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Question

I asked a question of my email group for the church.

The question was, ” why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? Several people  responded. The given mostly centered around the immoral condition of the people in those cities.

I was awaken the following morning with that question on my mind.

As usual, God always has a way of doing things that improves us when we commit to his desire. One of the responses caused me to look deeper at the answer I was seeking.

The answer I was looking for was: “That God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because Abraham could not find 10 righteous people”.

Actually that’s a true statement.

Looking at Genesis chapter 18 verse 20 God responds to the great and grievous sin of the inhabitants of the two cities. God said he would go and investigate it. He reveals to Abraham what he had planned to do: destroy the people.

Abraham was concerned about the righteous people of the city being destroyed alone with the wicked so he appeals to God. He ask God in verse 23 ” Will you also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

He proceed to intercede by bargaining with God. He even appeals to God morality by telling him (paraphrased) “God you can’t tell me you, who is the moral judge and example for all will punish righteous people and have them suffer the same fate as wicked people. That would not be right!

So God respond by telling Abraham (paraphrased) If I find 50 righteous people in the city of Sodom then I will spare all the people for their sake.

It not clear to me at this point whether Abraham left and went search for the 50 or whether he some how rationalize his odds of finding that many people would be hard; so he negotiated the requirement down to 10 righteous people.

Now the point of my awakening……..As it was pointed out to me in one of the responses, God knew that Abraham was not going to find the required number of righteous people to preserve the cities. That being said, I being to ponder why did God initiate the conversation with Abraham in the first place.

Several thoughts entered my mind. It is a fact, God in his omniscience (all knowing) knew the outcome of the search before Abraham set out on it. Then why would God lead Abraham on or even in some sense deceive him that way. My theology will not allow me to accept the premise that God purposely deceive Abraham.

So what was the point of this whole exercise of promising to spare the city when God knew there was not 10 righteous people.  The bible does not reveal why God did it. We can only speculate and our speculations can be many.

Maybe God was testing Abraham evangelistic heart by saying you have an opportunity to save a city if you can go and seek out righteousness. Will you make the effort for the righteous and the wicked.

Maybe God was allowing Abraham to see for himself how wicked the people were, by letting him experience the frustration of not being able to find just 10 who were right.

Remember verse 14 of chapter 19 how Lots son in laws rejected Lots appeal to leave the city after it was clear the city was going to be destroyed.

Maybe God was solidifying in Abraham’s mind that there were no righteous in the city that will perish when he destroys it, thus Abraham’s question in verse 25 is no longer relevant.

What was made very clear to me from this story was this. Righteousness could have saved the city from destruction. In the midst of all of the sin, wickedness and evil in our city (surroundings) the salvation is found in righteousness.

Proverbs 14:34Proverbs 14:34
English: World English Bible - WEB

34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.

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” Righteousness exalts a nation, sin condemns any people.”

Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 5:13Matthew 5:13
English: World English Bible - WEB

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its flavor, with what will it be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men.

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” You are the salt of the earth”.  Matthew 5:14Matthew 5:14
English: World English Bible - WEB

14 You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden.

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“You are the light of the world”

I conclude by encouraging you to share this with your city today and beyond.

Although God knew the number of righteous people existing in Sodom, I believe (this is me only) he desired in his heart to find that 10 so his righteous judgment could be with held.

Be one of the ten!

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