Genesis 18:32 Then he said May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only 10 can be found there?
Read Genesis 18:20-33 God tells Abraham that he will destroy Sodom and Gomorrah that their sin is too great. Abraham prays to God that he not destroy the city of Sodom if 10 righteous men could be found in either one of them. God agreed, but could only find 1 righteous man, Lot, and so saved Lot and his family and still destroyed the city. So although the city was destroyed, God listened to Abraham, and looked for righteous people first thereby saving Lot. Without Abraham’s intercessory prayer, God may have destroyed the entire city. Prayer affected the outcome for Lot.
There is a bunch of history between Abraham and Lot. Lot is Abraham’s nephew by one of his deceased brothers. When God told Abraham to pick up and move to a new country with his wife and family, Abraham took Lot along. He and Lot ended up having to go their separate ways after a while because their family groups were too large and their flocks were too large. This caused a bunch of fighting between their herdsmen. Abraham was kind enough to let Lot choose which of the new land he wanted for himself. Lot demonstrates a bit of his character to us by choosing the best and greenest land, and leaving the desert area for Abraham. Later his area is raided and he and his family members are kidnapped…Abraham goes to the rescue with a few hundred men and gets them back.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (NKJV -Biblegateway)
Now in this story we find that the town that Lot is living in (Sodom) is about to be destroyed by God. God has found the town to be so filled with sin that he considers it irredeemable. In our society there is a belief that everyone is going to be redeemed. That is simply not true. It is purely wishful thinking…however, it is good that we have that desire to see everyone redeemed. God has the same desire, and wants us to have that desire also. He wants us to love others to that point where we wish the best for them, and would like to help them achieve it.
2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
The promise that is spoken about in 2Peter 3:9 is the return of the Lord…he is not slow in returning because he wants us to suffer more, but because more can have time to make the decision to follow Jesus, and gain their salvation and restored relationship with God. God leaves people here on earth who have already gained their salvation so that they can be instrumental through their knowledge of God, and through the way they live out their faith….in bringing others to the knowledge of salvation also.
Abraham always loved Lot and wanted him to be saved, but he also did not want the people of Sodom to be destroyed either…he was hoping that there would be enough people in the town of Sodom that Lot could continue to live his life there, and that God would not destroy the town. That there were enough people still in Sodom that they could witness to those who were living in sin and thus help them to repent and return to God. However, as we know from the Bible, Lot was the only person left in that town whom God considered to be righteous. If you read more about Lot in the Old Testament you will find that he wasn’t really all that righteous…he had a knowledge of God, but not necessarily a very strong character. He tried to be obedient to God, but he didn’t seem to cling to him the way he should. It is a good thing that Abraham was around to look out for his nephew, and to pray to God for him. God wants us to look out for others, especially for other Christians who may be new to the faith, or weaker spiritually. We are to lift them up in prayer and bolster their faith as much as we can.
Notice that God never got mad at Abraham for how he questioned him repeatedly about his actions. God does not get mad at us either for wondering about what his plan is and what he is doing. God wants relationship with us, if we have a question about what God is wanting us to do, or what is happening or why…we should feel free to pray and ask God to help us to resolve these questions, and to have a closer understanding of him and his plan. God is gracious and loving and understands us more than we understand ourselves. Use prayer to relate to him and he will give you answers and contentment about how he is doing things. When there isn’t prayer/communication..there isn’t understanding either. So pray and ask God what is going on and how to proceed whenever you are in doubt…it will definitely build your faith up…beyond your dreams!