Athlete, Be Honest With God

*This devotional series was written by the AIA staff team at the University of Virginia

Read Genesis 18:16-33

The "three men" came not only to confirm the LORD's grace toward Abraham and Sarah, but also to bring judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah.  The sin of these cities had reached its full measure (cf. Genesis 15:16) and God would no longer stand the "outcry" from the destructiveness of sin.  This word, "outcry," provides us an incisive reminder of the pain that sin inflicts on the world and on God (18:20-21).  Of course, God already knew the measure of Sodom's wickedness, but his words in verses 20-21 confirm to Abraham that He always investigates matters thoroughly before passing judgment (see 3:11-13; 4:9-12; 11:5; Bruce K. Waltke, Genesis, Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 2001, 269).  He is transcendent and omniscient, but also imminent and involved.  

Abraham takes this opportunity to boldly converse with the LORD, and the LORD is remarkably patient with Abraham's reasoning and string of questions.    Did God not have the right to judge Sodom?  Adam and Eve had been judged -- cast out of the garden and subjected to death -- but ultimately saved by faith in God's promise of a Savior.  Could God not judge Sodom even if there were some faithful believers who would experience physical death in the destruction but ultimately be saved by faith?  Yet God listens to Abraham and is willing to hear his questions.  In the end, God mercifully spares Abraham's believing nephew, Lot, and brings him and his family out of Sodom alive.

Questions for Reflection & Prayer

1. Have you recently considered the outcry in God's ears produced by sin in your life, your family, your school or workplace, your city, your country and the world?  Do you consider faithfulness vs. sin to be a matter of rule-keeping vs. rule-breaking, OR a personal matter of love vs. rebellion, life vs. death, peace vs. pain?  

2. Abraham is honest with God.  Surely his questions spring in large part from his concern for his nephew, Lot.  Are you bringing your doubts and questions to God?  Are you bringing your family, friends, workplace, city, country, world to God in prayer today?  Are you willing to trust the character of a God who grieves over sin and enters into a sinful world even if you don't get the answer you want?  God always hears us and we can converse with him throughout the day.  Consider praying for everyone who comes to mind or who enters your daily activities!

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