Our Intercessor by Les Johnson
Genesis 18:16 Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. 17 And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” 20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose 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? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”
27 Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: 28 Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?”
So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.”
29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.”
30 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
32 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?”
And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” 33 So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
Abraham made intercession for the city. By agreeing to not destroy the wicked for a few righteous people, the Lord demonstrated his great mercy. Sadly, not 10 people were found to save the city.
I also think about the residents of the city. Their spiritual condition was so grave something had to be done. I ask myself, how did they start out and how did they get themselves to this point? Did someone try to stop them and show them right from wrong?
It appears over and over again in the bible, that mankind has a problem with sin.
But in Abraham’s story we also see hope. If you recall, the Lord had just promised Abraham a son in his old age. The Lord told Abraham how the world would be blessed through him. Through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the following generations we come to Jesus. Abraham interceded for a city, Jesus interceded to save the world. Jesus paid the price for sin. Jesus obtained victory over death. Jesus is seated at the right hand of God making intercession for us.
Romans 8:26-27 says:
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
His intercession is available and personal – you just have to let him into your life and follow him. This is very helpful in our world today. The news reports show the on-goings of the economy, the on-goings overseas, the on-goings in our country. Additionally, we have the on-goings of our daily lives, the on-goings of our heart.
One Saturday afternoon, I happened to be driving along a street in Philadelphia and I heard a woman’s voice from a megaphone on the sidewalk. I only heard part of the words she was speaking as the windows where rolled up as I passed through the intersection but I have seen this type of scene before. I heard “Jesus is coming” … I heard “there is still time”. I saw everyday people walking by…some people may have heard her; some maybe not. I saw people waiting for the bus, I saw people shopping, I saw people rushing to cross the street, and I saw double parked cars and other cars trying to get around them. I saw busy people; people short on time. I saw people engaged in the on-goings of their daily lives. Then I thought to myself – How many people would be saved in this city? How many people in our country? How many people in the world? How many know of our Intercessor? How many know of his saving grace? How many know what Jesus has done and what Jesus can do for them?
In closing, consider what would have happened if Abraham had proposed to the Lord to save the city for 9 people…5 people…3 people, or 1 person? Aren’t we blessed that our salvation is not dependent on others but on how far the Lord was willing to go for us? He allowed himself to be mocked, beaten, and pierced in his side. He shed his blood and gave his life on the cross to save us from our sins.
So as we prepare to approach his table, let us consider his sacrifice, his intercession, and how much he loves us.
by Les Johnson