Adventures in Faith with Abraham – Episode 34

Quiet Time Coaching Episode 291

Would you like to learn more about faith? You’ve come to the right person. No, not me, Abraham. This is a daily devotional podcast supporting a teaching series for the Watford church of Christ and the Thames Valley churches of Christ called “Adventures in faith with Abraham”. It is also part of my quiet time coaching series.

What is it about Abraham which is so admirable? Many things. But perhaps above all else his adventurous faith, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8 NIV11)

Join me as we step out on a faith adventure with Abraham.

Episode 34

Today we continue in chapter 18

“And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD. 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 18:20–33 NAS95)

What are we seeing here? A man who understands the heart of God.

The key phrase in this section might be, “and if not..” It is as if God is inviting Abraham to take up the intercessor role. Abraham was paying attention and seizes his opportunity. 

Later in Israelite history other significant figures pray for Israelites. But here Abraham prays for Canaanites. What does this reveal? It tells us that Abraham knew God cared about all people – not just the chosen. 

We have here an illustration of the mercy of God reflected in the heart of Abraham. Significantly also illustrating that Abraham is to be a blessing to all nations. Ultimately of course this is what Israel is meant to be.

Devotional thought for today

Abraham took the opportunity to pray for people who displeased God. Do you? It’s easy to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ and perhaps for people who we see as fitting our view of godliness. But – the rebellious, the depraved, the licentious? Pray for them?

Jesus said, rather annoyingly, 

“love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44 NIV11)

He lived up to this command, praying for those who crucified him:

“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. Luke 23:34 [ESV]

Allow yourself to be inspired by that example to pray today for those who disgust you.

Prayer point for today

Ask God to give you the heart to pray for someone who rejects your values

If you have any questions or feedback please contact me: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

The apostle Paul said of Abraham, “He is the father of us all.” (Romans 4:16 NIV11) Let’s allow him to be the father of Faith to you and me in January and February 2021.

Many thanks for listening today. See you tomorrow as we continue our adventure of faith with Abraham.

Take care and God bless, Malcolm