Abraham prays

Will not the judge of all the earth do right?

Genesis 18.25

We saw yesterday how the LORD visited Abraham and Sarah and  confirmed the due date for the birth of Isaac the son and heir of promise rather than human planning.

What follows next is beautiful, challenging and instructive.

When the men got up to leave they looked down towards Sodom and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way v.16

Remember the context allows us to understand that God himself was here in human form accompanied by two other heavenly beings. But it is the nature of God’s relationship with Abraham – Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? V.18 that should cause us to pause and marvel. Surely this is one of the many instances in the OT that blow a hole in the unbelievers idea (and sadly that of some Christians) that the God of the OT is a vengeful angry and unapproachable God. Here we see a glorious picture of the relational heart of God, the God of promises made and kept, the God who while hating sin v.20-21 hears pleas of his servant Abraham for mercy for his family.

The record does not tell us what God actually said to Abraham but in the light of it he remained standing before the LORD v.22 and there follows one of the greatest intercessory prayers in Scripture.

Abraham prays from the conviction that God will do what is right.

Abraham prays earnestly for his nephew and family that they might be spared the judgement about to fall on Sodom.

Abraham prays boldly

Abraham prays till the LORD  finishes speaking with him and then returns home having

 ‘cast his burden upon the Lord. Psalm 55.22

I shall not presume to apply the challenge of this passage to you this morning but urge you to reflect on the nature of the one to whom we pray and the depth to which we pray as I think of the lines from this hymn penned by John Newton

Come, my soul, thy suit prepare,
Jesus loves to answer pray’r.
He Himself has bid thee pray,
rise and ask without delay

Thou art coming to a King,
large petitions with thee bring,
for his grace and pow’r are such,
none can ever ask too much

With my burden I begin,
Lord, remove this load of sin!
Let Thy blood, for sinners spilt,
set my conscience free from guilt.

Lord! I come to Thee for rest,
take possession of my breast;
there Thy blood-bought right maintain,
and without a rival reign.

While I am a pilgrim here,
let Thy love my spirit cheer;
as my Guide, my Guard, my Friend,
lead me to my journey’s end

Show me what I have to do;
ev’ry hour my strength renew;
let me live a life of faith;
let me die Thy people’s death

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