Abraham's Intercession
Genesis 18:22-33
And the men turned their faces from there, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.…

1. Abraham makes a good use of his previous knowledge. Being made acquainted with the evil coming upon them he stands in the gap, and labours all he can to avert it. They knew nothing: and if they had, no cries, except the shrieks of desperation, would have been heard from them. It is good having such a neighbour as Abraham; and still better to have an Intercessor before the throne who is always heard. The conduct of the patriarch furnishes an example to all who have an interest at the throne of grace, to make use of it in behalf of their poor ungodly countrymen and neighbours.

2. He does not plead that the wicked may be spared for their own sake, or because it would be too severe a proceeding to destroy them; but for the sake of the righteous who might be found amongst them. Had either of the other pleas been advanced, it had been siding with sinners against God, which Abraham would never do. Wickedness shuts the mouth of intercession; or if any should presume to speak, it would be of no account. But how then, it may be asked, did Christ make intercession for transgressors? Not by arraigning the Divine throne, nor by alleging ought in extenuation of human guilt; but by pleading His own obedience unto death!

3. He charitably hopes the best with respect to the number of righteous characters even in Sodom. At the outset of his intercession, he certainly considered it as a possible case, at least, that there might be found in that wicked place fifty righteous: and though in this instance he was sadly mistaken, yet we may hope from hence that in those times there were many more righteous people in the world than those which are recorded in Scripture. The Scriptures do not profess to be a book of life, containing the names of all the faithful; but intimate, on the contrary, that God reserves to Himself a people, who are but little known even by His own servants.

4. God was willing to spare the worst of cities for the sake of a few righteous characters. This truth is as humiliating to the haughty enemies of religion as it is encouraging to its friends, and furnishes an important lesson to civil governments, to beware of undervaluing, and still more of persecuting, and banishing men whose concern it is to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the world. Except the Lord of Hosts had left us a remnant of such characters, we might ere now have been as Sodom, and made like unto Gomorrah! If ten righteous had been found in Sodom, it had been spared for their sakes: but alas, there was no such number! God called Abraham to Haran, and when he left that place, mention is made not only of "the substance which he had gathered," but of "the souls which he had gotten." But Lot, who went to Sodom of his own accord, though he also gathered substance, yet not a soul seems to have been won over by his residence in the place to the worship of the true God.

(A. Fuller.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.

WEB: The men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood yet before Yahweh.

Abraham's Intercession
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