Today’s Reading – Genesis 17 – 19
“And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:” (Genesis 18:3)
Genesis 18 is a wonderful account which tells of the communion that Abraham had with his God. In the passage, three “men” appear at the farm of Abraham. We are not sure who all of these “men” are. Some have concluded that one of them was the Lord, and the other two were angels, which is certainly a good possibility because the very next chapter begins with two angels going to rescue Lot from the destruction of Sodom. I tend to believe, however, that these three were physical manifestations of the the three members of the Trinity. I could be wrong, but it is interesting that though there were three men, Abraham always only addresses them in the singular form as one. Nevertheless, the Lord and Abraham enjoy a sweet time of fellowship during this time. You get the feeling from the passage that they were not rushing to conclude their time together. A meal was prepared while the Lord waited.
During this time, God, no doubt, spoke to Abraham about many things; but one thing in particular that he told Abraham was that he would, in fact, have a son that would be born to Sarah. The miraculous thing about all of this is that Sarah and Abraham both are well beyond the child bearing years. Abraham and Sarah actually waited 20 years from the time that God first promised them a child to the time when their son, Isaac, was finally born. God is faithful to do all that He says that He will do in His time. During this afternoon of fellowship with Abraham, God reassures him again of the promise.
God reveals something else to Abraham during their time together. As Abraham was walking with the Lord as He was leaving, God shares with Abraham his planned destruction of the city of Sodom. God didn’t have to tell him, but He did. Of course, this got Abraham’s attention because he had a nephew in Sodom that he cared for. Abraham begins to intercede for the city of Sodom. He is begging God to spare the city, but his concern is really about Lot. God never promises to spare the city, and interestingly, He never promises to spare Lot; but He did say that He would spare the city if He had found ten righteous people there, which, by the way, He does not find. However, God does spare Lot and the family members that are willing to listen to Lot’s warning of the coming destruction. I want you to notice something very important, however, from chapter 19 and verse 29:
“And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.”
Did you catch it? It does not say that God spared Lot because he was righteous, though we know that the New Testament speaks of him as being “just” (justified). It also does not say that God remembered Lot. It does say that God remembered Abraham. What did God remember about Abraham? He remembered Abraham’s intercession on behalf of his nephew, Lot. God spared Lot and his family because of the prayer of Abraham.
What a wonderful picture we have here of prayer. God communing in sweet fellowship with his child. God revealing something to that child that would be of concern to him. God giving that child an opportunity to intercede, to pray for that very concern. And then the best part: God answering the request of the child: not exactly the way he wanted it; but a wonderful answer none the less. Kind of causes you to want to spend a little time in prayer yourself, doesn’t it?
Posted in Devotions, Thoughts from Genesis by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.