DayBreaks for 07/29/13 – Salt, Negotiation and Our Nation
Genesis 18:32 (NLT) Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?” And the LORD replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
The story of Abraham negotiating with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah has always been of great interest to me. I hate negotiating anything. I know that many places in the world it is expected when you go to buy food or wares. In Ghana, you could get a much better price if you negotiate. The same is true for India and Mexico. It just isn’t that way in America for most things. You do negotiate for a few things here, most notably cars (and I HATE that process!!!!)
It’s one thing to haggle over the price of a shirt or car with someone, but quite another thing entirely to haggle with God – repeatedly. I mean, at what point have you pushed too far – and what would the consequences be?
So, this is interesting to me for that reason, but there are several other reasons, too:
FIRST: in verse 27, Abraham recognizes he is nothing more than dust and ashes, and there he is, arguing with the Almighty God. Abraham is known as the father of the faithful, but he’s also the father of the slightly crazed in my opinion.
SECOND: the story shows us God’s great willingness to be patient with evil and to (dare I say) tolerate evil for a longer period of time for the sake of sparing the “righteous”. It wouldn’t be right for God to destroy the righteous with the wicked…at least that’s the argument put forth here. In a sense, Abraham is suggesting it would give God a black eye. His reputation for fairness would be tarnished, and Abraham uses that as a negotiating chip.
THIRD (and this is the key one for purposes of this devotion): it doesn’t take much many righteous to spare a city…nor does it take many righteous for God to spare a nation. But here’s the point: if God is to spare America, there must be people here who are living and acting righteously. How many must there be before God destroys our nation? I honestly have no clue. But I know this: each day every believer must decide if we’ll be salt and light (and we must decide that many times during each day whenever we are faced with a moral/ethical situation) and then we must realize that the fate of our nation may well hang in the balance as we collectively make those decisions.
Will we be that salt and light? Or will we be tasteless and shadows? May we also be the ones who intercede on behalf of our country!
PRAYER: Father, Your long-suffering and patience is incredible, but not without limits. May we learn from this passage that how we act doesn’t just affect our relationship with you, but that the fate of our nation for our children and grandchildren may well hang in the balance based on our actions! Give us courage, Lord, to be righteous! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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