Andrew Fuller Friday: On Abraham’s Intercession for Sodom

It is natural to suppose that the mind of Abraham must be forcibly impressed with this intimation. He would feel for his poor ungodly neighbours; but especially for Lot, and other righteous men whom he might hope would be found among them. At this juncture the men, that is, two out of the three, (chap. 19:1,) went towards Sodom; but the third, who is called Jehovah, continued to converse with Abraham. The patriarch standing before him, and being now aware that he was in the presence of the Most High, addressed him in the language of prayer, or intercession. A remarkable intercession it is. We remark, 1. Abraham makes a good use of his previous knowledge. Being made acquainted with the evil coming upon them, he stands in the gap, and labours all he can to avert it. They knew nothing; and if they had, no cries, except the shrieks of desperation, would have been heard from them. It is good to have such a neighbour as Abraham; and still better to have an Intercessor before the throne who is always heard. The conduct of the patriarch furnishes an example to all who have an interest at the throne of grace, to make use of it on behalf of their poor ungodly countrymen and neighbours. 2. He does not plead that the wicked may be spared for their own sake, or because it would be too severe a proceeding to destroy them; but for the sake of the righteous who might be found among them. Had either of the other pleas been advanced, it had been siding with sinners against God, which Abraham would never do. Wickedness shuts the mouth of intercession; or if any should presume to speak, it would be of no account. Though Noah, Daniel, and Job should plead for the ungodly, they would not be heard. Righteousness only will bear to be made a plea before God. But how then, it may be asked, did Christ make intercession for transgressors? Not by arraigning the Divine law, nor by alleging aught in extenuation of human guilt; but by pleading his own obedience unto death. 3. He charitably hopes the best with respect to the number of righteous characters even in Sodom. At the outset of his intercession, he certainly considered it as a possible case, at least, that there might be found in that wicked place fifty righteous; and though in this instance he was sadly mistaken, yet we may hope hence that in those times there were many more righteous people in the world than those which are recorded in Scripture. The Scriptures do not profess to be a book of life, containing the names of all the faithful; but intimate, on the contrary, that God reserves to himself a people, who are but little known even by his own servants. 4. God was willing to spare the worst of cities for the sake of a few righteous characters. This truth is as humiliating to the haughty enemies of religion as it is encouraging to its friends; and furnishes an important lesson to civil governments, to beware of undervaluing, and still more of persecuting and banishing, men whose concern it is to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the world.* Except the Lord of hosts had left us a remnant of such characters, we might ere now have been as Sodom, and made like unto Gomorrah! If ten righteous men had been found in Sodom, it had been spared for their sakes; but, alas, there is no such number! God called Abraham to Haran, and when he left that place, mention is made, not only of “the substance which he had gathered,” but of “the souls which he had gotten.” But Lot, who went to Sodom of his own accord, though he also gathered substance, yet seems not, by his residence in the place, to have won a single soul to the worship of the true God.


Excerpt from: “Abraham Entertaining Angels and Interceding for Sodom,” in Expository Discourses on the Book of Genesis,” Discourse XXVI.

Fuller, A. G. (1988). The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller: Expositions—Miscellaneous. (J. Belcher, Ed.) (Vol. 3, pp. 75–76). Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications.

By |January 17th, 2020|Categories: Andrew Fuller Friday|

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