A great and mighty nation

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Genesis 18:17 Then the LORD said, "Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?

Verse sixteen of that passage never fails to disturb me. They “looked out over Sodom.” So much said in so few words. What an ominous, discomfiting statement! Sodom’s evil had risen to such a state that the Son of God Himself had come down along with two angels to investigate. They knew they were about to destroy Sodom’s entire valley. They knew that thousands were about to die horrible, ghastly, fiery deaths. The Lord’s look is rather like the glance given by the Master to Peter immediately after his third denial (Matthew 26:73-75; Mark 14:70-72; Luke 22:60-62; John 18:26-27). What an impact those swollen, blood shot eyes must have had on the apostle! In fact, we see the power of that single look by Peter’s reaction – he ran out, weeping bitterly.

Sodom was totally given over to licentiousness. It was enamored with money, power, sex, and violence. Homosexuality had gotten to the point where the men of Sodom were gang raping strangers. Fathers were using their daughters as bargaining chips. This state of affairs had been reported by angels to the Lord God and the Son had come down to witness this for Himself - and that was not a good thing.

The contemplative character of vv. 17–19 indicates just how deliberately the Son was about involving Abraham. Elohim never rushes into things. It’s kind of funny to say but God talks to Himself. Like any wise family, the Trinity talk matters through before they do anything (Genesis 1:26; 2:18; 6:7; 11:6-7).

In the entire history of the Old Covenant, only the great leader Moses shares this experience of having the Son of God directly speak to him face to face as “friend to friend.”

However, even in the life of Moses there is no parallel for Abraham’s experience in which he repeatedly negotiates with the Lord. Moses certainly made big requests and at times even faced God down.

However, why did God choose Abram? Why was Abram God’s friend? How did he gain this exalted status as the Lord’s confidante? How did he earn his place on the holy council of the Son of God? First, Abram was elected to the role (Genesis 18:19), as an intermediary step of creating a righteous people whose conduct would be a beacon for the nations (Matthew 5:16). C. J. H. Wright, in his book “Ethics,” wrote: “Election means election to an ethical agenda in the midst of a corrupt world of Sodoms.”

To be similarly chosen, we too are going to need to assume God’s point of view. We should be horrified by the sins of the world and yet intercede on the world’s behalf anyway.

We need to grasp our calling to become a great and mighty “nation within a nation.” We should take hope that when God makes a promise to us it will absolutely, unequivocally happen, even if it takes generations to accomplish.

 Develop these traits and perhaps you too will look up one day and hear the Lord refer to you as “friend.”