In the book of Genesis, God had paid Abraham a visit and talked with him, just as friends would. Then He commanded His angels to the city of Sodom, in order to bring about a reckoning. He intended to pass judgment on the community and punish it for the great sins that the citizens had done.
While His angels were dispatched at His Word, God, on the other hand, remained with Abraham and revealed His plan. In the story, we read that God’s judgements were completely justified. He could not overlook or justify the sin that had taken place in the city because of His righteousness. He was not going to stand by and watch it continue in its depravity any longer.
When Abraham realizes this, he begins pleading with God, requesting that the city be spared. He bargains with God, pleading with Him to spare the city in exchange for the lives of fifty virtuous individuals who live within its walls.
It’s interesting to note that Abraham intercedes by expressing his thoughts on God’s character. He says, “Far be it from you to do such a thing—to murder the righteous alongside the evil, treating both the just and the wicked equally. Far be it from you! Will not the Supreme Judge of the entire world do what is right?” (Genesis 18:25)
When we are interceding for others, or even praying for ourselves, we may be tempted to minimize our transgressions against God. But every transgression, no matter how “small” is an insult to the Holy One of Israel. Rather than making excuses for wrongdoing, we should acknowledge our sin and confess it the LORD. And then ask the Holy Spirit to give us the power, and courage, to change.
God, I know that I sin against you. But I also know that you are merciful and compassionate. Forgive me of my rebellious ways. Keep me from rebellion that causes destruction. Restore me to fellowship with you so I may see things clearly.