Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How about your prayers?

Abraham mediates between God and the pagan cities thereby foreshadowing also Israel’s priestly function among the nations (cf. Exod 19:6). According to Genesis 18, Abraham blesses Sodom by interceding for the city. Even though Sodom and Gomorrah had sinned themselves beyond the possibility of blessing, it is amazing that Abraham was pleading for them to be spared from the divine judgment. Abraham intercedes for the corrupt pagans whom he did not even know. Wright compares Abraham’s response to YHWH’s judgment over Sodom with that of Jonah’s and remarks that many Christians’ attitude toward the wickedness of the world resembles more that of Jonah than that of Abraham [Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative (Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 2006) 362]. Prayers are frequently made for people we approve of, or for projects that we endorse. The community of faith, however, does not often pray for the Sodoms and Gomorrahs of this world. Jeremiah encourages exiled Israel to pray for the welfare of their captors (Jer 29:7). Also Jesus endorses Abraham’s prayer by the hard dictum: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44–47).—Standing in the Breach, page 53

<idle musing>
Ouch! I suspect he is far too correct in that assessment. May God grant us mercy and may we embrace the way of Abraham!
</idle musing>

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