Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Today's M'Cheyne reading includes the account of Abraham asking God to spare Sodom if enough righteous people lived there. In the conversation, you can almost hear God saying there are not even fifty, or forty, or thirty righteous people there. It seems like Abraham can sense this as he continues to change his request to smaller numbers, converging in size toward Lot and his family.

The base question is, "Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?" [Gen 18:23]. God answered and continues to answer "no", and through it we see the justice and mercy of our Lord.

Destroying Them All

What happens in Genesis 18 calls to mind many other cases where God exercised grace because of the remnant until the number of faithful dwindled to the point that God rescused only them from sweeping judgment.


The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. (Genesis 6:5-8 ESV)

Pre-exilic Israel

And the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 14:12-14 ESV)

The kingdom of heaven

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” (Matthew 13:24-30 ESV)

Making Them an Example

Previously earthly judgments serve as a warning for all alive today. God is calling us to repentance and warning that the pending final judgment looms. Read 2 Peter 2 and Luke 17 to see how the angel stands with his sword drawn stretched out over the land (1 Chron 21:16). Let Noah, Lot and Daniel serve as an example.

That flood should have already swept us away. It is only God's mercy that spares the unrighteous, that some may repent. But his judgment is inevitable.

How many upon the earth are righteous? Do not be enslaved to the defilements of the world, but call upon Jesus and be saved--you will be cleansed in his righteousness. Accept the mercy of God through his Son!

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