But he persisted: “Please, do not let my Lord be angry if I speak up this last time. What if ten are found there?” For the sake of the ten, he replied, I will not destroy it. The LORD departed as soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned home.
- Genesis 18:32-33
If someone you love constantly hurts you, betrays your trust, disappoints you, and fails to follow the guidance you give out of love, what would you do? In the biblical scripture, the theme of humanity continuously falling short of God's expectations is repetitive. While there are few exceptions of role models who exemplify goodness, obedience, and faithfulness, time and time again, there are also examples of how we disobey God, and demonstrate how we are not worthy of God's love. If you were in His position, would you wipe the slate clean and start over? Would you have given up on humanity by now?
Thank goodness, though, that our God is far more merciful and full of grace. In one of the narratives, Abraham pleads with God to spare Sodom, a place where people were great with sin. Abraham asked God to spare Sodom as long as there were 50 righteous people, and God promised to spare them. Abraham asked for forgiveness if there were 45, then 40, then 30, then 20, or even as little as 10, and God considered Abraham's request and still promised to spare Sodom, if there were as little as ten righteous people.
Ultimately, though there is a limit, and Sodom and Gomorrah's sins were too great, and God destroyed the cities, but by trying to first save those He needed to save. God's mercy is abundant, but we are not to take it for granted--there is a limit. God forgives, but it is not a carte blanche for us to sin without fear of consequence, thinking that God will just forgive us anyway. God is a God of justice. We have to show our willingness to serve and truly follow Christ. God gave His son for our sins--while we may not deserve it, we still have to try to be righteous. Believing in Christ is to take action, to strive to earn his grace, even when we know that it is not by our actions that we earn His mercy.
Reflection: Pray and ask God for His mercy for our sins.
This week, we revisit the concept of God's Mercy in the study of Abraham pleading with God to spare Sodom. Discover worship music and weekly articles at Christian Calm Radio.