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

I. ABRAHAM'S INTERCESSION WAS THE RESULT OF A DIVINE COMMUNICATION (Genesis 18:17, 18). The Spirit of truth inspires men to pray by showing them things to come. It is asserted by Dr. Finney that there are three ways in which God still makes communications to men: first, by the express promises and predictions of the Bible; second, through the movements of His providence; and third, by His Spirit, instructing us and making intercession for us, because we know not what to pray for as we ought. When we are thus moved to pray, we pray according to the will of God.

II. THE PATRIARCH'S PRAYER WAS GROUNDED ON A CONVICTION OF GOD'S CHANGELESS RECTITUDE (see ver. 25). "It is," as one says, "man beseeching that right may prevail; that it may prevail among men: by destruction, if that must be; by the infusion of a new life, if it is possible. It is man asking that the gracious order of God may be victorious, in such a way as He knows best, over the disorder which His rebellious creatures have striven to establish in His universe. The mercy which is prayed for is not an exception from righteousness, but the fruit of it." Any other prayer must be a mockery and an abomination in the sight of God. Any other prayer is an insinuation that man is a better being than his Maker.

III. ABRAHAM'S PRAYER WAS DEFINITE. He had many flocks and herds, men-servants and women-servants; yet he asked only that the inhabitants of those guilty cities might be spared. His one request he made known in simple, straightforward language, speaking with God as a man talks with his friend. This is the character of most of the prayers recorded in the Bible.

IV. ABRAHAM'S PRAYER CONSTANTLY ENLARGED ITSELF. He asked for more and more: first, that the city should be spared for the sake of fifty righteous men, then for the sake of forty-five, then for forty, for thirty, for twenty, and for ten. There he paused. A whole city would have been spared for the sake of ten righteous men. God tempts His children to ask large blessings. We make too small demands on His mercy and goodness.

V. ABRAHAM'S PRAYER WAS INSPIRED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, The impulse came from above. As the strings of an AEolian harp are breathed upon by the winds of heaven and made to send forth sounds of an almost unearthly sweetness in swelling and dying cadences, so the mute faculties of the human soul are made vocal: unspoken thoughts become articulate in prayers and intercessions, according to the will of God; in supplications and thanksgivings; nay, even in deep sighings and groanings that utter themselves forth with supernatural sweetness and power, expressing the mind of the Spirit and the will of God. (E. B. Mason, D.D.)

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.

A Good Man the Protection of His Country
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