Draw Close to God

A Judge Who Always Does What Is Right

Genesis 18:22-32

JUSTICE. Fairness. Impartiality. Are you not drawn to such noble attributes? We humans have an innate need to be treated fairly. Sadly, justice often proves to be elusive in today’s world. There is, however, a Judge who deserves our trust​—Jehovah God. He always does what is right. This was made clear in a conversation that took place between Jehovah and Abraham, as recorded at Genesis 18:22-32. *

When Jehovah told Abraham of His decision to investigate conditions in Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham feared for the safety of any righteous people living there, including his nephew Lot. Abraham implored Jehovah: “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous men in the midst of the city. Will you, then, . . . not pardon the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are inside it?” (Verses 23, 24) God said that he would spare the cities if just 50 righteous men were there. Abraham pleaded with Jehovah five more times, gradually reducing the number until it was down to ten. Each time, God said he would not bring the cities to ruin if that many righteous men were there.

Was Abraham arguing with God? By no means! That would have been the height of arrogance. Abraham’s tone reflected due reverence and humility. He referred to himself as mere “dust and ashes.” Four times he respectfully said “please.” (Verses 27, 30-32) Furthermore, Abraham’s words revealed his confidence in Jehovah’s fairness. The idea that God would destroy the righteous along with the wicked would be “unthinkable,” said Abraham​—not once but twice. The faithful patriarch voiced his conviction that “the Judge of all the earth” would “do what is right.”​—Verse 25.

Was Abraham correct in the things he said? Yes and no. He was mistaken in suggesting that there were at least ten righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah. But he was certainly right in saying that God would never “sweep away the righteous with the wicked.” When God later destroyed those wicked cities, righteous Lot and his two daughters escaped with angelic help.​—2 Peter 2:7-9.

What does this account teach us about Jehovah? By informing Abraham of His intention to inspect the cities, Jehovah had, in effect, invited the dialogue. Then he listened patiently as his friend Abraham expressed the concerns of his heart. (Isaiah 41:8) How beautifully this teaches us that Jehovah is a humble God, who dignifies and honors his earthly servants! Clearly, we have every reason to place our complete trust in Jehovah, the Judge who always does what is right.

[Footnote]

^ par. 1 On that occasion, Jehovah was personally represented by an angel who spoke for Him. For another example, see Genesis 16:7-11, 13.

[Picture on page 24]

Abraham implored Jehovah regarding Sodom and Gomorrah