As we continue in our study of Genesis, we see Abraham recognize God’s care for the righteous. God chose to reveal to Abraham His plan to destroy the city of Sodom. God did not need to tell Abraham what He was going to do, but He chose to allow Abraham (and us) to see His character and His heart for the righteous as well as His holiness and wrath as He dealt with injustice.
God’s intent to wipe out the city seemed to contradict God’s character. Abraham knew the people in the city – he had rescued many of them – and, if they were righteous, it would not (at least from a human perspective) be fair for God to destroy them. Destroying the righteous along with the wicked would contradict God’s loving character.
Abraham continued to plead with God, and God responded and granted Abraham’s request.
Though God had set His mind to destroy the city of Sodom, He listened to Abraham’s plea. God changed His mind and promised to destroy the city only if there were fewer than ten righteous people. God was willing to spare the wicked in the city for the sake of a few righteous people. His justice is displayed in His willingness to spare the righteous, even though sparing the righteous was possible only through allowing the wicked to continue in their wickedness.
Ultimately, God did destroy Sodom. There were not ten righteous people in the city, and it was destroyed, with the exception of Lot and his two daughters.
God honored Abraham’s request when He destroyed the city (Genesis 19:29). We see the holiness of God through His response to the wicked and His care for the righteous. He saved the few righteous people living in the city, yet He destroyed the wicked.
“For this reason the wicked cannot withstand judgment, nor can sinners join the assembly of the godly. Certainly the Lᴏʀᴅ guards the way of the godly, but the way of the wicked ends in destruction.” –Psalm 1:5-6
While we will never fully understand God’s decisions, Abraham’s intercession for the people of Sodom reveals much about God’s character. God was patient, not only with Abraham, but also with the people of Sodom. When we question whether or not God hears our cries for justice, sometimes what we see as inaction on God’s part may actually be His saving hand. His justice is never misapplied.
When injustice or wickedness persists in our world, we can be confident it is not outside of God’s ability and willingness to act. We can never fully understand the ways God acts, the reasons He does what He does, or how He accomplishes His purposes. Even when evil persists, we can believe that God guards the way of His people. The wicked may not see their destruction on this earth, but we can believe that God’s purpose always prevails. He is never outwitted. He is never outmatched. He is never caught off guard. Our God is just, and He cares for us more deeply than we can ever comprehend.
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