Daily Lesson for Monday 23rd of October 2023
Read Genesis 18:1-33:16-33. How did Abraham exercise his great quality of love for all people without distinguishing tribe, race, or people?
The second quality of Abraham drawn from Genesis 18:1-33 was his love for people, even for those he did not personally know. This is a great lesson for each of us. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were sinners, far removed from his values, but his heart was full of love for everyone without any distinction of race, gender, language, or religion.
God, then, reveals to Abraham His decision to annihilate the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. “Then the Lord said, ‘Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know’ ” (Genesis 18:20-21, ESV).
With great humility and reverence, Abraham addressed his request to God: “ ‘Far be it from You to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?’ ” (Genesis 18:25, ESV).
Through his love, Abraham hoped to save all the people in these cities, not only the righteous. Certainly, Abraham knew just how evil and wicked the people were who lived there. Who knows what stories he had heard regarding those people and their practices? And from what we know about them, as revealed in the next chapter, with the sordid story of Lot and the mob outside his house (see Genesis 19:1-11), these were very evil people.
Yet Abraham, knowing for himself the love of God, appealed to Him in their behalf. Abraham knew that human beings always can return to God in repentance. To Abraham, saving the inhabitants of these cities would give them a chance to repent.
In the end, Abraham based his request on what he personally knew about God’s love for human beings. He himself had a great love for sinners, and he knew that as long as there is life, there is hope for salvation.
Why is intercessory prayer so important in our own prayer life? How can praying for others in need help us grow spiritually and experience more the reality of God’s love for sinners?