Sunday, June 30, 2013

Genesis 18:23-25

"And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
Genesis 18:23-25

This is interesting stuff.  First of all, Abraham was BRAVE. :)  Confronting God like this would be pretty scary I think... but I love that he does.  I love that he had the kind of relationship with God where he could talk to him about things like this, and I love that he cares enough about the destruction that is going to happen and the possibility that good people will be hurt... that he feels passionately enough about the principle of the whole thing to challenge God.  ... And I love also that God agrees with Abraham here, just after these verses, and says basically, okay, Abraham... good point.  If I find fifty righteous people, I won't destroy the city.  And then Abraham proceeds to talk God down to ten people. :)
I think that this is something that isn't just a one-time conversation between Abraham and God.  In this case, God warns Lot and his family to flee the city, and in the scriptures, God has warned other people to leave before he destroys a city, and saved other people from similar large-scale destruction.  And I think that he cares, every time, about saving as many as he can... without letting the world turn into a cesspool where there is no room for righteousness at all.
What's the lesson here?  Probably a lot of things.  One is that God only destroys when we've REALLY gone bad, and almost everyone is corrupt.  Another is that we need to be righteous, and help other people to feel confident enough to stand up and be righteous as well.  If we just give up because "everyone is doing it," then we might tip the scale over to the ripe for destruction line.  Instead, we need to be the forces for good.  In the scriptures, all societies don't end up getting destroyed.  Some of them get righteous instead.  Let's try to tip the scale that way. :)  And maybe another lesson is, let's look around us for the good.  Let's be like Abraham, and plead with God not to destroy other people... let's do everything that we can to save them.  Let's respect people, and love them, and not give up on them.  All of us need the support of other people in order to change and grow and let go of evil.  Together, let's work on building Zion rather than merely averting destruction. :)

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