Have you ever thought that God would let you know His plan and allow you to bargain with Him? Genesis 18:16-33 is such a story.

After promising Abraham and Sarah that Sarah is going to have a son of her own once again, God asked Himself (or the Holy Trinity discussed among them): "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?" (v.17, NIV) Isn't this fascinating? God could have just carried on His plan without telling Abraham. Why did He decide to reveal His plan to Abraham? It is because that God has chosen him to "become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him." (v.18) How is he going to bless the nations? By his obedience to God's command to "direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just." (v.19) If Abraham is to bless the world by doing and teaching what is "righteousness and justice," (NRSV) why would God let Abraham plead for the sin city, Sodom? The answer is, despite how wicked Sodom and Gomorrah may be, there might still be righteous people living there. God would like to give Abraham an opportunity to put His commandment into practice by blessing the righteous people. On the other end, Abraham knows that God is just, He will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. So Abraham pleaded six times for Sodom. The only thing is, he thought that there would be at least ten righteous people in Sodom, not knowing that only Lot, his wife, and his two daughters were considered righteous in God's eye. But regardless the result, he did what he was called to do.

Abraham is probably the only human being that dared to bargain with God for that many times consecutively. No wonder he was mentioned as a friend of God in the Bible. Friends know each other well. Abraham knows God well enough to recognize the reason God reveal the future to him and cease the opportunity to plead for Lot and other righteous people. Though God still decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah at the end, he did what God calls him to do. ("by doing what is right and just" And God blessed him with all that was promised to him.

Share an experience when you faithfully did what the Holy Spirit urge you to do. Pray for each other that we have a willing heart to follow God's will; that the Holy Spirit will empower us to carry out God's calling.