John Bennett, Pinxton, Nottingham [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
‘God remembered Abraham’, Gen. 19. 29
Abraham had risen early in the morning and taken the journey to the vantage point he had occupied before. From that position he looked out over the plain to behold a scene of devastation. The once thriving cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were gone and ‘the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace’, Gen. 19. 28.
With reverence and yet with passion, Abraham had prayed the day before. Thinking of the fate of his nephew Lot, Abraham had entreated the throne of God that if ‘ten [righteous] shall be found there’, 18. 32, God would spare the city, in keeping with His righteousness. Now, as he observed the outcome of divine judgement, he must have wondered as to the safety of Lot.
In seeking to resolve the disagreement between his herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot, Abraham had given the first choice of pasture to Lot. As he became aware of Lot’s capture at the hands of Chedorlaomer, Abraham had risked his life and the lives of his men to rescue Lot, only to see him return to the city of Sodom. Had not Abraham done all that he could? The spiritual care and concern that Abraham had shown towards his nephew was considerable and commendable. Did not this wayward relative deserve what was coming to him as the consequence of his own folly?
What heartache many of the saints of God have suffered as a result of the folly of their loved ones. How true the words of the Lord through Ezekiel, ‘ye have made the heart of the righteous sad’, 13. 22! What should be our response in the time of yet another crisis? Abraham’s example is remarkable. He brought the matter before his God. In the situation that Lot unknowingly faced, Abraham could do no more. He prayed!
As far as the biblical record unfolds, Abraham did not know what had become of Lot once God’s judgement had fallen upon the cities of the plain. Was Lot safe? Had Lot perished? What of his family? The evidence of the judgement of God was unmistakeable. What had Abraham to cling to in this moment? The answer is given us in chapter 18 verse 25, ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ Abraham’s knowledge of his God was what could sustain him. He might not know the fate of Lot but God knew and he could rest in the assurance that God would act in righteousness, in complete accord with that essential facet of His character. Let us take courage and continue to pray for those we love in the knowledge that God will do right.
There is much food for thought in this issue. Apart from the on-going series on prophetic subjects and church truth there is also the exposition of Philippians and the character studies of personalities associated with the apostle Paul. Alongside those articles, there is new material from Cyril Cann and Malcolm Davis. We thank all those who give of their time so readily to support this work and pray that, as a consequence, there might be fruit in the lives of God’s people.