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God , Abraham and "If"


Duncan

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I don't have my OT handy but Abraham seems to bargain with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah and the text says that God uses the word "if" as in if there are 50 righteous people I will save the city and the text continues that Abraham says well what about 45 and so on and so forth. My question is wouldn't God know how many righteous people there are in these cities?

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My question is wouldn't God know how many righteous people there are in these cities?

Of course. A good lawyer or (debater) always knows the answer to every question before he asks it. Agency being in operation, Abraham will have to find out for himself.

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I don't have my OT handy but Abraham seems to bargain with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah and the text says that God uses the word "if" as in if there are 50 righteous people I will save the city and the text continues that Abraham says well what about 45 and so on and so forth. My question is wouldn't God know how many righteous people there are in these cities?

This is a teaching, testing and strengthening exercise for Abraham and for those who read about it.

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One of the most important things to bear in mind when reading any literature is what we the reader know and what each of the characters know.

God knows how many righteous there are, Abraham doesn't. Having Abraham know or God reveal to Abraham the number would spoil character developement as well as the lesson to be drawn from this episode.

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If you're going to question whether God knows everything, why start with Abraham? You can go much farther back then that:

"And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?"

Did Adam really successfully hide from God?

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"At all" literally, I would say.

It asks us to believe that they couldn't even find ten babies and toddlers that could be called "righteous." Too bad. Burn them up!

"Innocent" and "righteous" are not the same thing.

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Part of the point of the story is a discussion on justice and on mercy. If God kills the righteous with the wicked can he really be just? If God spares the wicked for the righteous can he really be just? Where does mercy come into play?

In the end, there are no righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot isn't saved because he is particularly righteous, but because he becomes the object lesson for Abraham.

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