50, 45, 40, 30, 20, 10. . .

It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again. “The more one reads the Bible, the more one realizes that it is not of human origin. God is the Author of the Holy Scriptures.” Even if man could compose such writings himself, he wouldn’t because he is too prideful to expose himself the way the Scriptures exposes him. Moreover, natural man is too prideful to cast glorious light on God the way Scriptures do. As it says, “All Scripture is God breathed. . . “

As previously mentioned, I am reading the Scriptures chronologically and thoroughly enjoying it!  Currently, I’m in Genesis, which is nicely “interrupted” by Job, and though I’ve read it before a few times, the Holy Spirit is showing me things that I previously have not noticed.  These “discoveries” are providing greater insight to the character and essence of God and His redemptive plan with the Son, Jesus Christ, as the focal point.

One of my most current readings was Genesis 16-18.  Genesis 16 dealt with Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael.  Genesis 17 dealt with the covenant of circumcision for Abraham, his descendants and foreigners of his household and the son he would have with Sarah, Isaac. Genesis 18 shows us an interaction between the Lord and Abraham and the Lord’s plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  It was the conversation that took place between Abraham and Jehovah that grabbed my attention.

Genesis 18:16 reveals Jehovah’s choice to reveal His wrath against Sodom and Gomorrah.  Immediately, Abraham begins to intercede for the “righteous” dwelling in Sodom and Gomorrah, which was the dwelling place of his nephew, Lot and Lot’s family. (See Genesis 13:11-12).  Abraham couldn’t fathom the idea of God judging the righteous with the wicked – “Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”  He implored God to spare the two cities on the account 50 righteous people.  God said He would if there were 50 righteous people there. Abraham again implored the LORD to spare the two cities on the account of 45 people.  Again, God said He would if there were 45 righteous people there.  With Abraham’s suggestion of 40, 30, 20, and 10 people, the LORD responded the same way.

While we cannot overlook the importunate intercession of Abraham, what caught my attention was the willingness of God to extend mercy and grace to the unrighteous on the account of the righteous at this point in the redemptive narrative. But should it really surprise me? For He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Grace & Peace,

d.