Gen. 18:16 – “When the men [the LORD] got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way.”
- Abraham could have stood and said his good-bye. Instead, he walked along with the LORD, wanting to squeeze every sweet moment out of every second they had together.
Gen. 18:17-19 – “Then the LORD said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.’”
- God divulged His future plans to a man who was willing to follow Him, and God revealed his warning to a man who would influence nations toward obedience. No amount of Abraham’s toiling and spinning could reap the harvest of blessing he gained from time spent in God’s presence.
Gen. 18:20-21 – “Then the LORD said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.’”
- Of course, God knew S & G’s sin, but He wanted to reveal Himself to Abraham, wanted this man to understand His fairness. So God let Abraham see it unfold, though God already knew the end result.
Gen. 18:22-25 – “The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. Then Abraham approached him and said: ‘Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing--to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?’” (emphasis added)
- Note the emphasized phrases. Picture Abraham REMAIN STANDING and then APPROACH the LORD! Look at the fervent remarks and the exclamation mark at the end of the sentence. I think Abraham sort of got in God’s face here, maybe even a little accusation in his tone. Do you think Abraham would have been this bold before he spent this much time in God’s presence? Appreciate the familiarity that has grown in order for Abraham to be this transparent with his Almighty God.
Gen. 18:26-32 – “The LORD said, ‘If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.’ Then Abraham spoke up again: ‘Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?’ ‘If I find forty-five there,’ he said, ‘I will not destroy it.’ Once again he spoke to him, ‘What if only forty are found there?’ He said, ‘For the sake of forty, I will not do it.’ Then he said, ‘May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?’ He answered, ‘I will not do it if I find thirty there.’ Abraham said, ‘Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?’ He said, ‘For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.’ Then he said, ‘May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?’ He answered, ‘For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.’”
- God’s offers steady answers of justice and mercy to Abraham’s ever-pressing nearness.
Gen. 18:33 – “When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.”
- When the LORD was done, He left. God controls His visitations, but Abraham’s job was the same as ours today – to remain alert for opportunities to be near God, to listen for that still, small voice and engage Him in conversation when the occasion presents itself.
Lord, to know that Your Holy Spirit lives inside every believer is a warm comfort on the days I don’t FEEL Your presence. To know Your Word says You will NEVER leave me gives me great hope that I can walk in victory through the darkest times. But my greatest challenge is to make the MOST of those limited moments I carve out of my day, when it’s just You and me. Speak to me there. Teach me new things from Your Word. Help me to break down walls of resistance that have separated us in the past. Give me a renewed passion for You. Let it be so, Lord, with us.