In Sin and Error Pining
Over the past several weeks we’ve been looking into this appearance of the Lord to Abraham. It started with God changing Abraham’s and Sarah’s names. God gave Abraham the sign of circumcision to strengthen his faith. Then God gave Abraham the promise that in a year he would have a child from Sarah.
In chapter 18, a little time has passed and the Lord appears to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre. The Lord repeats that in a year’s time Sarah would have a baby. By now, Abraham is believing. He is trusting in God’s promises and his plan to bring about the promise but, Sarah has an issue. She’s not quite there yet. And so God challenges her. He confronts her doubt. He instructs her.
God then turned to Abraham and tells him that he is going to let him in on his plan. God tells him he’s going to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because their sin is so great. Abraham follows the lead, the prompting of God and intercedes for the wicked. Abraham begins to fulfill the promise that he would be the blessing to the nations. He prays according to God’s great mercy that God would spare the cities if 10 righteous persons were living there. Of course, God would spare if there were ten. The problem is, as we will see today, there weren’t 10 righteous. But Abraham was correct in his intercession.
And so that brings us to chapter 19. I hadn’t planned on preaching about Sodom and Gomorrah right before Christmas. It’s not a typical advent text. But as I began to think about it and talk with the elders, the idea began to grow on us, on me. John 1:4-5 came to mind. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” As I said last week, there is a contrast made by God here. The light of new life, the promised child of the covenant, is contrasted to the death and depravity found in the city of Man. Though the darkness is great and is widespread the light shall not be overcome.
As we think about chapter 19, I want to point out three things about God that are on display. In verses 1-14 we find that God is merciful and just. In verses 15-22 we see God as a savior. And finally, in 23-29, we find that God is the perfect judge.