Listen to Genesis 18 read by David Alley, followed by comments and prayer.
Genesis 18 is the Bible account of Abraham’s visit by three angels, one of them who turns out to be the Lord. Abraham starts off by rushing to provide them hospitality, and ends up finding out that they have come to investigate the “grievous” sins of Sodom and then destroy it. Abraham clearly knows how bad things are in Sodom, because long ago he moved away from the area, now residing about 40 kilometres west in the mountains. Abraham then ends up negotiating with God to try to save the city of Sodom from destruction, but doesn’t negotiate hard enough to save it.
There are two things in this chapter that we should copy. Firstly the hospitality for strangers. The book of Hebrrews tells us that by showing kindness to strangers some people have actually entertained angels, and that is exactly what happens here with Abraham, except he actually entertains God. Jesus later tells a parable of the sheep and the goats in which he says that whatever we do for the lowest person, we do, or do not do for Him. So our attitude to strangers is important.
The city of Sodom of course has a terrible attitude towards strangers as is demonstrated in the next chapter, but also in other Jewish sources like Josephus, and it had gotten to the point that it was grievous and there was an outcry that reached Heaven. You must admit that is pretty bad. God demonstrates his goodness in destroying that which is beyond saving, for the benefit of others. What happens in this story is good, and a demonstration of justice.
Finally we see that we should also copy Abraham in intercession and prayer, negotiating with God for the salvation of those around us. This isn’t the physical saving of their lives, but the saving of their lives into Christ, so that they may be spared from eternal destruction.
Jan 19, 2021 | Message by David Alley