Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
Three mysterious visitors meet Abraham while he lives near the trees of Mamre. Abraham recognizes that this is an unusual visit and has Sarah prepare a meal for the guests. The men tell Abraham that at the same time next year, he and Sarah will have a son, though they are well advanced in years. Sarah laughs, and one of the men, who is referred to as Yahweh (God), calls her out. Then God reveals to Abraham that he is about to destroy the city of Sodom, if they are as bad as the outcry of the communities around them claim. Abraham actually pleads on behalf of the wicked city. God agrees not to destroy it if there are even ten righteous people living there. Unfortunately, there are not ten righteous people. God destroys the city after a gruesome display of sin. Abraham’s nephew Lot escapes with his daughters…who trick him into impregnating them while he is drunk. Then, other crazy things happen. You just have to read it.
What is one key verse?
Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”Genesis 18:32
How does what you read change your vision of God?
God is remarkably gracious towards everyone and protective of the righteous. Even though Sodom was a violent and evil city, God was willing to spare them for the sake of a few righteous people. God is incomparably gracious, even in the moments where he is most criticized for being judgmental.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
I want to be more like Abraham. I want my prayers to be in defense of others, despite their sins.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
When I hear or see people sinning at work, I want to make an effort to always pray on their behalf. For example, if someone swears or makes a dirty joke, it always bothers me. Normally, I just try to ignore it to maintain a good relationship. But I want to pray for them to be shown love and mercy. I want to do more than just refrain from sinning. I want to produce righteousness in response to sin.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
The prayers Jesus made before going to the cross–and even while he was on the cross–were like the prayer of Abraham for Sodom. Jesus prayed for mercy on those who crucified him.