Genesis 18:1 - 33
ESV - 1 And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth
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I agree and would add that Abraham bore testimony in God. Abraham knew God and had a very close relationship with God. He was called "a friend of God." (See James 2:23 and 2 Chronicles 20:7). In fact, Abraham was such a close friend that it was through Abraham that God chose to cut the covenant that would eventually open the door for the Messiah (Jesus) to come and redeem all mankind. It is taught by Jewish rabbis that Abraham was considered a kind man and a man of hospitality. Both characteristics reflect part of the nature of God. As a man who was bore witness of God and His faithfulness, Abraham proved he was a man who was kind, hospitable to strangers (Hebrews 13:2), and willing to obey God at all costs, even the sacrifice of his own son. Abraham became the father of our faith. God said that it is His will that none should perish but that all would come to know Him. This is done by faith. Our faith is in the saving grace in God through Jesus, His Son. (John 3:16) Abraham, therefore, would be a witness. He would set the example that even what we might call the "greatest of sinners" deserves to be saved. In Abraham's intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham revealed something very important about God: His desire for salvation. In the end, it was ultimately the choice of these cities to not receive salvation and so they were judged. God was willing to spare the cities even if 10 righteous ones could be found there. However, there were not 10, but only Lot and his family. God offers all men His saving grace. Should we receive it, we would be delivered from the judgment that comes to those who choose not to receive Him. Sodom and Gomorrah serves as a picture to remind us of God's deliverance and God's judgment (by fire). Likewise, the story shows us that all sinners have a mediator with God. Like Abraham, Jesus interceded for those who didn't deserve it - all of us. What Abraham did reflected the nature of a most compassionate and loving God.
Consider the words of protest uttered by Abraham when he hears, from God himself, he is about to destroy the cities of the plains.Abraham says: How is this possible? (Gen.18:23) Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the 50 righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing- to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the judge of all the earth do justly? This passage is so well known, we forget to see I how strange it is. Does Abraham believe God is unjust? Does Abraham believe there is 50 righteous people in the city, and God overlooked this fact? Does Abraham believe he is more righteous then God? How does the "father of faith", challenge God himself, face to face. I believe the reason Abraham challenges God because God challenges him to do so. Immediately before this we read; (Gen.18:19) Then the Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surly become a great and powerful nation, and all nations will be blessed though him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised. "Shall I hide from Abraham? " This overheard by Abraham, is his cue. God is inviting Abraham to respond. "For I have chosen him...to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just". Abraham will become the voice of right and just. These then become precisely the words Abraham uses in his challenge "righteous and justice". Do not except injustice even if you hear it in my name. This is what God is teaching Abraham. Abraham sees there is no righteous people in the city. Abraham, like Moses, Job, Jeremiah, all the men choose to bring the word of God to His people, challenge Gods justice at one time or another. We as Christians, are to be the voice of right and justice.
My answer is simple. Because he was chosen by God to do so as an example to us to be compassionate to others. As Christians, we are called to be compassionate to the lost and Abraham is our example of the zeal we should all have.
Abraham might have thought that God intends to bless all nations through me and especially through a coming Savior, Jesus Christ (Genesis 12:3). So how can He do this if He wipes out Sodom and Gomorrah? I must bargain with God – there must be “50 righteous” (Lot being one of them). I am obviously assuming there are more, too.
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