Yesterday we discussed Moses’s role in praying for the Israelites who God wanted to destroy. Today we will look at how Abraham also made intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah when God wanted to destroy them. In Genesis 18, God sent three angels to visit with Abraham and Sarah concerning their promise of a son. The Lord revealed to Abraham that the men were sent to visit Sodom. This was because of an outcry against that city due to their sin. Abraham started to plead with God asking him to have mercy on Sodom (Genesis 18:1-23).
Abraham took it upon himself to petition God on behalf of the people. He asked God if he would spare the city if he found fifty righteous. Abraham did not stop there but continued to ask God if he would spare the people if he found forty five righteous. Abraham then asked about forty; thirty, and then twenty. “Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it”” (Genesis 18:32).
Abraham was willing to risk the anger of God, but was determined to pray for the city to be spared. Abraham did not merely shrug his shoulders when God told him what he intended to do. Neither did he say, “the Lord’s will be done,” or say that the people were deserving of the judgement. Abraham knew that he had a say in the affairs of the city and he knew that God would listen to his request. As it turned out, God did not find at least ten righteous and the city was destroyed. At least Abraham knew that he had prayed and he knew that God had heard and considered his request.
Have you considered the state of your city and started to cry out to God for salvation? Perhaps God will find more than ten righteous and send a revival. Either way, we have a role to play in praying for the salvation and safety of those around us.
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7).