Bible Study Lessons from Genesis 18:16-33
Pleading for Sodom is a story about Gods justice, mercy and patience.
Is this city of sin really worth saving? Abraham thinks so but what about God?
Our life lesson is that God is still waiting for us but He won’t wait forever.
Justice for Sodom – Abraham Pleads His Case
Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?
Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You!
Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?”
So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.”
And Abraham replied, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes.
Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?”
And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
He spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?”
And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.”
Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?”
And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
And he said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?”
And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.”
Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?”
And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.”
As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the Lord departed, and Abraham returned to his place. – Genesis 18:23-33
10 Good Men?
Wow! Abraham would have made quite the negotiator if he were alive today and worked for one of the large corporations, don’t you agree?
Of course, ultimately, it was Gods decision and not Abraham’s, to spare or destroy Sodom.
Truth is, God allowed Abraham to “negotiate” because He knew there were not ten righteous people in Sodom.
On the other hand, Abraham knew that God was merciful so he came away from the prayer feeling that God was more than fair in His decision.
As for mercy, God also allowed Lot, Abraham’s nephew and family to flee before the destruction of the city.
The other word for study here is justice. Yes, God is merciful as He shows in the verses above by allowing the city to survive with just 10 good people but He also distributes justice.
He punishes sin but His mercy allowed the people of Sodom one final chance to turn away from their sins. — They failed the test.
Taking advantage of the opportunity
Today, God still waits for people to come to Him for forgiveness.
He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take our place in judgment. All we have to do is believe, confess and ask Him to become our Savior to be forgiven.
God gives us a chance
Sodom had a choice and so do we. And remember, even though God is very patient as we see in His conversation with Abraham, one day will come when His patience will wear out and the window of opportunity will close.
Where will I be on that day? Where will you be?
Please think about it.
Love in Christ
If you would like to learn how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 to learn more.
Read Today’s Passage Here:
New American Standard Bible
New King James Version