In a busy world we rarely find time to listen to others and we hardly find people being ready to listen to our concerns. But when we turn to the scripture we are encouraged to know that God is ready to listen to our cries, prayers and intercessions. The thought for our reflection this morning is “Our God listens and responds when we intercede”.
Abraham approached Him and said:
“Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fitty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?”
When we read about Abraham’s encounter with the three divine visitors in Genesis 18, we come to know that two of them went on their way but the third person who was identified as “the Lord”, remained with Abraham and allowed him to plead and bargain with Him about the cities. Missionary Andrew Murray said, “Prayer is not a monologue, but dialogue. God’s voice in response to mine is its most essential part”. Theologians say that Abraham’s conversation with God in Genesis 18, is the first dialogue in the Bible that man initiated with God. But it is shocking and surprising to know that Abraham had influence with the highest authority and was on speaking terms with God who could change the history.
1. God permitted Abraham to negotiate with Him regarding the destruction of cities.
It is unusual to find an ordinary human being coming face to face with God and negotiating with Him to spare the lives of a particular family when God planned to destroy two cities. This description of man bargaining with God is one of the most daring pictures of divine-human relations in the entire Bible. Abraham’s attempt to strike a bargain with God may though seem strange to many, it speaks volumes about the kind of friendship and unique relationship that Abraham had with God. Do we have that kind of friendship and strong relationship with God?
2. God patiently listened to Abraham and responded to him.
Abraham’s attempt to negotiate with God, presents an excellent example of intercessory prayer. He approached God without fear but with all due respect on the basis of His merciful character. Abraham realized who he was:
“Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes..."
Abraham boldly first asked God that the city might be spared if there were 50 righteous (18:24), then 45 (18:28), then 40 (18:29), then 30 (18:30), then 20 (18:31), and finally ten (18:32). God did give Abraham a patient listening ear to all his questions and assured that for the sake of even ten righteous men he would spare the city. Have we come to the conclusion that God would not listen to our intercession or prayers ?
A friend is a person with whom we are not afraid to share our desires, disappointments and struggles. When there is an open communication between two persons their relationship is strengthened. It is quite interesting to read in Genesis 18 that God, considering Abraham as His friend said,
“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?”
In the same way Abraham considering God as His Lord, took liberty with Him and interceded for the protection of his nephew and his family. Let us come before our God this morning who listens and responds when we intercede with Him. Thus, with confidence, let’s pray, pour out our heart's desires and intercede on behalf of those who are in need for He is ready to listen to us.
Have a blessed week!