Finally, Abraham said, ‘Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there? And the LORD replied, ‘Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
My response: Thank You for this early prayer, Lord! Where Abraham asks questions with respect, but also with puzzlement. Thank You for the patient answers that reveal Your character. Thank You for the dawning realization that none of us are righteous, yet You are so patient with us. So grateful …