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).
7. Why was Lot never mentioned? Abraham had rescued Lot (14:16). Now intercedes for Lot without calling his name.
8. Why stop at ten? Lot and wife, two married daughters and husband, plus two single daughters. Abraham thought these 10 people would be righteous.
9. Abraham stopped interceding before God stopped answering. Lesson: Don’t give up.
10. The Lord returned to heaven, while two angels went to spy out Sodom. The word “angel” means messenger.
D. PRINCIPLES OF INTERCESSION
1. Knew that punishment waits. God utterly destroyed them . . . eliminating all life – people, plants, animals, alike” (19:25).
2. Intercession is face to face negotiation with God. “Abraham stood before the Lord” (18:22).
3. Be intent. “Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there” (18:32, NLT).
4. Recognize your human unworthiness. “I am but dust and useless” (18:27).
Intercession like all prayer to God, It is based on our relationship with Him. Thus intercession is an intensive conversation with God, where we plead for the salvation of the souls of men.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.