22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord.
23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
26 And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.
30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.
32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.
33 And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.
K.J.V. Bible Text
In yesterday’s reading we learned that the Lord and the men with him had turned toward Sodom so the Lord could see if the city was as evil as the outcry he had heard against it indicated. Abraham followed after them for a short while and pleaded with the Lord to spare the city for the sake of the righteous souls that might be there.
It is amazing to think that in Abraham’s day the Lord visited and walked and talked with humans. It is also difficult to imagine what temerity Abraham must have felt in approaching the Lord face to face with objections to his plan of action, but never-the-less, that’s what Abraham did.
First he inquired if the Lord would spare the city for the sake of fifty righteous people. When the Lord agreed to do so; Abraham kept asking him again, each time with a lower number of righteous people until finally the Lord agreed to spare the city if he found there 10 righteous souls. Abraham then returned home.
While reading about this, I found myself wondering what motivated Abraham to exhibit such courage in the very face of the Lord as to plead for righteous people who might live in the wicked city. Was it because his close relative Lot and his family lived in Sodom?
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