The Value of Interceding

Genesis 18:23-32 (ESV)

23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?
25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”
26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.
28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.”
30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”
31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.”
32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”

Abraham interceded for the city of Sodom.  Abraham knew that Lot and his family lived in Sodom and so he asked the Lord to not destroy Sodom for the sake of the righteous.  In Genesis 19, we aren’t really told much about Lot’s family but we do know Lot had a wife, two daughters at home and sons-in-laws.  There is much speculation as to how many Lots family actually included total.  Early Jewish scholars say there were actually some married sons and daughters.  That actually sounds reasonable because of what Abraham said.  See if I was going to rescue a family I know I wouldn’t send a car that only would hold four for a family of ten.  Abraham stopped at 10 because he truly expected there to be 10 righteous in Sodom due to the family of Lot.  Turns out we are only told of one righteous in Sodom (2 Peter 2:7).

Genesis 19:17-22 (ESV)

17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.”
18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords.
19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die.
20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!”
21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken.
22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

The residents of Zoar were preserved purely through the actions of Lot.  Lot begged to be allowed to reside in Zoar and because of that Zoar was preserved.

Genesis 20:1-3; 17-18  (ESV)

1 From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar.
2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”

17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children.
18 For the Lord had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Abraham interceded for Abimelech and his household and the Lord opened the wombs of all the women.

We may never know what the value of our intercession for another person or even city is but we can be sure that the Lord does listen to the petitions of His own.


3 thoughts on “The Value of Interceding

  1. A friend and I were just discussing this yesterday. I tend to shun this type of prayer in view of God’s sovereignty…but

    “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

    So what does that mean?

    Romans 8:26
    26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

    So, it is the Spirit that helps us to pray according to His will. Still trying to figure this out, but it is a wonderful thing.


    Berean Wife Reply:


    Prayer is an interesting study. Previously I’ve looked at prayer and what we should be praying for and whom we should be praying for.

    Should We Be Praying For More Than an Unbeliever’s Salvation? (Part 1)

    Should We Be Praying For More Than an Unbeliever’s Salvation? (Part 2)

    But the ultimate criteria is that through our prayers all is done to Glorify the Father and the Son.

    John 14:13-15 (ESV)

    13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
    14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
    15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

    It is always in the Father’s will to glorify the Son and in the Son’s will to glorify the Father. The Holy Spirit will help us to do so in our prayers and our life if we are sensitive to His leading.

    Berean Wife


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