What Can Ten Righteous People Do?

What Can Ten Righteous People Do?

The Bible includes the account of Abraham discussing the future of Sodom with God. Abraham is torn, he knows the city is corrupt and warrants punishment, but he also carries concern for his nephew Lot who lives there.

In a series of bold moves, Abraham asks God if he’ll spare the town because of the righteous people who live there, each time wondering if a smaller and smaller number is sufficient. Finally Abraham gets down to ten—and God agrees. If only ten godly live in Sodom, he’ll spare the city because of those ten.

How encouraging, a minority of good people allowing a majority of bad people to be spared. We may find ourselves in a minority situation, but what if we’re one of ten righteous people implicitly protecting everyone around us?

Being a righteous minority for God can make a difference.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Genesis 18-20, and today’s post is on Genesis 18:32.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

3 Comments

  • Linda Vogt Turner Posted January 7, 2020 1:41 pm

    This is an interesting story. As the story unfolds, the question of who is righteous or what is righteousness is the catalyst for a very heated debate or discussion. This question can destroy whole families and whole cities.

    • Peter DeHaan Posted January 7, 2020 2:18 pm

      Linda, you make a great observation about who is righteous or what is righteousness. In this case, I think God is making the determination, so our opinions don’t really matter.

      • Linda Vogt Turner Posted January 7, 2020 6:25 pm

        Where is God’s Wisdom in this Story? God is making a determination in this story for sure. God is letting us observe what happens when sin gets in the way of our relationships. Does the knowledge of Good and Evil preserve or destroy our relationship with each other, our neighbour our Creator and Creation?

        How could the city of Sodom have benefited from God’s Wisdom? How could both the majority and the minority have made peace? Is peace possible when the minority stirs up trouble and then stealthily leaves the town and the people they have grown to love in total disarray or worse yet totally destroyed?

        I love the movie The Sound of Music. It tells the story of a family escaping the fate of the Nazi Occupation of Austria. They were a small wealthy family. Others were not so blessed. They didn’t escape and many were blinded by their own religious bias and couldn’t escape the war or the destruction it brought to the country and the people they loved.

        What can we determine from Scripture and our own history? Many Germans thought the Jews were unrighteous because they had not accepted Christ? Where was God in that war? Many LGBTQ+ people were also rounded up and put in concentration camps and have been persecuted before and after the WAR for failing to live “righteous” lives. Even in recent times, the threat of AIDS was viewed as God’s determination and God’s punishment for sodomy.

        Christians are called to be Salt and Light (Matthew 5:13-14). We are called to sustain and preserve God’s human family and Creaton. We are to show love where there is hatred and truth where there is falsehood. There is no turning back, once destruction is on its way. And then, Peter I agree. All we can do is pray and let God determine and select a small remnant to begin again.

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