Focal Passage: Genesis 18:16-33
Corporate bodies, like nations, cities, or even churches, have a culture, a character that generally describes the whole, if not every individual.
Kind, righteous Germans living in Berlin in 1945 suffered alongside the cruelest Nazi because even the kind and righteous in Hitler’s Germany were part of that depraved nation.
So too, an unbelieving, arrogant city — or church — contaminates the best in their midst.
Abraham is told that the notorious Sodom was to be destroyed.
The Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave” (Gen. 18:20). Abraham is no Jonah. He seeks God’s mercy, even for that depraved society.
Abraham pleads that God not sweep away the righteous with the wicked.
“Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (18:25).
So the Lord says that even if there are only 50 righteous people in the entire city, He will spare it.
But Abraham knows there may not even be 50 righteous left in that filth. Sodom’s sin was sexual perversion; it was saturated in “the sensual conduct of the wicked” (2 Peter 2:7), particularly homosexuality.
Many in our day are seeking to justify this and all forms of eroticism — the uninhibited search for fulfilling our sexual passions.
Every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography. So we now live in a sex-soaked culture.
Abraham must know the permeating and polluting effect of rampant eroticism. So he carefully, respectfully pleads with God. He gets God down to 10.
If there are 10 righteous, he’ll spare the city. Abraham is satisfied that surely in a city that size, there’ll at least be 10.
Even he was too optimistic.
The Lord only found one: Lot. His wife looked back, too attached to that depraved society. His daughters molested him, so twisted in their minds by the perversion they saw in Sodom. Sodom may have been in need for intercession but even the best intercessor wasn’t good enough.
In this case, the Lord didn’t sweep away the righteous with the wicked. But He only found one and rescued that one.
Sodom was finally a city in need of destruction as are all societies that surrender to eroticism.
Peter tells us that what happened to Sodom was a foretaste of the judgment to come on the whole world.
And yet, no matter how bad things get before the end, the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial (2 Peter 2:6-10).
Meanwhile, like Abraham, we need to be interceding.