As part of the “Life You’ve Always Wanted” series, we looked closely at a story from Genesis that caused me to take note. Genesis 18:16-33 outlines the story of Abraham’s conversation with God regarding the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. We have all seen the movie, so we know how it ends for them, but I never realized what took place prior to it’s being destroyed. Let’s call it an “old testament deal or no deal”.
If you are not familiar, “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah was so great and their sin so grievous” God has decided to destroy them. But Abraham steps on the scene, silver briefcase in hand, and asks God “what if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will you sweep it away then?”, God is willing to deal, so he says “no”. Abraham, feeling a bit risky asks the same question, only this time he says “how about if there’s 45”? God says “no, I won’t destroy it if there is 45 righteous people”. The deal/no deal continues down from 40, 30, 20 and finally 10 people. Each time God agrees to not destroy it if he finds that number of righteous people there. Abraham takes the deal at 10 and “returned home”.
There are some really rich lessons here. First off, God showed he was open and willing to change his mind. Abraham showed that we have an open line of discussion with God. Sodom and Gomorrah proved to be a place where not even 10 righteous people could be found.
How would you approach your neighborhood, if you had knowledge of God’s wrath against it? How would I approach mine? Would I be willing to play deal or no deal if it meant saving the city? What number of “righteous people” would I be willing to think was a good number to call a deal? I couldn’t help but think of how God will someday bring his judgement on this world. The question then becomes, did I do everything in my power to “deal” with the salvation of those around me? The stakes are higher than some TV show and the riches are far greater.