Intercession and Separation

Genesis 18:20-19:320And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. 22And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord. 23And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? 25That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? 26And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. 27And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: 28Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. 29And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake. 30And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there. 31And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake. 32And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake. 33And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place. 1And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; 2And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. 3And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. (Genesis 18:20‑19:3)
Sodom and Gomorrah were exceedingly wicked cities, where men and women lived careless lives without any thought of God. They little realized that judgment was soon going to fall upon them. And are there not many people today just like them? How many go on in their sins from day to day as if they would never have to answer to God at all. What an awful day it will be for them when God judges this world in righteousness. Then only those who have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ will escape the judgment.
Abraham As Intercessor
Abraham became an intercessor, pleading for Sodom, where Lot lived. Although he knew that the Judge of all the earth would do right, he also knew that God delighted in blessing. Would He destroy the city if there were fifty righteous people in it? No, God said He would not destroy it if there were only fifty righteous people in that great city. Abraham then asked God if He would spare it if there were but forty-five. But there were not even forty-five! Abraham continued asking, reducing the number each time. What if there were only forty — or thirty — or twenty? What if there were only ten? No, not even ten people could be found who feared God and were accounted right­eous in that mighty city! Abraham then stopped pleading, and the three men went on toward Sodom. Dear young reader, if you are saved and are praying for others, keep on praying. Perhaps God would have spared those cities if Abraham had continued asking, but Abraham’s faith apparently weakened, and he stopped asking. What an encouragement to pray we find in Colossians 4:22Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; (Colossians 4:2), “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanks­giving.” Yes, dear Christian “continue.”
Only two out of the three men went as far as Sodom. The Lord was not among them when they reached there.
Strangers and Pilgrims in the World
Just two angels came to the gate and whom should they find sitting there but Lot. He had advanced to quite a high position in Sodom, even though his righteous soul was vexed from day to day with their unlawful deeds. How ­sad it is to see one of God’s children trying to get to the top in this world which has crucified God’s beloved Son. God said to Jeremiah, “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not” (Jeremiah 45:55And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest. (Jeremiah 45:5)). We should be like Abraham who was a stranger and a pilgrim in the land of promise. The believer’s place of exaltation is in heaven, and we shall reign with Christ when He reigns in righteousness in a soon-coming day.
Lot invited the angels to his home in Sodom, and tried to make them wel­come, but his efforts were rather un­successful. When they had arrived at Abraham’s tent door, he had been able to make them feel welcome, but Lot’s house in Sodom had the stamp of the world upon it. Lot’s wife, and his daughters did not join in the welcome, nor did they help in the preparation of the “feast.” They were not accustomed to such visitors, nor were they at all “at home” in their presence. Poor Lot tried to do all he could for them, for at heart he was a righteous man, though most unhappy in his position. What a sad picture of a worldly Christian home! In such a home there is never any happy unity, but a kind of uncom­fortable feeling when someone calls to talk about Christ. If you, dear reader, want to have a happy Christian home, begin now by choosing Christian friends who want to follow the Lord.
Further Meditation
1. Who did the two angels find sitting in the gate of Sodom?
2. God gives many encouragements to pray in the Scriptures. One of the dramatic answers to prayer occurs in Exodus 14. How did the Lord answer prayer on that occasion.
3. You can find many of the important fundamentals of prayer given in the pamphlet Prayer: An Introduction by N. Simon.