So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
Genesis 19:29 (NIV)

God remembered Abraham and protected Lot from catastrophe! Did you catch that? God was about to destroy all of Sodom and Gomorrah, but then He remembered Abraham and he protected – saved – Abraham’s nephew Lot (and his family). I read this verse last week it has not stopped reverberating in my brain. The implications are staggering! And encouraging!

Lot was living in a city that the Lord was about to destroy because the outcry against it was “so great and [its] sin so grievous.” (Genesis 18:20) Lot was living in a city in which ten righteous people could not be found. It’s the place he chose to live. Some purport that he was a leader in the city because when the angels arrived, he was sitting at the city gate, a place where leaders often sat. For whatever reason, Lot liked living there. We’re not going to go there. But he liked it so much that when the angels sent to destroy the city urged Lot to flee, Scripture says he “still hesitated” and the angels had to physically grab him by the hands and rush him out of the city (Genesis 19:16). (More about Lot’s reluctance to leave in tomorrow’s blog!)

Put yourself into the scene. Imagine yourself in God’s place. (I know, we’re a poor and paltry substitute, and thinking we could become like God is at the center of this whole sin issue, but for just a moment, consider the story from God’s perspective.) The stench of Sodom and Gomorrah had reached the Lord and He sent angels to destroy it. On the way He and the angels visit Abraham. Abraham negotiates with God – God agreed not to destroy the city if He could find ten righteous people living in it. Obviously He could not, so the process that would lead to the destruction of the two cities began. What seems to be holding up the whole thing is this man Lot’s reluctance to leave. It’s a good thing I’m not God because I’m afraid I would have said something like “OK, then. Stay here. I’ll just destroy the city with you in it.” (Or at least I would have thought it. My sanctification is clearly not complete!)

But God didn’t do that. Scripture says that God remembered Abraham and kept Lot safe. What was it about Abraham that God remembered?

Perhaps God remembered the covenant He had made with Abraham. Undoubtedly, God had a special relationship with Abraham. God also has a special relationship with me. I may not be the father of many nations, I may not be the one to whom God said:

2 “I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”

Gen 12:2-3

But I am the one about whom God said …..

9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1a (NIV)

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:32 (NIV)

These verses, and others like them, convince me that my relationship with God is as special to Him as His relationship with Abraham. I have every confidence that when God remembers me, He does so with as much pleasure as when He remembered Abraham.

Could it be, then, that God might remember me and protect my family members who are near danger?

Perhaps God remembered Abraham’s faith. Twelve of the forty verses in Hebrews 11, that great “Fathers of the Faith/Great Cloud of Witnesses” chapter, are dedicated to Abraham and his faith. Yet we know the stories of Abraham’s failures – times when he failed to live by the faith for which he was commended in Hebrews. These stories demonstrate that Abraham was as human as you and I, and his faith could be as weak as mine sometimes is.

Scripture says that “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3). If you have accepted Christ, if you believe that He is the son of God who came to earth and died on a cross for the forgiveness of your sins, God puts the righteousness of Christ upon you. What Scripture says about Abraham can be said about you – “[Your Name Here] believed God and it was credited to him/her as righteousness.”

Could it be, then, that God might remember you and protect your family members who are near danger?

Perhaps God remembered Abraham’s prayer. While unorthodox, Abraham’s negotiation with God can be seen as a prayer. He was asking God to spare the city. Some translations render Genesis 19:29 as “God had listened to Abraham’s request” (NLT) or “heeded Abraham’s plea” (TLB). I’m not a Hebrew scholar, but I don’t see anything in the text that should be translated God remembered “Abraham’s request,” although I suppose it can be extrapolated from the context.

James writes “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16b, NRSV)

We’ve already established that God credits Jesus’ righteousness to believers. Our prayers, then are powerful and effective. If it was Abraham’s prayer that God remembered, I have every confidence that He will remember mine as well.

Could it be, then, if I pray diligently for family and friends who are at risk, that God might remember me and protect them from danger?

Perhaps, just perhaps, God will show mercy and will extend His protection to my loved ones because of the relationship He has with me, because of my faith, and/or because of my prayers.

Such a thought makes me view my life differently. It’s not just about me. My relationship with the Lord (and the condition of that relationship) affects those I love. My relationship with the Lord somehow extends a degree of grace to them. Wow!

Of course I’m not saying that my relationship with the Lord extends salvation to my loved ones. Everyone must choose that for themselves. Everyone must decide for themselves to yield to the One who stepped out of heaven, leaving all He had there, to live on this earth and then die on a cross. It’s that yielding of our will to His will that brings (or gives) eternal life.

Still…God remembered Abraham and saved Lot. What a gracious God we serve!

Thank You, Lord, for extending the umbrella of grace over my life to offer protection to my loved ones.

Be encouraged, friends! God may just remember you and save your loved ones from catastrophe! Hallelujah!

2 Responses to “God Remembers – Grace is Extended”
  1. Maggie Timmons says:

    We have just witnessed this protection over our pastor’s son! Yes he was injured, but he’s still alive, and therefore has another oppotunity to begin to live for Jesus!

  2. Sandy says:

    You’re right! Praise God! I wasn’t even thinking about him because I wrote this last week and just did final editing last night. Thanks for the reminder!

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