3. Abraham’s Prayer for Sodom (Genesis 18:16-33)
“The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin is so grievous,” the LORD said, “that if I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the entire place for their sake.” Abraham’s prayer for Sodom is an incredible revelation of one man’s faith in Almighty God’s justice and incredible boldness before the Creator of the Universe.
Setting the Stage
Abraham and his nephew Lot had emigrated to Canaan, where Lot had settled in Sodom, a sinful city near the Dead Sea. Abraham had raised his own personal military force to rescue Lot from the kings of Mesopotamia, but now Lot is threatened by another overpowering force — God himself.
The Sins of Sodom and Gomorrah (18:20-21)
“Outcry against” (NIV, NRSV) or “cry of” (KJV) is the Hebrew noun zaufffdu0101ru0101, “cry, outcry,” which means “to cry for help in time of distress.” God has shown mercy to people who have sinned throughout the ages.
Will Not the Judge of All the Earth Do Right? (18:22-25)
Abraham appeals to God, asking, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Abraham’s motivation is to save his nephew Lot from destruction alongside Sodom, arguing that it would be wrong to “kill the righteous with the wicked.”
Boldness Mixed with Humility
Abraham boldly bargains with God to reduce the number of righteous people who would prevent God from destroying Sodom from 50 to 10, and he asks for the Lord’s indulgence throughout this bold prayer. Here is a fine balance of humility, knowing our place, and yet boldness.
Why Does God Bargain with Abraham?
God bargains with Abraham to see how far his faith will take him; this kind of bargaining exalts God by magnifying his righteousness, by insisting that his great righteousness requires him to spare the city.
Persistence in Prayer
Jesus says that Abraham’s perseverance pleased God, and that we should do the same. An older generation of saints called this kind of perseverance “praying through.” We, too, must learn to “pray through” and not give up before receiving assurance of answered prayer.
The Audacity of Prayer
Abraham prays for his nephew Lot to be saved in Genesis 19:21-22, and God grants the intent of his request even if he does not grant the literal request. God can work out his will and purpose in many ways through prayer.
Lessons from Abraham’s Intercession
He must maintain respect for God while also being aware of his own inadequacy; he must continue to pray until he receives an answer; he must keep appealing to Yahweh.
The Intercession of Jesus on Our Behalf
God calls us to intercede for others in the same way that Abraham, Moses, and Jesus did for their people before the Father. Our sin is not as great as Sodom’s, but it is just as repulsive to God.
Lord, when I compare myself to Abraham, I’ve been far too timid in my prayers; help me to get to know you so well that I won’t be afraid to ask great things of you; grow my faith in you, and lead me to exercise that faith in my daily prayers to you.
“Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” Abraham asked God (Genesis 18:23-25), and God replied, “Far be it from you to do such a thing,” sparing the city for the sake of the fifty righteous people.
All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free; please do not post it on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information for details on how to get a free copy of these books.
Did Abraham hear God?
The ability to hear God’s voice was the beginning of Abram’s (later renamed Abraham by God) relationship with God; without it, the rest of the Bible’s story would have ended as we know it.
Who first pray in the Bible?
Abraham. Abraham pleads with God not to destroy the people of Sodom, where his nephew Lot lives, in the first notable prayer recorded in the Torah and Hebrew Bible.
What did Abraham’s prayers reveal about his belief about God?
What did Abraham’s prayers reveal about his faith in God? Abraham believes that God does not tolerate sin, but that God is just and merciful.
What God did Abraham worship?
Abraham’s family worshiped “other gods” in Mesopotamia, but in Canaan, they adopted the name of the Canaanites’ supreme god, El, for a god Abraham experienced as uniquely transcendent and personal, to whom he entrusted himself and his family, worshiping that god exclusively as “God Most High.”
Does God laugh?
God laughs three times in the Book of Psalms (Psalm 2:4; 37:13; 59:8), as he sees their impending destruction and says, “A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked.”
What did God promise Abraham?
God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great people and that if he and his descendants obeyed him, God would guide, protect, and give them the land of Israel.
What are the 7 prayers?
Confession, Salvation, Release, Submission, Praise, Promise, and Blessing are among the seven life-changing prayers that help readers find renewal and transformation in their spiritual lives.
What is the 4 types of prayer?
u201cPrayer is the raising of the mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God,u201d writes John Damascene. This definition encompasses the four main types of prayer: adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication.
What was Jesus first prayer?
“When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come; give us daily bread; forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us; and do not lead us into temptation,” he advised.
How many times a day did Abraham pray?
He told him to tell Muslims to pray 50 times a day, and the prophet didn’t argue with him.
Can a person bargain with God?
But haggling is not limited to the purchase of goods and services. In Genesis chapter 18, Abraham unsuccessfully bargains with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah, and in I Samuel chapter 1, the childless Hannah prays to God for a son.
Does God change his mind?
God is unchangeable. Several passages in the Old Testament show God appearing to change his mind, usually in response to a judgment he pronounces on Israel; however, some passages in the Old Testament appear to teach that God does not change his mind at all.
When did God tell Abraham to move?
“Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you; I will make you a great nation and bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing,” the LORD had said to Abram.
What nationality was Abraham?
Abraham is a surname with Jewish, English, French, German, Dutch, Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Breton, and other origins. It is derived from the Hebrew personal name Avraham, which was given to the biblical patriarch Abraham, who is revered by Jews as the founder of the Jewish people (Gen.