ten righteous

Genesis 18:32 Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please do not get angry; I will speak but once more! Suppose only ten are found there?” And the LORD said, “Then, for the sake of the ten, I will not destroy it.” NLT

I don’t know if you’ve read this story before but it is pretty impressive. Abraham probably hadn’t read “The New Art of Negotiating: How to Close Any Deal” (by Gerald Nierenberg, Henry H Calero) seeing as it hadn’t been written yet, but he must have been some kind of camel trader!

A quick synopsis: The Lord comes and pays a visit to Abraham at his tent in the wilderness to renew his promise that Abraham and Sarah were, in fact, going to have a baby boy. As the visit draws to a close the Lord gets up to leave and says to his traveling companion, “Because Abraham and I are such close friends, I guess we should tell him where we’re off to and what we’re going to do there.” The Lord proceeds to tell Abraham that because Sodom and Gomorrah had become such a corrupt culture he was going to destroy the two cities. This was a concern to Abraham because he had a nephew named Lot who lived there with his family. Abraham began his negotiation by reminding God of how merciful he (God) was and asked, “If there were fifty righteous people there, would you destroy those cities?” If you read the story you find that Abraham talks God down from fifty all the way to ten but, unfortunately, not ten righteous people could be found so God sends an angel to rescue Lot and his family before the city is destroyed.

The point of the story? Christ-followers have always been called to bless their culture and have a redemptive impact upon it. There is coming a day when all will have to account for the things they have done (Romans 14:12) but, up until that point, we are to be salt that influences and preserves (Matthew 5:13) and light that gives meaning and brings understanding (Matthew 5:14). The Apostle Paul gives this example in 1 Corinthians 7:14: “For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” NIV

What are you doing through your words, attitudes, giving and influence to change your culture for the good and invite God’s blessing? Just as ten righteous people would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah, what could the church do to bring repentance, reconciliation and restitution to our culture if we made ourselves available to God?


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