So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 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? 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?” And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 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.” Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 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.” 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.” 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.” And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place. Genesis 18:22-33 ESV
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:1-8 ESV
Jesus told a story about a woman who had an enemy that was hurting her. She wanted the judge to help her and protect her. The judge really didn’t care. He didn’t want to bother with her. But she kept on asking him and asking him. He finally gave her the help she needed just to get her to stop bothering him. Jesus used this story to show that we can keep on asking God to help us with our troubles. We don’t ever have to give up, even when it seems like God doesn’t listen to our prayers.
Abraham kept didn’t want to see innocent people suffer if God judged Sodom and Gomorrah. He kept on asking God not to destroy these cities if he could find some people there who believed and followed God’s ways. He kept asking and asking, and God listened to him. If only ten people trusted in God, the cities wouldn’t be destroyed.
Abraham prayed for justice for innocent people. He’s a little like Jesus, who always prays for us. But Jesus prays that God would show us mercy. If God gave us justice for our sins, we would be separated from him forever. But Jesus took our sins on himself when he died on the cross. He satisfied God’s justice, and now we have God’s mercy. God always forgives our sins and listens to our prayers for Jesus’ sake.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for having mercy on us and sending Jesus to save us. Thank you for hearing our prayers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.