It is incredible that God figured he couldn’t destroy Sodom and Gomorrah without telling Abraham first. In fact, He let the two angels go into the city to carry out an independent investigation while He strolled with Abraham and bargained with Him. This is incredible, not only because the Almighty condescended to eat, stroll and discuss His plans with humanity, but because God was willing to discuss His plans with a friend who had let Him down. The story of Abraham is the story of how God’s faithfulness in the face of human infidelity can forge nations out of nomads.
God’s faithfulness is not a response to human activity for God initiated His relationship with Abraham and made promises to Him without extracting any from Abraham. All Abraham had to do was trust. That proved difficult though, because trusting God is really difficult for sinful hearts to do, not because He isn’t trustworthy but because we fear that He is. It is vital that we trust God for any obedience rendered outside an atmosphere of trust is toxic, it saps the love out of a relationship, turning it into a mere transaction followed by enslavement and seething resentment.
God’s love for us does not hang in the balance, it draws nothing from our effort. It is a given, our salvation depends on how we choose to align ourselves with God. Do we trust God to lead us to the bright future He has promised or do we prefer Haran, the land of death? Effort is certainly needed, Abraham followed God, it is the idea that our effort makes us deserve anything that is problematic. At the end of it all, the question remains, do we trust God or our imagined ability to manipulate Him?
photo credit: North Carolina Digital Heritage Center Most Dependable, Senior Superlatives, Brevard High School, 1961 via photopin (license)