Grounded in grace, framed in purpose, and prompted and sustained by God, Abraham was committed to being an instrument for God’s glory. In Genesis 18, this meant interceding in prayer on behalf of Sodom. Looking to Abraham as an example, Alistair Begg calls us to the discipline of intercessory prayer. In light of God’s character, and by His grace, we must examine our relationship with Him so that we might exercise this critical ministry.
16Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19For I have chosen6 him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21I will go down to see whether they have done altogether7 according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”
22So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
Abraham’s journey of faith could be described as a series of new beginnings. Although his walk contained many pitfalls and failures, Abraham learned that with God, failure is never final. Abraham’s trust grew with each new beginning as he responded in obedience to God’s call. Throughout this series from Genesis, Alistair Begg explores faith as expressed through the changes and challenges of life. The measure of our faith grows as our understanding of God’s character grows, and we can walk boldly in light of His promises.
|One Man's Background||Genesis 11:27-32|
|Pitching Tents and Building Altars||Genesis 12:1-9|
|A Failure of Nerve||Genesis 12:10-20|
|Let's Have No Quarreling||Genesis 13:1-8|
|Abram to the Rescue||Genesis 14:1-24|
|How Can I Be Right with God?||Genesis 15:1-6|
|Faith in the Waiting Room||Genesis 16:1-15|
|The Covenant Confirmed||Genesis 17:1-27|
|The Principles and Practice of Intercession||Genesis 18:16-33|
|The Peril of Inconsistency||Genesis 20:1-18|
|Faith Put to the Test, Part One||Genesis 22:1-8|
|Faith Put to the Test, Part Two||Genesis 22:9-19|