A couple of weeks ago, my morning devotion afforded me the opportunity to go back to Genesis and read the story about Abraham and Lot: Genesis 18: 16-33 and 19:1-29
Summary: Abraham had just finished entertaining the 3-messengers God sent to him who informed him that his wife Sarah would soon give birth to a son. And just as they rose up to leave, verse16, God “was thinking” about His own plan for Sodom and whether or not He should tell Abraham, His friend. Abraham observed that the men went towards Sodom (v22-23), and he began to plead with God if He could spare the city for the sake of 50, 45, 40, 30 20 10 righteous souls in it. Chapter 29 gives us the account of the rescue of Lots family from Sodom.
After reading through scripture passages, some thoughts ran through my mind:
- Lot was not a missionary/pastor in Sodom, there is no mention that Lot preached / told anyone about the God of Abraham, which he definitely had known/heard about while he lived with Abraham.
- Lot simply lived his life: buisness, pleasure, wealth, etc; in the midst of a sinful nation, yet he didn’t make any impact “locally”. In fact, perhaps, Lot didn’t even think that anything was wrong in/with Sodom; wasn’t prepared to leave his very sinful environment.
- Unlike Abraham, Lot didn’t have the mind of God. He wasn’t righteous enough for God to talk to him, personally, man to man. Lot didn’t know God’s plan to destroy Sodom; he didn’t know that Abraham had been interceding to God to spare Sodom even for the sake of 10-righteous people.
- Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom (Gen 29:1) when the angels arrived for a visit. Perhaps he usually sat at the gate daily or maybe he was running a hospitality buisness and looked out for newcomers into the city Sodom; whichever case(we may never know), but his sitting at the gate that particular day afforded him a good opportunity to meet Gods men.
What ministered to me from all the above was that God spared Lot and his family members just because of the prayer of Abraham for mercy, not because of Lots own prayer (he didn’t even pray, wasn’t aware that Sodom’s cry was so great and their sin so grevious – Gen 18: 20). Abraham wasn’t resident in Sodom, yet he prayed for Sodom, and although he didn’t mention “Lot” specifically in his prayer, God knew the purpose of his prayers.
I see this as a very strong point while I look around and about my own immediate environment, and the world around me. And I ask, Is it possible that God begins to do great and mighty things in each city, state, nation, continent around the world just because of the intercessory prayer of His children resident in them? Won’t God have mercy on this world if Christians really truly pray? If God would send his angels to Sodom just for the sake of 10-righteous souls, how much more in a world of billions of people?
Or, are present day Christians already satisfied with their good life, wealth and success in this world (a bigger Sodom), that they have forgotten that just like it happened to Sodom, a day of judgment is coming when the cup of sin of this present world would be finally full? The kind of Christianity of nowadays is what I’ve observed to be “pray to save just yourself” – but Abraham shows us another light to it: pray to save others.
In Nigeria, for example, could Gods own Children go on their knees and pray, a prayer that moves God to have mercy on the entire nation?
above picture culled from Wikipedia (The Sodom and Gomorrah motif from the Nuremberg Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel, 1493. Note Lot’s wife, already transformed into a salt pillar, in the center.)