GEN 18:1 | Consider the contrast between justice & mercy. It’s is everywhere.
• It’s what makes movies so engaging. We want justice for wrongdoers and mercy for the good.
• But in real life, who is the good? Who deserves mercy?
**1 And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent. 2 He lifted up his eyes
and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door
to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3 and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass
by your servant. 16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went
with them to set them on their way. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 20 Then
the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go
down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will
know.” 22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23
Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose
there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous
who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the
righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And
the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 28 “What
about forty-five? And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five.” 29 “Suppose forty?” 30 “Thirty?” 31
“Twenty?” 32 “Suppose ten are found there?”He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the
Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham.
**TITLE: DO YOU DESERVE JUSTICE OR MERCY?
• God engages Abraham in a justice & mercy lesson, “not so God will do the right thing, but so
Abraham can explore the issue of justice.”
Another theophany: a rare, visible manifestation of God to man – 3 men standing in front of him. 3 Abraham
said, “Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant.” 16 The men set out and looked down
toward Sodom. 20 The Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very
grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me.”
**We see 3 THINGS about God:
1) He has the ability to see all things at all times and draw near to anyone.
2) He has a standard for justice. He doesn’t like evil. It cries out to him. If suffering – God hears.
**22 So the men turned and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham
said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the
city. Will you sweep away the place and not spare it for fifty? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the
righteous to death with the wicked! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” The 3rd thing about God:
3) He is the Judge of all the earth. He is the Creator and the one able to condemn for wrongs.
o P 75 You are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused? From
the heavens you uttered judgment; the earth feared and was still.
o Just because we don’t see the wrath of God, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. He will judge
all evil and all sin – including yours and mine. He’s the Judge – he sets the standard.
**We see 2 THINGS about Abraham:
1) He has compassion on the people. **22 Abraham sees them turning to Sodom and he stops.
2) His compassion leads him to mediate … between God & man. Not because God doesn’t know
justice. God is the perfect Judge and ethical standard.
o Because God graciously allows Abraham – father of many – to have a learning experience
about justice. Who gets justice & who gets mercy? God allows him to plead on behalf of the
atrocious Sodomites. Every time he pleads, “will you spare them if __?” God “yes.”
Larger question this brings up: How does God judge evil AND HAVE mercy on people? Is it possible?
• Are people either good or bad? Let’s turn the question INWARD: Do you deserve justice or mercy?
o Here is the sobering truth from the story – You’re Sodom. You’ve done evil in God’s sight.
o Who’s Abraham in the story? Who pleads on your behalf for your salvation to God?
Abraham’s compassion leading him to mediate – points down his bloodline, to his heir, who will come and
do greater! Abraham’s compassion is a picture of the gospel.
• The Great Mediator of God & man, born to be a father of a new nation does a mediating that saves
God involves Abraham in a justice/mercy dialogue, to show he is Judge of all, able to extend justice/mercy.
HEB 7:24 Christ is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always
lives to make intercession for them. Christ came to save those far off.
• He’s the Permanent-Compassionate-Mediator, interceding for broken/evil sinners! It’s who he is!
He came NOT for those who were well, but those needing a physician!
So, BAD news! You’re the Sodomites – you deserve justice. Permanently! Eternal separation from a
perfect and holy God whom you’ve sinned against!
But GOOD news! Christ stepped in your place and took your judgement for you – on the CROSS.
• And he ROSE to eternal life to seal your eternal fate with him forever. WHAT JOY!
• The cross is the most DYNAMIC & TRANSFORMATIVE event in history. The place God judges you
rightly for your sin and the place his compassion and love forgive you and make you whole/new!
ROM 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and let us
rejoice in hope of the glory of God. – Stone, you’re forgiven of your sin through Christ!
• Stone, worship the Just God who saved you! Who put your sins on his back and gave mercy!
For more sermons please visit our SERMON PAGE
Please subscribe to our YOUTUBE PAGE