Had the Lord found ten righteous persons in Sodom, the city would have been spared.
Abraham took it upon himself to intercede for Sodom when God disclosed his upset with what was happening there.
20 Then the Lord said, “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! 21 I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.”
God said that he would go down to Sodom, but once more, we see that it was the same men who had visited Abraham and Sarah who went down there. I tell you,
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).
Yes, Abraham assumed the role of intercessor, asking God to spare the city, first of he would find fifty, then forty- five, then forty, then thirty, then twenty, then ten righteous persons. God agreed. And Abraham, it seemed settled for that number.
I hope to God that we intercede for communities, beginning with the ones of which we are part, and the ones near and dear to us. Do we ask God to bless those communities because of the righteous persons there, or do we simply appeal to God’s mercy and seek the redemption of the communities concerned?
My bet is that there is so much inhumanity and lack of hospitality in so many places that too many deserve to be simply obliterated from the face of the planet.
Having written this, I ask myself. Could I present myself as one righteous person to stand in the gap?
Even Jerusalem was judged such a bloody city. Hear the prophet Ezekiel:
And I sought for anyone among them who would repair the wall and stand in the breach before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30)
When we, as intercessors, so aware of our fallen-ness cannot present ourselves as a righteous base on which to request that any community be spared, then we ought to know that we must be humble in making judgements about others.
yes, let us seek first the righteousness of God’s kingdom; but let us also be sensitive to the fact that sometimes our best efforts fail to hit the mark, and pray:
O Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner. Amen.