And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? … That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: … Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Genesis 18:23, 25.
Abraham had honored God, and the Lord honored him, taking him into His counsels, and revealing to him His purposes. “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” said the Lord….
And the man of faith pleaded for the inhabitants of Sodom. Once he had saved them by his sword, now he endeavored to save them by prayer…. With deep reverence and humility he urged his plea…. Himself a sinner, he pleaded in the sinner’s behalf. Such a spirit all who approach God should possess. Yet Abraham manifested the confidence of a child pleading with a loved father. He came close to the heavenly Messenger, and fervently urged his petition.
Though Lot had become a dweller in Sodom, he did not partake in the iniquity of its inhabitants. Abraham thought that in that populous city there must be other worshipers of the true God…. Abraham asked not once merely, but many times. Waxing bolder as his requests were granted, he continued until he gained the assurance that if even ten righteous persons could be found in it, the city would be spared.
Love for perishing souls inspired Abraham’s prayer. While he loathed the sins of that corrupt city, he desired that the sinners might be saved. His deep interest for Sodom shows the anxiety that we should feel for the impenitent. We should cherish hatred of sin, but pity and love for the sinner.
All around us are souls going down to ruin as hopeless, as terrible, as that which befell Sodom. Every day the probation of some is closing. Every hour some are passing beyond the reach of mercy. And where are the voices of warning and entreaty to bid the sinner flee from this fearful doom? Where are the hands stretched out to draw him back from death? Where are those who with humility and persevering faith are pleading with God for him?
Conflict and Courage p. 51
—–Please pray for Rita who is having a consultation and exam today for vocal cord replacement. Lorna
—–Please pray that J can get the money owed him. Barney
Years ago, when I worked at Lyster Army Hospital, a patient who had been shot in the leg. When he was wheeled in, all the other soldiers couldn’t help laughing and teasing him for being there. He took it all good naturedly. I was very curious and asked one of them why the reaction. I was told that this soldier who was the object of the others’ laughter, was on the Military Police force. He and a few buddies had nothing to do one afternoon, so they started bragging about one thing or another. This young MP told everyone that he could twirl a gun like the cowboys in the old western movies did. Of course, the others challenged him on it.
Confident of his prowess, he began to demonstrate. Somehow when he went to take the gun out of the holster, however, it became stuck. His finger became all twisted up with the trigger. In trying to free himself, the gun went off and the bullet went into his leg at such an odd angle that it traveled down the bone and came out of his foot. That one little moment gave him many months of pain, difficult rehabilitation, and tons of embarrassment.
How often, we “shoot ourselves in the foot” like that soldier. One unguarded word, one careless action, one momentary event can change our life for good or ill. Jesus tells us, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matt 12:34-37 The wise man observed, “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Prov 20:11
As we think upon our weak, blundering ways, we become discouraged and cry as did Paul, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Rom 7:24 How helpless and weak we are. Even if we try with all our might cannot deliver ourselves from our the chains that bind us. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jer 13:23
How much we need a Saviour! How desperately we need Someone Who can empower us to do right. Praise God! We do have such a One—even the Only Begotten Son of God! He is “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by” Him. John 14:6 Think of it! He does not turn us away. He does not force us and whip us into shape. No! Our Great Creator loves us with an everlasting love and draws us to Him with His loving kindness. What a wonderful Saviour! Moreover, He does not stop there, He leads and guides us on the steep and narrow path that leads to Heaven. He promises, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Is 30:21 “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Ps 32:8
May we come to Him now, all weak and helpless as we are, assured that He will not turn us away. May we allow His to change us into His image, that His love may flow out to those around us. May we follow Him all the way to His Heavenly Kingdom is my prayer.