The Power of One

By Teena Myers

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Genesis 19[1]

Before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, he told Abraham his plans.[2] Fearful the judge of all the earth would destroy the righteous with the wicked Abraham had pleaded with God for restraint. At Abraham’s request, God agreed to spare the entire city if he could find ten righteous people living there.

If Abraham believed it was wrong to sweep away the righteous with the wicked[3] why did he stop at ten. Was it okay to sweep away nine righteous people with the wicked? Nine righteous people may have been expendable to Abraham, but not to God. He will not treat the righteous and the wicked alike. He is the judge of all the earth and he will do right.[4]

When the men of Sodom accosted Lot’s home intent on gang raping the newcomers, Lot’s guests revealed their mission to destroy the wicked cities and told them to leave or they would perish in the coming destruction. Lot spent the rest of the night trying to persuade his family of the impending danger. No one took him seriously.

At the first light of dawn, the angels urged Lot to leave with his wife and daughters. When Lot hesitated, the angels took them by the hand and escorted them out of the city and said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”[5]

By this time, Lot was exhausted. What had started as a pleasant evening entertaining guest turned into an immoral onslaught from his neighbors. He made his way through the mob, blinded by the angels, to be mocked by his family. He had already lost everything he owned in a war once, and now he faced the prospect of losing everything again. Then the angels dragged him out of Sodom and told him to run to the mountains.  

A physically and emotionally drained righteous man said, “I will never make it to the mountains before disaster falls.” Then Lot had what he thought was a better solution than God’s. “Let me go to Zoar. It’s a small town and I will be safe there.” As soon as Lot stepped into the city of Zoar, “the Lord rained down burning sulfur” on Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, but not Zoar.

God is more gracious than Abraham could imagine. He spared an entire city marked for destruction for the sake of ONE righteous man. Abraham would have let nine righteous men perish with the wicked.


[1] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] Genesis 19:29

[3] Genesis 18:23

[4] Genesis 18:25

[5] Genesis 19:17

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