In today’s Bible reading*, we read about the depths of depravity of the citizens of Sodom, Lot, and Lot’s daughters. At the same time, we see Abraham’s intercession on behalf of the citizens of Sodom.
Much has been said about the sin of the people of Sodom. But as you read the story, you see that homosexuality is only one aspect of the depravity of this sin-sick city. I mean, look at how Lot offered his two daughters to the men of Sodom to have their way with them. And look at Lot’s daughters’ incestuous plan to preserve their father’s lineage. Lot’s wife looked back at Sodom, not just in a glancing way, but she longed to go back. And Lot’s future sons-in-law chose to stay in the city over leaving with their future wives. How sick is that? How sick is all of that?
Abraham interceded — he prayed — for the citizens of Sodom. He knew of the city’s wickedness, but he prayed that God would have mercy on its citizens. Abraham bargained with God to spare the city if as many as ten people were righteous. But even if Abraham had gone half of that number, his bargaining would have been wasted. Only his nephew Lot, Lot’s wife, and Lot’s two daughters escaped the city before its destruction. And Lot’s wife died before reaching safety.
Why would Abraham intercede for the city of Sodom? He knew its reputation of wickedness. And he knew that his nephew Lot lived in the city. Abraham offered intercession for the city because of his heart. And because He knew God’s gracious and merciful heart. Perhaps God would relent. Perhaps God would spare the city and perhaps a few righteous people could be “salt and light” and be change agents.
How about you? Do you pray for your city? Do you pray for your state? Do you pray for your nation? Do you pray for your church?
As I concluded our church’s Prayer Meeting last Wednesday night, in light of that day’s tragic attack on our Nation’s Capitol building by criminals I asked God to revive our nation. As soon as the words left my lips, I realized my prayer was wrong. I paused and then asked God to revive the church.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God promises to restore a nation if His people would humble themselves, pray, seek Him, and repent of their sins. God never promised a nation’s restoration if the nation would do those things. No, He promised to restore a nation if His people did these things.
Our nation is divided as never before in my lifetime. It is divided more than ever in my parents’ or grandparents’ lifetime. The only way we will see our nation revived is if God’s people do what is necessary. We must humble ourselves. We must pray. We must seek Him. We must repent of our wickedness. God will do what He promises. But He will not make good on His promises if we do not do our part.
Believers, you know what to do. Just do it.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
This devotional was originally published on January 10, 2021.