Final Countdown | Genesis 18

posted in: Genesis | 0

Sodom and Gomorrah

Chapter 18

1 Yahweh appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that three men stood opposite him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth, 3 and said, “My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please don’t go away from your servant. 4 Now let a little water be fetched, wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 I will get a morsel of bread so you can refresh your heart. After that you may go your way, now that you have come to your servant.”

They said, “Very well, do as you have said.”

6 Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly prepare three seahs* of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.” 7 Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the servant. He hurried to dress it. 8 He took butter, milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. He stood by them under the tree, and they ate.

9 They asked him, “Where is Sarah, your wife?”

He said, “See, in the tent.”

10 He said, “I will certainly return to you when the season comes round. Behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old will I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

13 Yahweh said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Will I really bear a child, yet I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for Yahweh? At the set time I will return to you, when the season comes round, and Sarah will have a son.”

15 Then Sarah denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh,” for she was afraid.

He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

16 The men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom. Abraham went with them to see them on their way. 17 Yahweh said, “Will I hide from Abraham what I do, 18 since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Yahweh may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him.” 20 Yahweh said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, 21 I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know.”

22 The men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood yet before Yahweh. 23 Abraham came near, and said, “Will you consume the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Be it far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn’t the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 Yahweh said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 27 Abraham answered, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord, although I am dust and ashes.

28 What if there will lack five of the fifty righteous? Will you destroy all the city for lack of five?”

He said, “I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there.”

29 He spoke to him yet again, and said, “What if there are forty found there?”

He said, “I will not do it for the forty’s sake.”

30 He said, “Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak. What if there are thirty found there?”

He said, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”

31 He said, “See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord. What if there are twenty found there?”

He said, “I will not destroy it for the twenty’s sake.”

32 He said, “Oh don’t let the Lord be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?”

He said, “I will not destroy it for the ten’s sake.”

33 Yahweh went his way, as soon as he had finished communing with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

Thoughts for the Day

God and three men appear at Abraham’s house. Abraham being the kind of guy he is, insists they have a bath and join him for supper.  Abraham saw these visitors as quite important which is indicated by the fact that he kills his calf and serves them all fresh filet mignon. (For those who believe that meat could not be eaten before it hung out to drain the blood, this verse, tells us otherwise. This calf was cooked and served right away. The life blood passage earlier on, did not support thorough draining of the meat.) If this preparation technique was not legal he would not have served it this way to God’s three friends. The actual truth is the blood in not ne directly drank. We will see this a little later on.

Over dinner, God and the men tell Sarah she is going to have a son by the time they return for their next visit. Sarah over hears them and laughs to herself at their silliness.  They tell her they knew she was laughing, teased her for fibbing, when she said she was not.  Of course, a short time from now, the laugh will be on Sarah. It is amazing how long it takes us to trust God in the day-to-day living and the apparently ridiculous.  It seems that it takes even the best of people a lifetime if ever, to fully trust God.

Supper is done, and things get serious. God sends the three men in to Sodom and Gomorrah to see if the city is as bad as he hears.  This is an exercise that God goes through that I cannot understand to save my life. God is all-knowing, sees everything. Why does he send three men in the grime to see it first hand?   I saw the “Lone Ranger”, I know what happened to Tonto when was sent to town, this can’t be good.

Nevertheless, God saw that they needed to go, and as always, I am glad God is in charge. Being that he is all-knowing, there must be a reason, and maybe Abraham was that reason. Abraham is worried about the people, and believes there is good in them. While the men are heading to Sodom, God hangs with Abraham and tells Abraham he will wipe Sodom and Gomorrah from the face of the earth. Abraham does not doubt that God can do this, and is very upset at the notion and begins the final countdown!

In verse 28 we begin the final countdown at Fifty righteous people and God says for fifty he will spare the city.

Abraham counts down to ten people being righteous The dialogue between God and Abraham ends here for this chapter and Abraham realizes what is at stake with these men’s mission. He also gets the idea of just how far the inhabitants of these cities have fallen from the grace of God.  Since Abraham did not realize the state of these cities, with his brother living there, and knowing the kings from that battle he did for them a while back, this was disturbing I am sure.

When we fall out of God’s grace, and become totally depraved at a national level, which seldom happens all at once; and it happens because God’s people let lots of little things that they know are wrong slide, in their own lives and society. These little things become the norm and no big deal. If God’s people don’t work to stay pure, and don’t stand up for what is right, and against what is wrong, their society is doomed. Righteous parents have religious children, and these children raise less religious children who grow up to vote; be politicians, and as members of society. When the lines between right and wrong are blurred and we stand by just paying attention to our own deeds, the lines between right and wrong eventually vanish, if we don’t trust God and step in when the wicked begin to take over. God asks us to respect our government, not to be such passivist that we never say enough is enough. Societies rise to greatness, get comfortable and begin worrying about being fair; at the cost of doing what is right by God. Sodom and Gomorrah, are not the only societies that have turned their backs on God and fallen; a brief study of history show more came and went, and more are to come. Will your country be next? It might be time to kneel down and pray for God’s guidance, before you find yourself living in the next Sodom.

Have a wonderful day, praise God for every breath, and wisdom to use those breaths to for in what matters most…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *