Saturday, June 10, 2017

Genesis 18:16-33

16 After the feast that Abraham had provided, the three visitors got up and started walking toward the city of Sodom. Abraham was walking with them and saying good-bye 17 when the Lord said, “Should I keep Abraham in the dark about my plan? 18 After all, Abraham’s descendants will certainly become a huge and significant nation. Through him and his progeny all the earth’s nations will be blessed. 19 I have chosen him for a special relationship and he will be directing his family, including those in the coming generations to follow my path. They need to be moral and just people so that I can act on the promises I’ve made to Abraham.”

20 Then the LORD said, “Speaking of those who have left the path, there are countless cries coming from the victims of injustice in Sodom and Gomorrah. The sins of those cities are apparently very serious! 21 I’m going down there now to investigate the complaints of injustice that I’ve received. I want to know if they are as wicked as it sounds. And if they aren’t, I want to know that, too.”

22 The men turned away and continued walking toward Sodom. However, the LORD stopped and continued his conversation with Abraham. 23 Abraham moved in closer to talk -- as friends often do -- and said to the LORD, “What about the innocent people who live in those cities? Are you really planning to sweep them away with the guilty? 24 What if there are fifty innocent people in the cities? Will you really destroy them and not spare the place for the sake of those fifty innocent people? 25 I can’t believe that you’d execute the innocent with the guilty -- as if there were no difference. That’s not like you! Won’t you, the chief justice of the entire earth, do the right thing and judge justly?”

26 The LORD responded, “Alright, if I find fifty innocent people in Sodom and Gomorrah, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Abraham replied, “Lord, I know that I’m really not much more than dust, so please humor me if I’m out of bounds with my boldness, but 28 what if there are forty-five innocent people in the cities -- five fewer than fifty? Will you destroy the whole place over just five?”

The LORD responded, “If I find forty-five decent people in Sodom and Gomorrah, I won’t destroy the cities.”

29 Once again Abraham spoke, “Well, what if there are forty?”

The LORD responded, “Again, for the sake of those forty decent people, I will do nothing.”

30 Abraham said, “Don’t get upset with my questions, my Lord, but what if there are thirty?”

The LORD said, “I won’t do it if I find thirty decent people there.”

31 Abraham pressed even more, “Since I’ve already been presumptuous with my Lord, what if there are twenty?”

The LORD said, “Again, I won’t wipe the cities from the map if I find twenty decent people there.”

32 Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, I know I’m in way over my head, but please don’t hold it against me -- just one more question -- what if there are only ten?”

And the LORD said, “For the sake of those 10 decent people I will not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.” 33 As soon as the Lord finished speaking with Abraham, he went on his way. And Abraham returned to his seat at the entrance of his tent.