“So, God already knows what’s going to happen and has decided what He wants to do. Why should we pray?” I’m glad you asked, because that’s a really good reason to know the next part of Abraham’s story.
When we start in verse 16, the visitors that just foretold of Isaac’s birth are heading off toward their destination. Abraham follows, as a good host would, to see off his guests. However, we have this interesting conversation within God from verses 17-19, it’s not a debate. God is not arguing with Himself about whether or not to tell Abraham about what is going to happen, this is for our benefit in knowing the place that Abraham has, and the family of faith from him. In other words, God has let us in on His plan so that we can be a part of it.
To intercede is to be a “go between.” Abraham put himself between God and the righteous that he supposed were in the valley below. First for 50, then 45, 40, 30, 20, and finally 10… Would God spare the wicked on the account of 10 righteous people? Notice the nature of the conversation, Abraham knows he’s out of his league. Yet, Abraham believes God is willing to hear and respond favorable to his request. Abraham has enough faith to dare to ask, not for himself, but for others. This is the very nature of intercession.
Ok, so we know the rest of the story. There are not even ten righteous people in Sodom. Lot’s family of 4 reside there, and even if you count the son-in-laws, you still only have 6. Didn’t God say he would spare the city on account of ten, yet there are only six? Abraham didn’t stop God from destroying the cities. God already knew that Lot was there, Abraham likely knew that Lot was there. So why intercede for 10?
God has invited us to care for what He cares about. God already had someone headed for Sodom, the destruction happened without the visitors there (read ahead, it’s ok, but you know that they left when they took Lot out of town and the destruction was happening behind them). The visitors / angels that came to Lot were not the ones that destroyed Sodom, they were sent to rescue Lot after they had visited Abraham. Abraham’s involvement was not to change God’s mind, but to have the privilege of sharing in God’s concern, in real-time, for Lot and his family. It also perhaps was an opportunity to expand Abraham’s involvement as one who “keeps the way of the Lord.” Now Abraham’s descendants share a story of warning about going against God’s way, one that Abraham witnessed.
Join the conversation on Facebook!