Genesis 18:20-33; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 132-144
God wants me to speak out for others.
“Not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of the others” (Phillippians 2:4).
Do you talk to God when someone you care about needs help? Do you ask God to do something for them? Even when people are bad, we can speak out for them. A long time ago, Abraham bargained with God for some people. It happened like this . . .
One hot day Abraham sat in the shade of his tent, looking out upon the valley where he lived. A movement caught his eye. Three men stood just beyond his camp talking together.
Abraham jumped up, ran out to meet them, and bowed low.
Z“Please, stay awhile at my tent. I will give you water and some food to eat. You can sit in the shade of the trees and rest.”
“Thank you, we will,” the men agreed. “Go and do as you said.”
Abraham hurried back to the camp and into his tent.
“Sarah,” he called to his wife, “we have guests. Please bake some bread for them.” Then Abraham hurried to get food for his servant to cook. Soon the food was ready. Abraham, himself, served his guests. While they ate he stood in the shade of a tree nearby. Sarah stayed just inside the tent, where she could listen to the men.
“Where is Sarah, your wife?” one of the guests asked.
“She’s in the tent,” Abraham answered.
“Next year at this time she will have a son,” the guest said.
Back in the tent Sarah chuckled. Imagine having a son at her age!
“Why did Sarah laugh?” the stranger asked. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
Now both Abraham and Sarah knew that their guest was the Lord Himself.
When Abraham’s guests finished their meal, they got up to leave. As was the custom, Abraham walked a short distance with them. The Lord stopped to talk to Abraham as the others walked on.
“I have heard how very wicked Sodom is,” the Lord said.
Abraham had heard of evil things that people did in Sodom. He thought of Lot and his family who lived there. Abraham loved his nephew’s family. He was sure Lot was not wicked, but Abraham worried about the people of Sodom. Many of them did not yet know God.
“Lord,” Abraham said, “are You going to destroy the good people of Sodom along with the wicked? Suppose there are 50 good people in Sodom. Will You not save the city?”
The Lord answered, “If I find 50 righteous [good] people in Sodom, I will not destroy it.”
Abraham thought some more. His kind heart made him ask the Lord again, “What if there are only 45 good people?”
“I will not destroy Sodom, if there are 45 good people.”
Still Abraham was not satisfied. Three more times he asked the Lord to save the city. The sixth time Abraham begged the Lord, “Don’t be angry with me, Lord, but let me ask one more time. Will You save the city for just 10 good people?”
The Lord answered, “For the sake of 10 good people I will not destroy the city.”
Then the Lord went on to Sodom, and Abraham went back to his tent knowing that God would do what was right and what was good.