Genesis 18: Negotiating with God

Genesis 18: Negotiating with God

Journey through the Book of Genesis with me.  The plan is simple. Read ONE chapter a day. Blog or journal 5* things you learned that you previously didn't know and ask 5* questions about the chapter that you'll ponder all week. Let's go!

** You'll probably learn way more than 5 things and have more than 5 questions about each chapter. That's totally fine. The more the merrier! 

GENESIS 18:1-33


QUESTION 1: Did Abraham understand that his encounter with these three men in verse 1 was a divine encounter?

QUESTION 2: What was the nature of the sin of the Sodomites and Gomorrahns? Why was their sin “very grave”? (v.20)

QUESTION 3: If barely “10 righteous people” couldn't be found in Sodom and Gomorrah, meaning EVERYONE in the city was morally corrupt, then whose “outcry” was God listening to when he says in verse 20, “…the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave,”

QUESTION 4: God knows that there are NO righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, yet He allows Abraham to negotiate with Him all the way from 50 people to 10 (v.22-32). Was this God’s way of illustrating how intercessory prayer works?

QUESTION 5: The Bible teaches that God is omniscient (“The state of having total knowledge, the quality of knowing everything.” – Psalm 139:1-4; Isaiah 46:9-10; Matthew 10:29-30; 1 John 3:20), so why would He need to “go down and see” so “I would know” (v.21) the true condition of the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah? Could He not have simply discerned all things from heaven and sent His judgment from above? What is the purpose of Him being physically present on the edge of the city? After all, He didn’t come down to interact with Noah and the people of Noah’s day before sending the flood. What’s the significance of His physical presence here then? (Might it have to do with Abraham’s intercessory prayer and influence over the nations? V.17-18).  


INSIGHT 1: Abraham’s elaborate meal preparation would suggest that he understood that this visit from the three men was a divine manifestation of sorts. Considering the fact that Abraham offers them “a little water” and a “morsel of bread”, yet goes all out to prepare a generous meal worthy of royalty, he must have sensed that at least one of the men was in fact, the Lord God almighty whom he had come to know.

INSIGHT 2: How does Abraham's face-to-face encounter here reconcile with Exodus 33:20 where it says anyone who sees God is sure to die?

INSIGHT 3: Sarah’s laughter and statement in verse 12, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” is laughter filled with fear and hope. She laughs because she’s waited and believed the promise (of a child) for so long that at this point, she can’t even comprehend what the feeling of elation “feels” like anymore. It’s a laughter of, “Man, I really hope this is true, but I don’t even know anymore!” It’s a laughter on the verge of breakthrough!

INSIGHT 4:  Make v.14 your new mantra in prayer: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Starting every prayer with this statement puts our prayer requests in possitive perspective. Incidentally, a case could be made that as soon as God made that statement, Sarah’s womb miraculously became receptive to Abraham’s seed that would later fertilize her egg.

INSIGHT 5: A blessing (on Abraham and Sarah) is quickly followed by an act of judgment (on Sodom and Gomorrah). This brings to mind John Piper’s quote, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them!”

INSIGHT 6: While it would seem that sexual abuse (Genesis 19:5) was the sin that got Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed, Ezekiel 16:49-50 shows there was more going on; “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

INSIGHT 7: If God agreed not to judge a grievously sinful people for the sake of 10 righteous souls, then things may still be hopeful for America and Nigeria (my two homes) in spite of how far we’ve strayed from Him. Perhaps God holds back His judgment on us because there are still thousands of men and women who have trusted and are trusting in the righteousness of Jesus Christ to continuously present us faultless before God the Father.

PRAYER: “Lord Jesus, may either nation never get to a point where we 10 men can barely be found seeking your face!”

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Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.