Bible Reading: Genesis 18:16-33
Abraham’s guests were about to leave him and make their way to Sodom to execute judgment against that wicked city. Although the two angels went on their way to Sodom [see Genesis 18:22 & 19:1], the Lord continued to speak with Abraham and shared with him what He intended to do at Sodom.
The Lord revealed His plans to Abraham because He trusted him [see verse 19]. True intercession always begins with a revelation from God. God revealed to Abraham that He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Immediately Abraham thought of his nephew Lot and was concerned for his welfare.
To intercede for others effectively we need God’s revelation, but we also need humility in approaching God. Abraham recognised that he was just dust and ashes and yet took it upon himself to speak to the Lord. There is almost a sense of “Who am I that I should plead with God?” Because God has given someone a revelation does not make that person more spiritual. Satan fell because of pride, and he will subtly seek to make intercessors proud because of the revelations that God gives them.
With a revelation and humility, Abraham approached the Lord boldly with his request. We find a similar boldness in Queen Esther, who faced the possibility of death for approaching the king without his permission but nevertheless approached him boldly. She said, “I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish” [Esther 4:16].
Abraham based his intercession on the character of God, asking the question, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” [Genesis 18:25], but he also misunderstood God, fearing that He might “sweep away” the city “and not spare” the righteous it. God is righteous and will not allow the righteous to be destroyed with the wicked. God is unwilling to see even one person suffer unjustly.
Abraham continued to plead with the Lord until he knew that Lot would be safe. Here is a picture of the intercessor’s burden. For many years, I prayed for my mother’s conversion until one day, God gave me the assurance that He had heard my prayer and that she would be saved. Although it was several more years before she came to Christ, the burden had lifted from me and by faith I knew that God had answered my prayers.
What are the four key elements in Abraham’s intercession for his nephew Lot?
Why do you think that God shared with Abraham what He was going to do in Sodom?
Have you ever experienced a burden to intercede before God on behalf of someone else? How did God lead you? If that prayer has not yet been answered will you continue to believe and trust God to do so in His time?