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Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Bible Meditation: 
Genesis 18: 16-33

“And Abraham came near and said: “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?”Genesis 18:23

Abraham’s and Moses’ are additional MODEL PRAYERS of THE BIBLE worthy to learn from: “And Abraham came near and said: “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” (Gen.18:23). This passage contains Abraham’s Prayer for Sodom – really for Lot and his family, an example of intercessory prayer. Yesterday we considered the Prayers of Hannah, Jabez, and Daniel. Today, also from the Old Testament, we focus on the Intercessory Prayers of Abraham and Moses.

Abraham's Prayer for Sodom (Genesis 18:16-33).

Abraham’s Prayer of Intercession for Sodom is an amazing revelation of the faith of one man in the Justice of Almighty God; an incredible boldness of a mortal before the Creator of the Universe! Abraham seemed to stand before God alone, yet wielded significant influence over Divine decisions and actions. Here is the portrait of a man who had learned to listen to and communicate with God. Only those who have been wholly released to the Art of Prayer can be entrusted by God with the Call to intercede for others. Abraham was such a person.

Although Lot had separated from his uncle, and out of lust, settled in sinful Sodom, Abraham retained a strong obligation to protect him. Once, when the kings of Mesopotamia sacked Sodom and captured Lot and others, Abraham raised his personal military force to rescue them (Gen.14: 1-16). Now, Lot was threatened by another overpowering Force – God Himself! And Abraham found himself contending for Lot before the Lord. Abraham had entertained three men. It turned out that two of them were angels on their way to destroy Sodom and the third was Yahweh Himself (vv.17, 22). Although Abraham was under no illusions as to how terribly wicked Sodom was as to merit destruction, he persistently pleaded with the Lord (vv.22-25). His bold, audacious appeal before “The Judge of All the Earth” was mixed with humility, as Abraham repeatedly asked for the Lord’s indulgence, acknowledging his own humble place before God (vv.27,30,31,32).

Abraham bargained God down from 50 to 10 righteous people that would prevent God from destroying Sodom – and the Lord agreed! His persistence pleased God! He was delighted in having a man who actually trusted Him enough to pray such a prayer! Am I such a man? Through this audacious prayer, Abraham had prevailed upon the Lord to change His Mind – at least to modify His judgement. Although there were not ten righteous people in Sodom, God still graciously granted the intent of Abraham’s prayer – to save his nephew. The angels were under strict orders to not destroy Sodom until Lot was safe. God intended to teach Abraham – and us – several lessons about Intercession, including: Boldness or confidence; Humility; His Character and Word as the basis of the appeal; and Persistence in prayer.

Moses’ Prayer for Israel in the Wilderness (Exodus 32: 9-14).

This passage is the first of two occasions where Moses interceded for sinful Israel before an angry God who was ready to wipe them out. The other occasion is in Numbers 14:11-24 where Israel's unbelief at entering the Promised Land also turned to rebellion. Here, Israel had provoked God to anger by the Golden Calf idolatry (Exo.32:1-10): And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation” (vv.9-10). Moses' intercession is a clear display of someone who had taken God's interests into His heart as his own.

Moses' own family could have benefited from God's proposal as the New Patriarchs, yet he appealed to God, boldly interceding for the people, pleading for mercy rather than condemnation upon them. He appealed to God that the people were His people (v.11); he appealed to God’s Name and reputation (v.12a) and to God’s promises to the patriarchs (v.13). In the end God relented and responded positively to Moses' prayer. God was pleased with Moses because he had learned to pray with God’s Kingdom at heart. Have I? Have you?

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, through Insight into the MODEL PRAYERS of the BIBLE, train us to follow the paths of Kingdom-hearted Intercessors, in Jesus’ name.
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