THE NEED FOR INTERCESSION

Scripture Reading: Genesis 18:22-33

“The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham approached Him and said, ‘Will You sweep away the righteous with the wicked?'” (Genesis 18:22,23)

As we have seen the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was exceedingly great and grievous to the Lord (vs. 20,21). By His very nature, God must punish sin. Sin elicits God’s wrath and displeasure. Judgment was about to come upon Sodom and Gomorrah.

Abraham had an encounter with the Lord and two of His angels. After the encounter, the angels departed and headed to the wicked cities to execute God’s judgment. Angels are agents God uses when He executes judgment. Jesus said, “This is how it will be at the end of the age The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and thrown them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49,50). We must be reminded that there is a day of final judgment!

Notice what Abraham did. He interceded for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah — “Thus Abraham approached Him and said, ‘Will You sweep away the righteous with the wicked?'” Abraham pleaded for God’s mercy. He continued pressing the Lord — “What if there are 50 righteous people in the city? Will You really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from You! Will You not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (vs. 24,25). This took great courage on Abraham’s part.

God responded — “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake” (v. 26). But Abraham continued to intercede — “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will You destroy the whole city because of five people?” (vs. 27,28). Abraham continued interceding for the people — “What if there are 40, 30, 20, or 10?”

It is amazing how bold Abraham was as he interceded for the people of Sodom. This really challenges me, for I don’t intercede for lost people with such boldness. Who are the lost people that you need to be interceding for? Will we be as bold as Abraham to pray for them?

Lord Jesus, I fail to pray boldly and regularly for the lost people I know and care about. Forgive me for failing to do so. I know that You are a merciful God and You hear the prayers of Your people. I stop today to pray for my friends who do not know You.

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