Genesis 18:22-33 22 The men turned away and walked toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing in front of the Lord. 23 Abraham approached and said, “Will you really sweep away the innocent with the guilty? 24 What if there are fifty innocent people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not save the place for the sake of the fifty innocent people in it? 25 It’s not like you to do this, killing the innocent with the guilty as if there were no difference. It’s not like you! Will the judge of all the earth not act justly?” 26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will save it because of them.” … 32 Abraham said, “Don’t be angry with me, my Lord, but let me speak just once more. What if there are ten?” And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it because of those ten.” 33 When the Lord finished speaking with Abraham, he left; but Abraham stayed there in that place. (CEB)
[Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.]
[Image: “Creative Commons Good and Evil” by Alex Eylar is licensed under CC BY 2.0]
Playing with Genesis 18:22-33
Let’s imagine that Abraham was trying to figure out what was being insisted upon him in the name of God. Perhaps. Since Abraham had been to the equivalent of an Ira Progoff ‘journaling meditation workshop, he decided to journal a conversation between himself and God-within.
Abraham: How fiercely concerned are you with wickedness? Would you destroy a wicked city if there were 50 righteous in it? What counts more, your opposition to evil or your favor for the just?
God: 50 just citizens trumps the residual evil of the city.
Abraham: What if only 45?
God: Same result.
GOD: Same, again.
Abraham: What about 30?
Abraham: Let’s put it all on the line. What if only 10?
God: Want to make a guess?
Abraham: I would guess that righteousness begets forgiveness which outdoes evil every time.
God: I think he’s got it!
What’s the truth revealed here? It is not power that bests wickedness, nor do you overcome evil with more evil. Instead, evil wilts in the presence of justice and compassion which demonstrate the weak force of forgiveness. Make sense? Probably not… and that is why we have so much trouble forgiving when we feel we are wronged.