My last post about Abraham and God was about the prayer that we see God initiating with Abraham. He decides to tell Abraham about the planned destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah based on the relationship that He has with him. Abraham is known as a “friend of God”. Let’s look at two scriptures that reference that.
Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?
And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.
Have you ever thought about being called a “friend of God”? What an honor that is. In fact, if we do His will and live according to Jesus’ teachings, we are “friends of God”. Now that is not saying that we ever really attain the status of Abraham, Moses or any of those wonderful folks, however, they were just human beings like us. Ordinary men and women called to do extraordinary things for God. We too are called to do extraordinary things for God in this day and age. Sometimes, just getting through a day is pretty extraordinary, right? Pastor Brad said today, if we call ourselves Christians and we claim the name of Jesus then we will have troubles. It goes with the territory. We do not have to let that destroy us though! Count it all joy because you have trouble because you preach or tell or stand up for God and/or Christ. We must not be afraid of the enemy! He has no power over us! We are a child of the Most High God!
We are children of the Most High God, however, to be able to have access to the wonderful, close communion with our Father one must spend time with Him. Walk with Him. Talk with Him. Bask in His love, grace and mercy. Until this is done there will never be anything shared from Him as He did with Abraham. Abraham spent time with God. I believe he spent daily time with God and communed with Him regularly. This is why God called him a friend and why God saw fit to include Abraham in the process of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Notice that Lot and his family were never mentioned in this dialogue. When the cities were destroyed, the scriptures do say that God remembered Abraham and spared Lot and his family.
Back to the conversation that Abraham and God are having… In his conversation with God, he pleads for mercy for Sodom and Gomorrah. The scripture tells us that he appeals to God and His mercy and simply asks God for mercy for Sodom. The scripture can speak for itself quite well. Let’s look at this wonderful dialogue with Abraham and God. This is one of my favorite conversations in the Bible because it shows the realness of Abraham and the self-assuredness that he has when he comes to ask God these questions. He is not prideful or arrogant, but realizes his place yet is “friends” with God and feels very comfortable talking and asking God these questions. Let’s look at the scripture.
22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
27 Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: 28 Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?”
So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.”
29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.”
30 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
32 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.” 33 So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
Did you notice the humility that Abraham approaches the Lord with? He may be a “friend of God” but he is totally and completely respectful of God and Who He is! Abraham is very comfortable with God though. He is not approaching in fear and trembling. He seems very comfortable but respectful. Appealing to God’s mercy that he knows He has, knowing that God will never destroy the righteous with the wicked. I think it is interesting too that God ends the conversation. His last statement is final… “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” Then it was at this point that the Lord left Abraham and Abraham went home, knowing all that he possibly could do had been done. It was settled. There were not 10 righteous men in all of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot had a wife and 2 daughters. The sons-in-law were mentioned but they did not take Lot seriously so they were not saved. They perished with the rest of the wicked ones.
In reading Ray Steadman’s sermon on this topic “How Prayer Works”, I find many of his comments so intriguing but this one is most wonderful and I want to include it here because it is what I believe also. How Abraham was changed and even brought closer to God in this time of prayer with our Lord.
“Abraham is never more like God than at the moment he is praying for Sodom. His prayer did not save the city, and it was never intended to do so, but it did make Abraham manifest in his own life the mercy and the compassion of God. This is why God asks us to pray, that we might take upon ourselves something of his own character.
In that great verse about prayer in Philippians 4:6 (RSV), Paul says, “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” And what happens? God will do the thing you ask? No, that is not the promise. “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7a RSV), which you cannot reason out, which you cannot explain, which no circumstance will permit you to understand, the peace that rests at the heart of God, “will possess your hearts and minds,” (Philippians 4:7b RSV). Circumstances will not be any different. You rise from prayer and find your mother-in-law just as nasty as ever, your boss just as unreasonable, your children just as irritating, your husband just as stubborn, your wife just as bossy. Ah, but you have the peace of God that passes all understanding, which keeps your heart and mind through any circumstance.”
Now these two angels that were sent to Sodom and Gomorrah to gather Lot and his family gathered them up and sent them out of the city. The rest of the story is told in Chapter 19 and it is quite interesting to read. The angels had a chore gathering Lot and his family, but once they set them on their way and Lot and his family were safe in their destination, the “fire and brimstone” began to fall and the cities were consumed with fire and totally destroyed,
The video I included in my last post was a very well done video. It was quite informative and one that every believer should watch. This story of these two cities being destroyed by “fire and brimstone” is a factual story with actual historical significance. I urge you to read the entire story and watch the video that I am including again, below.
There are two main themes in this post. One, if you want a close friendship with God, you must commune with Him. Walk and talk with Him daily. Secondly, if you want to be one of the “saved” ones at the end of time when God tells Jesus to go “get His children” and we celebrate everlasting life with Him in Heaven, you must accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and let Him be your example in life. Then you will not be consumed by the righteous, all consuming fire of God Almighty as Sodom and Gomorrah were. Here is a link to a simple Plan of Salvation. This will easily walk you through what it means to be a Christian and a Christ follower. He is Lord of our lives and this website will help you understand what that means.
Please listen to this song also, it tells about the day when the eastern sky will split open and a trumpet will sound and we, as Christians, will meet Jesus in the air! Jesus Returns to gather His children! Come quick Lord Jesus!
The Song – Midnight Cry – Clay Crosse
The Video – Sodom and Gomorrah