Sodom and Gomorrah
Originally scheduled for May 25
God announces to Abraham that he intends to
destroy Sodom and Gomorrah; Abraham begins to plead with him not to
do it. You’ve probably
heard the story often enough; frequently, it is cited as an example
of the mercy of God.
But it’s not.
Abraham begins his plea by appealing to the
righteous nature of God.
“Far be it from you…” to destroy the innocent along with the wicked.
He begins asking for the sake of a hypothetical group of 50
righteous. God concedes
that if he can find that many, he won’t destroy the cities.
So Abraham asks for 45; then 40; then 20; and finally ten.
But on each revision the appeal is not to God’s mercy but his
There is a good lesson in prayer in all this.
Appeal to one or more of the attributes of God; it shows you
know him and may have perceived his will.
Note what Abraham didn’t do:
He didn’t argue the fitness of the
death penalty with God.
You might think that the death penalty is too severe for
homosexuality (which was, in fact, their sin).
But to argue the point with God is to tell him that you know
better than he does.
He didn’t tell God this was an
Look at it from their point of view!
To do that is tell God that righteousness is self-defined,
not God given.
In fact, Abraham does not plead for the
unrepentant wicked at all.
He pleads for the righteous not to be swept away with the
wicked. That’s not
asking for mercy; it’s asking for justice.
But then consider our advocate with the Father:
Jesus Christ. He
too pleads for us, just as Abraham did – and on the exact same
basis. The Christian is
one who has already received mercy, saving grace.
We are “washed in the blood of the Lamb.”
So when Christ pleads for us before the Father, he does so on
the basis that we are the righteous, covered by grace.
But that plea comes at a price:
Calvary. For this
to be true Christ had to suffer and die as our atonement sacrifice.
He asks that you remember the price paid that you might
appear as righteous before the throne of grace.
The cup is his blood; the bread, his body.
Remember this today:
your righteousness before God came at his expense.