Summary: How can we call on the the Lord (Adonai) who reigns over all? Abraham teaches us about persistence in prayer. Parts: A. For he rules over all with justice. B. For he has redeemed you, his people.
Text: Genesis 18:16-33
Theme: Plead with the Lord, /Adonai/ (אדני), with Humble Persistence
A. For he rules over all with justice
B. For he has redeemed you, his people
Season: Pentecost 3c -- God’s Names
Date: June 13, 2010
Web page: http://hancocklutheran.org/sermons/Plead-with-the-Lord,-Adonai-______,-with-Humble-Persistence-Genesis18_16-33.html
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Last week we heard how God Almighty, /El Shaddai /(אֵל שַׁדַּי), confirmed his covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17. He would be the father of many nations from which the Savior for the world would come. For his wife Sarah would have a son. Nothing is impossible for /El Shaddai /(אֵל שַׁדַּי). Shortly after that, three visitors came to Abraham’s tent. They looked like common travelers, but one was the LORD, /Yahweh/ (יהוה), and the other two were angels. Abraham invited them for a meal. The LORD again promised that Sarah would certainly have a son. Now as the three begin to leave, we pick up the text.
"The men got up from there and looked over toward Sodom. Abraham was going with them to send them [on their way]. The LORD said, "Shall I keep hidden from Abraham what I am doing? Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation. All the nations of the earth will be blessed in him. For I have chosen him in order that he may command his sons and daughters after him that they keep the way of the LORD acting righteously and justly, so that the LORD may bring on Abraham what he has promised him."
"The LORD said, "How great the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah! How exceedingly heavy their sin! I will go down and see whether all that they’re doing matches this outcry that has come to me. If not, I will know."
"Then the men turned away from there and went to Sodom. Abraham was still standing before the LORD. He drew near and said, "Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Perhaps there are fifty righteous in the city. Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing as this, killing the righteous with the wicked so that the righteous are treated the same as the wicked. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth act justly?"
"The LORD said, "If in Sodom I find fifty righteous people in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sakes."
"Abraham replied, "Behold now, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord (אדני), but I am dust and ashes. Perhaps the fifty righteous lack five people. Will you destroy the whole city for a lack of five?"
""I will not destroy it, if there are forty-five there."
"Yet again he spoke to him, "Perhaps forty are found there."
""I will not destroy it for the sake of forty."
""May the Lord (אדני) not be angry but let me speak. Perhaps thirty are found there."
""I will not do it, if I find thirty there."
""Behold now, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord (אדני). Perhaps, twenty are found there."
""I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty."
""May the Lord (אדני) not be angry but let me speak yet once more. Perhaps ten are found there."
""I will not destroy it for the sake of ten."
"Then LORD went away when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place." (Genesis 18:16-33)
Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:
The job market has been bad for many months. Unemployment has hovered around ten percent. One bit of advice experts give to job hunters is: Be persistent. We’ve told our twenty year old daughter the same. Be persistent. Keep on applying for jobs. After my wife’s brother was laid off, it took him over eight hundred job applications before he was hired again. Persistence -- and not only persistence in filling out applications, but also in following up. Let them know you’re eager to work for them. Keep asking whether the position’s been filled. Keep at it. Persist.
Abraham persisted as he pleaded with the Lord in prayer. What does Abraham’s example teach us? How are we to call on the One who is the Lord, /Adonai/, (אֲדֹנָי)?
A. For he rules over all with justice
1. What are we compared to the Lord, /Adonai/ (אֲדֹנָי)?
Let’s begin understanding this name, /Adonai/ (אֲדֹנָי), meaning /Lord/, by going back to the Middle Ages. Picture a medieval manor. Peasants worked the surrounding fields. Craftsmen lived in the village. The manor house, maybe with a moat and watchtower, dominated the landscape. There the lord of the manor lived. He ruled over the surrounding land and people. They were his subjects, his vassals. He was to keep them safe, guarding and protecting them, administrating justice, keeping the peace. They brought their petitions to him.