Genesis 18:22 So the men turned from (Abraham’s tent), and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the LORD. 23 Then Abraham came near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous 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?” 26 And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” 27 Abraham answered, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 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.”
Here Abraham is negotiating with God regarding the planned destruction of the people living in the wicked city of Sodom. You may recall that Abraham’s nephew Lot settled in Sodom so Abraham has a personal interest in protecting Lot and his family – hence this exchange.
What I appreciate about this exchange is the fact that God was willing to respond to Abraham’s pleas and change his plans for Sodom accordingly. This sort of thing happens in other places in scripture as well. It encourages me to think that God may even listen to me as I pray. Our God is not a distant figure beyond our reach, but is near to us, listening to our pleas and perhaps even indulging our wishes. Lord let it be so. Amen.