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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New Series--What Should We Pray For?

Pray for Mercy


I enjoyed writing the Lenten Series. Now I'm starting a new venture. I will base my posts in prayers from the Bible. I'll provide some background and, maybe, insight into the situation and need of the person who is praying. I hope you find something useful. The first day will concern Abraham's prayer for Sodom in Genesis 18:23-24.
23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[a] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?

Three men visited Abraham when he was resting at the door of his tent during the heat of the day. They were angels or representatives of God and one was the Lord. They had power to call destruction on Sodom and Gomorrah because of sin. They revealed the future to Abraham and he pleaded for mercy for Sodom and Gomorrah possibly because his nephew Lot lived in Sodom. The Bible depicts Sodom and Gomorrah as sinful and wicked. The Lord agreed not to destroy the cities if he found ten righteous people there.

In chapter 19 there are only two visitors and they are called angels. The visitors told Lot to evacuate because destruction was coming; he didn't argue that it wasn't all that bad, but he did beg  them to spend the night in his home because of the violence he feared they would face in the street.

The men of Sodom called out to him to bring them out. But Lot  reasoned with them and offered his daughters in their place. Then they demanded he produce them. The angels reached out and brought Lot in and shut the door.

The angels asked Lot if he had other people in Sodom. "Get out of this place; Destruction is coming." Lot went to the men his daughters were going to marry and warned them, but they thought it was a joke.

At dawn the angels told him again, "Take you wife and your daughters and get out because it's going to happen now." When he hesitated the men took him and his daughters by the hand and brought them out of the city. His wife continued to hesitate, and she was caught in the destruction. The Bible declares she became a pillar of salt.

Abraham went to a familiar place and looked across the plain and saw the smoke rising from Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot and his daughters were safe in Zoar.

Many of the ancient cities are identified and, at least, have ruins to mark their place and size, but sometimes the ancient cities were destroyed in such a way that archaeologists can find no evidence of their existence. Sodom and Gomorrah are such places.

One thought comes to mind out of this story: If you are righteous and live upright before God, you may be included in the census that protects the welfare of your homeland. If you are evil, you may, likewise, be included in the number that will brings the judgment of God on the territory you inhabit. It's something to think about.