Genesis 18: 25-33…. Bargaining with God!

Far 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?” And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose 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.” Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” Then 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.” He 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.” Then 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.” And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

Comment: When the word LORD is printed in capitals in the English Bibles it means Jehovah God. The word occurs often enough here for us to know that Abraham is talking with God. And God has been promising him great things. Nevertheless Abraham has the temerity to challenge the justice of God. Abraham had every right to be concerned about Lot. God had the absolute right to deal with the stench of sin which had risen to the heavens. The question of ‘the good’ suffering along with ‘the bad’ is often raised. By the very nature of sin it has an effect beyond its direct sphere of action. (For example innocent kids are killed in terrorist attacks.) Abraham whittles down the number he pleads as an excuse for God not to act in total destruction of the city. There were not even ten able to labelled righteous, but God spared the one family who with a stretch of the imagination might be called righteous!

Prayer: Help me to be humbly honest with You, O, God.

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