Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Friendly Negotiations

Friendly Negotiations
Abraham approached him and said, “Will you destroy both innocent and guilty alike?” “Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the innocent with the guilty. Why, you would be treating the innocent and the guilty exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?” (Genesis 18:23 and 25 NLT)
Abraham is one of the most courageous persons that I am acquainted with in the Bible. To engage in face to face negotiations with the Creator of the universe and come away with what we humans might consider the “winning edge” is in itself a remarkable feat. God was determined to destroy everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness. Abraham started at fifty righteous even though he knew in his heart that there weren’t that many righteous in Sodom. The negotiations got down to ten. Apparently Abraham was confident that ten righteous could be found.
   Why was God willing to negotiate with Abraham? Why did he even decide to tell Abraham what his plans were for Sodom and Gomorrah? To put it simply—Abraham was the “friend of God.” They talked face to face on more than one occasion. I’m also sure that God had a deep and abiding compassion for Abraham’s nephew Lot who the Bible describes as a righteous man. (2 Peter l 2:7)
   Abraham recognized that the person he was speaking with was the LORD. In his negotiations Abraham exhibited deep respect and reverence. He took the position of a humble servant, but at the same time spoke boldly. He called upon the LORD to exercise compassion, mercy, justice, and righteousness. Only a personal friend with deep roots of faith could freely speak as Abraham did.
   Abraham’s entire conversation revealed his concern for his nephew Lot and his family. He knew there were severe consequences for sin, but didn’t want to see the righteous suffer with the unrighteous.
   How do we respond to the Lord when we see evil unfolding all around us? Do we plead for their salvation? Are we really burdened for the lost and dying?

Prayer: Dear Lord, give me a love for those who are lost in sin.

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