Genesis 18:23-32 -- Abraham Intercedes

HIS WORDS

(regarding the LORD’s intention to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah)

Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”

So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.”

And Abraham replied, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes. Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?”

And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
He spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?”

And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.”

Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?”

And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

And he said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?”

And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.”

Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?”

And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.”

MY STUDY

Charles Spurgeon said: 
“If they [lost sinners] will not hear you speak, they cannot prevent your praying. Do they jest at your exhortations? They cannot disturb you at your prayers. Are they far away so that you cannot reach them? Your prayers can reach them. Have they declared that they will never listen to you again, nor see your face? Never mind, God has a voice which they must hear. Speak to Him, and He will make them feel. Though they now treat you despitefully, rendering evil for your good, follow them with your prayers. Never let them perish for lack of your supplications” (Metropolitan Pulpit, vol. 18, pp. 263–264).[1]

I am so concerned about an immature and independent believer who thinks all those in authority do not know as much or are lukewarm (that person does not put us in that category though). God has directed me to “Let it Go” and let Him “do the fighting . . . while I keep silent” (Exodus 14:14) and just INTERCEDE. This study is providentially timed (as they always are).  While this immature believer will certainly not be destroyed as those in Sodom and Gomorrah, I believe that person will experience our good Father’s discipline, and I hate to see people go through pain, but that has been the vehicle in which God has used to humble my own pride so I know He does it out of love. I realized this story is God destroying because of His righteous justice, but the story has application for my current situation. LET IT GO!

MY WORDS

Abraham drew near to God and said, “Are You going to take out the righteous along with the wicked? Let’s say there are 50 righteous there; will You destroy the city and not spare it for the sake of the 50 righteous there? I just cannot see You treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it for You! Wouldn’t the Judge of all the earth deal justly?


So the LORD said, “If I find 50 righteous people in Sodom, I will spare it because of them.
Then Abraham said, “I am taking a risk here in asking You because I am just an ordinary guy made from dirt, but would you save it if the righteous missed the 50 by five people? Would You still destroy it?

God did the math and said, “I will not destroy it if there are 45 people.”

Abraham spoke up again, “What if you only found 40?”

He said, “Oh Lord, do not be angry, but I am going to ask; what if there are 30 found there?”

And He said, “I will not do it if there are 30.”

And he said, “Now God, I am going out on limb by speaking to You in this way; suppose there are 20 found there?

And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of those 20.”

Abraham said, “Oh Lord, do not be angry, and I will speak just one last time, suppose 10 are found there?”

And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of those 10.”

I WILL

Cut _______ loose from my “realm of influence” even though that person functions in the false identity as “________ the Controller” and needs healing and mentoring in order to not minister out of brokenness but minister with God’s identity name. 

Like Abraham, I will let that person go but that person will continue to be in my “realm of intercession”! “Far be it for me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23)




[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1991). Be Obedient. “Be” Commentary Series (76). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
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