Summary: Principles of intercession
A. INTRODUCTION: GENESIS 18:16-33
1. The most difficult test thus far. “The Lord went on His way when He had finished His conversation with Abraham” (Gen. 18:33).
2. Tested by obedience to God’s call, (11:27-12:3).
Tested by provision where God calls you, (12:4-20).
Tested by family relationships, (13:1-18).
Tested by the courage of battle, (14:1-16).
Tested by the provision of money, (14:17-24).
Tested by the lack of fruit, (15:1-21).
Tested by the patience of faith, (16:1-16).
Tested by the fruit of the flesh, (17:1-16).
Tested by the unbelief of those around you, (18:1-22).
Tested by your partner’s doubt, (18:1-15).
B. WHY INTERCESSION?
“The three left and Abraham went part of the way with them. The Lord asked, ‘Should I hide from Abraham what I plan to do? He is a man of faith and his children will do what he says. He will become a great nation of the earth.’ So the Lord said to Abraham ‘I have been told the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are extremely evil. I am going to find out the truth about them.’ The two (angels) began toward Sodom, but Abraham stood before the Lord” (Gen. 18:16-22).
1. When did Abraham learn his visitor was the Lord?
a. He knew Sarah’s secret.
b. His visitor knew Sarah’s new name.
c. Inner knowledge.
2. Why did Abraham go with them?
a. To show the best path?
b. To view the valley.
c. Wanted to hear everything the Lord said.
3. God knew the answer, “Shall I hide?” God knew Abraham would pray.
4. God judges and punishes all sin, Sodom can’t be excused.
a. Suffer consequences in this life.
b. Suffer punishment in eternity.
5. God knows everything actual and potential. “He calls those things that are not, as though they were” (Rom. 4:17). His omniscience.
6. Why does God go to see? “To see whether their deeds warrant the complaints against them.”
7. “Abraham stood before the Lord” (18:22).
b. Indwelling presence
c. Institutional presence
d. Localized presence
C. THE ACTUAL INTERCESSION
“Will you destroy the innocent and guilty; will you spare it if you find fifty righteous? The Lord said He would not destroy Sodom if He found fifty righteous. Then Abraham apologized for asking again, but asked for mercy if God found forty-five. Abraham continues to put pressure upon the mercy of God. He asked if God would spare Sodom for forty . . . thirty . . . twenty . . . and finally ten. Each time God relents to Abraham’s intercession. Then the Lord went on His way and Abraham returned to his camp” (Gen. 18:23-33, Paraphrased).
1. Effective intercession is done in God’s presence. “Stood before the Lord” (18:22). You gain His presence by worship. “The Father seeks worship” (James 4:23).
2. The basis of Abraham’s intercession. “Will the judge of all the earth do right?” (18:25).
a. The truth of God’s judgment.
b. The fact of God’s mercy.
3. Why did Abraham begin at 50 righteous?
4. Since God has all authority, Abraham was reluctant to continue interceding.
5. The intercessor must recognize his humanity. “Even though I am but dust” (18:27).
6. The intercessor appeals to God’s patience. “Please don’t be angry my Lord . . . supposed there are only thirty?” (18:30, NLT).