When God Changes Your Name [Series]-Abraham, Part 3
“Abram to Abraham”
He establishes a destiny for you and a legacy through you…by positioning you as a powerful intercessor on behalf of others—even when they are unaware of it.
And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived. (Gen 19:27-29, ESV)
It has been 14 years or more since Abraham and Lot have lived together. Lot has put down roots and made a home in Sodom. The land is wicked—full of sin and perversion. The outcry of sin is so great God has come down to see if it’s as bad as the outcry declares. Lot lives in Sodom with his wife, his two daughters and their husbands. By my count, that’s at least six people for whom Lot is responsible. The culture of sin in Sodom and Gomorrah is intense enough to torment Lot’s soul. Second Peter 2:7-8 describes it this way:
and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard) [2 Pet 2:7-8, ESV]
God is intentional in revealing to Abraham His plan for Sodom. Abraham is as intentional as he petitions God for mercy. He knows his nephew has made a home with his family in Sodom. God’s destruction of Sodom will result in Lot’s death as well as the death of his heritage if Abraham doesn’t say something.
We know from early on in the account how important Lot is to Abraham. When Abraham’s brother died, he took Lot into his home and cared for him as his own (Gen 11:27-28, 12:5). When his and Lot’s herdsman disputed over feeding grounds for cattle, Abraham allowed his nephew the choice of a more fertile pasture in order to preserve their relationship (Gen 13:8-11). He has battled earthly kings to save Lot in the past (Gen 14:1-16). Now, Abraham must petition the Sovereign King to rescue Lot from the destruction that awaits Sodom and Gomorrah.
Abraham is passionate in his pursuit to save Lot. This time he doesn’t have 318 men to go to battle. This time he is one man petitioning the Sovereign King of the universe. The stakes are much higher. His plea pours from a heart that has worshipped and trusted God for almost 25 years. He begins with a series of questions, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” “Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?”
Abraham is able to petition God continually even in ways that appear tenacious and intrusive. He can do so based on the quality and authenticity of his relationship with God. The running commentary on his life is he “believed God.” He was persuaded and won over by God. God had his full confidence. Because of this confidence in God, he was able to move in close to God to petition Him for the life of his nephew and a few righteous people. Abraham was interceding for Lot while Lot wasn’t even aware of it. God had positioned Abraham as a powerful intercessor on Lot’s behalf. He now stood before God pleading for Lot’s life and pressing God for mercy. Does that sound familiar?
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7:25, ESV)
Today, Christ sits at the Father’s right hand interceding and petitioning Him for us daily. Is there someone in your life who needs you to petition God on their behalf? Is there someone who would benefit from you bowing your heart in prayer and calling out their name in His presence? God has called us friend just as He called Abraham friend…. By faith, we can be as persistent as Abraham was in pursuing mercy, compassion, and blessing for those we love. Until next time....
Stay close to Him. Live beautiful.
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