Read Genesis 18:16-19:29
Pleading for Mercy for Others
It has been said that grace is receiving something good that one does not deserve, while mercy is not receiving something bad that one does deserve. In God’s dealings with man, we see both grace and mercy on display throughout the Scriptures and in our own lives.
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a well-known event to those who are avid Bible readers. What was wrong with Sodom and Gomorrah. In general terms, the Lord says that “their sin is very grave” (Genesis 18:20). In specific terms, homosexuality had become the norm for them. The men of Sodom surrounded the house of Lot and demanded that the men (who were actually angels) be brought out because they wanted to “know them carnally” (Genesis 19:5).
Despite the depravity of these men, Abraham pleaded for mercy in Genesis 18. He bargained with the Lord and asked, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Supposed there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?” (Genesis 18:23-24). God agrees, and Abraham lowers the number from fifty to forty-five, then to forty, thirty, twenty, all the way down to ten. God tells Abraham, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten” (Genesis 18:32), but not even ten were found.
Yet, because of the mercy of God, Lot and his family were given the opportunity to escape the destruction. Lot and his two daughters took advantage of this opportunity; his sons-in-law thought he was joking when he urged them to come with him, and his wife looked back while fleeing and was destroyed. Yet Lot was able to escape because of the faithfulness and intercession of Abraham.
Will God extend mercy to your loved ones because of your faithfulness? Will they receive opportunities to turn to Him because of the example that you set? Are you interceding with God on their behalf, asking that they may come to the knowledge of the truth? Are you seeking opportunities to share that truth with them yourself?
His mercy is great, but He will not violate His will. Destruction will come to the impenitent sinner. Please with Him while they are here, and plead with them to submit to His will.