What does it mean when someone intercedes in prayer like Abraham did for Sodom? It’s when a person prays a pointed prayer on behalf of one or more people.
Let’s look at why Abraham felt the need to intercede for Sodom. And why he made the following statement to the Lord.
Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Genesis 18:25
It began one day when Abraham invited three men to rest in the shade of a tree. One of them was the Lord and He delivered two messages to Abraham.
First, He said by this time next year and your wife, Sarah, will have a son! Women in their 90s like Sarah no longer bore children. When she heard Him say that, she laughed under her breath.
Of course, history revealed that within the year she did give birth to a son. They named him Isaac.
The other message from God dealt with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord asked the other two men if He should hide His plan from Abraham. Then He answered His own question.
For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. Genesis 18:18
The promise God gave to His servant Abraham went well beyond himself. To become a mighty nation it had to continue for generations to come.
I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised. Genesis 18:19
Wicked Sodom and Gomorrah
The Lord said He had heard the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were utterly evil. And that everything they did was wicked. After the other two men left, Abraham talked with God.
The action the Lord was about to take concerned Abraham because his nephew Lot lived in Sodom. That’s why the Bible titled this section, “Abraham intercedes for Sodom.”
He asked the Lord this question, “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? But he didn’t stop there, he made his question more specific.
Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? Genesis 18:24
That wasn’t Abraham’s whole question. We’ll get to the rest of his question later on. God did, however, respond to this part of his question.
And the Lord replied, “If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.” Genesis 18:26
Then Abraham counted down the number of righteous people in the city before God would destroy it.
He asked, “Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people, then forty, thirty, twenty, and finally ten. Between each one, he said to the Lord, “Please don’t be angry with me.”
After Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
The two men who left Abraham went to Lot’s house in Sodom. Sin did run rampant. You can read it in Genesis 19. The men warned Lot and his family about the coming destruction.
For we are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the Lord, and he has sent us to destroy it.” Genesis 19:13
Lot quickly rounded up his two daughters and their husbands. But they didn’t all believe him.
So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters’ fiancés, “Quick, get out of the city! The Lord is about to destroy it.” But the young men thought he was only joking. Genesis 19:14
Even though the Bible says “Abraham intercedes for Sodom” not everyone made it to safety. First, Lot’s sons-in-law were offered the way of salvation but neglected to accept it.
Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation. Genesis19:24-25
Next, Lot’s wife received her salvation and seemingly escaped the danger. But because of her disobedience, she lost it and also suffered destruction.
But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26
Lot and his daughters escaped the Lord’s destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding villages.
But God had listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain. Genesis 19:29
The Urgency of the End Times
We can take this story into account when thinking about the end times. Will God leave the church on the earth during seven-year tribulation while destroying many parts of it?
Just like Abraham interceded for Sodom, Jesus intercedes for us. And just like God urgently warned His people in Sodom, He also warns His people with urgency today.
Paul said the dead in Christ will rise followed by those alive in Christ to meet Him in the air. Because of what Abraham said to God, I believe He will spare Christians from the tribulation.
Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?” Genesis 18:25
Some will be lost because they know the way of salvation but don’t accept it. Others will walk in the way of salvation and up to the last minute choose another way. Then there will be the saved.
God wants us to join Him in heaven for all eternity. But we must accept His way of getting there as we live in obedience to His Word.
Lord, thank you that Jesus intercedes for us as Abraham did for Sodom. We look forward to joining you for eternity. Help us to not blow it, as Lot’s wife and sons-in-law did.
Check out these related posts about prayer.
- The Necessity Of Powerful Intercessory Prayer
- Seek Forgiveness Of Sins Through Prayer
- Jesus Prayed For Us! Did You Know That?
- The Altar Of The Lord
- Moses Interceded For Israel With Great Results
To receive each new devotional post delivered to your inbox, subscribe below by giving us your first name and email address.