Current series in Genesis:


Current series in Galatians:


Saturday, September 21, 2019

2019.09.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 18:20-33

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Yahweh say has been very great in Genesis 18:20? What does He say about their sin? Whom does He say will go down and see (Genesis 18:21)? Whom does Genesis 18:22 say turned away and went toward Sodom? Yet, before whom does Abraham continue to stand? What does Abraham ask in Genesis 18:23? What does he propose in Genesis 18:24? What reason does he argue in favor of his proposal (Genesis 18:25)? How does Yahweh respond in Genesis 18:26? What does Abraham call himself in Genesis 18:27? What modified proposal does he make in Genesis 18:28? What answer does he get? What proposal and answer in Genesis 18:29? What proposal and answer in Genesis 18:30? What does he acknowledge as remarkable in Genesis 18:31? What proposal and answer in verse 31? What does he ask at the beginning of Genesis 18:32? What does he say about this request? What proposal and answer in this verse? Who leaves in Genesis 18:33? Where does Abraham go? 
There is an important division of labor between Abraham and God. Between us and God. It is the Lord who works all things according to the counsel of His will. It is the Lord who is saving sinners. It is the Lord who will avenge every wrongdoing. It is the Lord who will bring every deed under judgment and repay. He is the Judge of all the earth. Abraham recognizes that role, and even reminds the Lord of it in prayer in Genesis 18:25.

But Abraham has a role too. He is the one through whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Part of this role we have seen in the previous passage: how he leads his household. Through Abraham’s commanding of his children and of his household after him that the Lord has appointed to bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him. And though it does not belong to Abraham to bring about all that God plans for the nations, it does belong to Abraham to plead with them.

Notice that Abraham’s pleading is not only concerning Lot specifically, but rather concerning whatever righteous may be there generally. His focus is the entire church: all of those whom the Lord has brought to faith. And here is a pattern for us. Yes, we are to let our light shine before men. Yes, we are to be salt and light. We have a role of action in our own place, in our everyday life. But we have a role of intercession also. Pleading for all men everywhere to Him who has provided the Mediator between God and man, and who desires for all to come to a knowledge of the truth.

We hardly realize what a privilege we have in the appointment to call upon the name of God on behalf of others. Abraham realizes it: “I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord… let not the Lord be angry… I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord… let not the Lord be angry…”

Even in the midst of praying, Abraham marvels at the wonder of prayer. The living God, the Creator, listens to the pleadings and heeds the arguments of a creature who is but dust and ashes. It’s not only that Abraham addresses the Lord. Behold! The Lord heeds him. And heeds him. And heeds him. God has considered us in Christ, and now heaven stoops down to take dust as its royal advisor!

Here is the division of labor. The Lord assigns to us an everyday, ordinary role—in which, even, it is He who sustains us. And the Lord takes upon Himself to work all things according to the counsel of His will. But the Lord also assigns unto us the role of calling upon His Name concerning whatever He causes us to know about. So work! And pray!
What everyday role has the Lord given you? What has He caused you to know about the needs of others? When are you taking the opportunity to call upon Him concerning them?
Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge” or TPH518 “Come, My Soul, with Every Care”

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