“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43: 18-19).”
The book of Genesis is a book of beginnings. Every year, we make New Year resolutions concerning positive changes that we would like to see in our lives. Such as, I am going to lose weight. I am going to eat healthier. I am going to be more positive. We start out good and for some, our good intentions fizzle before Valentines Day. If the book of Genesis teaches anything, it teaches that you can begin again.
I start off every year to read the Bible all the way through and I get sidetracked because something catches my attention and slow down and study it more closely. Recently, I started reading Genesis and I made it to chapter 18, and something in verses 28 through 32 caught my eye. I will share with you later what I observed in my study. However, I need to back up a little and share with you a summary of events that are taking place in this chapter. The Lord has shown up at Abraham’s tent and he is not alone, two angels accompany him (18:1-18). He tells Abraham that by this time next year you will have a son (vs.10). I am sure that Abraham was all smiles when he realized that they were about to begin a new and wonderful chapter in their lives as parents. As they prepare to leave, The Lord pauses and contemplates in verse 17, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do”? Abraham’s face is glowing until God begins to reveal his plans for the impending judgment of Sodom (Genesis 18:21).
Abraham intercedes for Sodom
At this point, Abraham steps in front of the Lord and begins to plead with Him to spare Sodom for the sake of fifty, forty-five, thirty, twenty, and ten righteous men (Genesis 18:23-32). God says to Abraham, “For the sake of ten righteous people, I will not destroy the city (Genesis 18:17-33). It is of note that Abraham never mentions Lot or the city of Gomorrah but intercedes for the city of Sodom. Yet, when God destroyed the cities he remembered Abraham and saved Lot (19:29). Lot and his family were chosen to escape the coming punishment.
The Great Escape
During Abraham’s conversation with the Lord, the two angels continued on to Sodom. There they find Lot sitting at the gate. He invites them to spend the night at his home. Not too long after, the two angels face off with the evil inhabitants of Sodom. Finally, the angels instruct Lot to gather his family and prepare to flee Sodom before it is destroyed.
Ultimately, the angels end up dragging Lot, his wife, and two daughters by the hand out of Sodom with instructions, do not look back and run to the mountains for safety (Genesis 19:16). Lot decides that Zoar would be a better destination. Somehow, the angels agree to Lots terms. As the destruction of Sodom ensues, Mrs. Lot disobeys and looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt. In the end, Lot leaves Zoar out of fear to seek refuge in the mountains (Genesis 19:30).
What caught my attention when I read these chapters is that if, God honored the request Abraham made on behalf of Sodom, and we know that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35). Then he will answer our prayers also.
Here are some points to ponder:
1) Sodom could have been spared for the sake of ten righteous people.
2) The presence of righteous people brings God’s mercy and long-suffering.
3) Our intercession has the power to influence our city and our nation.
4)Which means that you and I can pray for our families, our city, our nation, and ask God for mercy.
But, not only that I believe that we can pray in such a way that it would even change the atmosphere of our family relationships, our city, and our nation to make them more conducive to godliness.
For instance, I Timothy chapter 2, verse 1 through 3, reads as follows:
“I exhort you, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour…”
According to the above passage, we are instructed to pray and to intercede for the leaders of our nation and cities so that we can live a quiet and peaceful life. It is not dependent on the personality of the person who leads our nation, or who our mayor is. Why? Because the word of God says in Proverbs 21, verse 1 that “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” I believe that if it is written in the word of God it can be done. God means it. I believe that God will answer our prayers for those in authority if we ask God to give our leaders wisdom and integrity so that we can live a peaceful life.
I began talking about how we make New Year resolutions, we start out with good intentions, but we give up too quickly before we see results. Don’t let the memories of past failures hinder you from moving forward. I want to share a little nugget with you, there is a scripture that says “… a just man falleth seven times and riseth up again … (Proverbs 24: 16a).” In view of this scripture, don’t let what happened in the past deter you. Starting today, I want to encourage you to “Rise up again, begin to believe God again!” Begin, again to put your faith in action. If, you fall off again, get back up and begin again. Have faith in God! This year, persist in prayer, watch God do a new thing in you and on behalf of your family, your city, and your nation.
Be encouraged because God is for you, He has a good plan for your future. Have a blessed week!
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