Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life Lessons From Biblical Characters | Abraham

Genesis 18:20-33

Suppose...? What if....? Would you consider.....?  How many times have we approached God with one of these questions?  We are trying to ask Him for something but even we realize there is a condition to His answering our request, so we try negotiating with Him to bring the terms down to a more "agreeable" term in our minds.

The only problem is, that in our finite human minds, we think we can negotiate with God. How many times have we heard someone say, "I told God if He got me out of such and such a situation, I would do this for the rest of my life."  Many times, God will allow the person to come out of the situation they were in, but the person is rarely able to live up to their end of the "bargain".

Why is that?  I believe it is because God wants us to realize that 1) trying to negotiate with a holy and righteous God who is also loving and merciful is futile and 2) that because we are human and He is God, He is the only one who is able to "live up to His end of the bargain."

Abraham begins asking God if He would destroy the righteous with the wicked afterall, "shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"  He then asks God if there are fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom (where his nephew Lot now lives), will He still destroy the city. 

"If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the place for their sakes."

Abraham continues negotiating until he comes to the number ten and God agrees not to destroy the city if He can find ten righteous.  The negotiations stop, the Lord went His way, and Abraham returned to his place.

As we will see in the next chapter, God could not even find ten righteous people in the city of Sodom and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were completely destroyed. However, because He is a holy and righteous God as well as loving and merciful, He removed the ones that were loosely considered righteous (all 4 of them!) from the cities before He destroyed them.

The next time we start negotiating with God, let's remember that He is holy and righteous, loving and merciful, and appeal to His merciful loving heart before we try negotiating with the all-wise, all-knowing God.

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