As you read the second half of Genesis 18 you sort of get a sense of impending doom. And for good reason. A raging storm was gathering quickly over the cities of the Dead Sea plain. As the perverted men of Sodom prowled the streets seeking another gang rape victim the clouds above the city were already bulging with brimstone and dripping with the liquid fires of the wrath of God. The smell of sulphur was in the air, adding to the lingering, putrid stench of unbridled sin.
Heavenly messengers in the form of men had just completed an errand of grace to an elderly couple by the name of Abraham and Sarah. Having failed to conceive a child in their youth they would nevertheless embrace a son in their old age. With the mission of mercy now completed the men arose "and looked toward Sodom." (Verse 16)
This would be a different mission to say the least, one of destruction and devastation, the likes of which had not been seen since the great flood, which swept away the ungodly and buried them in watery graves. Violent and corrupt, the people of Noah's day had continually resisted the gentle striving of the Spirit of God. Then pay-day arrived.
Likewise, the angels weren't going in to Sodom with a message that said, "Hey, men of Sodom. God loves you. He has a great plan for your life. He wants to bless you and prosper you. Just plant a seed........" The Sodomites were beyond that stage. They had continually spurned God's grace and scoffed at His mercy. There was only one thing left on the plate for them. Having refused to gulp from the cup of mercy, they would now chug from the bitter chalice of God's wrath.
Abraham sensed the gathering storm. He could hear the thunder rumbling in the distance, which is why he began to intercede on their behalf. But Abraham would not have known about the coming judgment on Sodom if God didn’t reveal it to him.
But why did God reveal it to him? Was it so he could warn the King to declare a state of emergency and embark on an immediate plan of evacuation? Apparently not. There was no time for that.
There was only one thing Abraham could do now - pray. He didn't have the technology we have today. He couldn't whip out his smart phone and fire off a quick text to his nephew Lot: "Major fire storm headed your way. Run for your life." I can only imagine Lot's response: "Fire storm? Yeah, ok, uncle Abraham, you got me, we're all running to the hills......lol."
God had His reasons for telling Abraham what he was about to do. God revealed His will to Abraham because He considered Abraham to be His friend.
He said in verse 17: “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” The verse almost seems to picture God as debating with Himself, like He’s trying to decide: “Should I tell Abraham or not?” The entire scene points to the fact that Abraham was an intimate friend of God. Both the Old and New Testaments refer to Abraham as God’s friend. In Isaiah 41:8 God Himself refers to Abraham as His friend.
Generally speaking, friends don’t hide things from each other. They share their secrets and plans. As God said, “how can I hide what I’m doing from my friend Abraham?”
Jesus told His disciples: “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15) I've had a few friends through the years, some good, some not so good. But you won't find a better a friend than Jesus.
Psalm 25:14 says: “The Lord confides in those who fear Him.” Or as some versions say: “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him.” When we live in intimate relationship with God He reveals His will and His ways to us.
In verse 19 the Lord said regarding Abraham: “For I have known him.” And because of that relationship Abraham knew more about Sodom’s future than the citizens themselves, including Lot.
If you want to know what the future holds don't look for a crystal ball. Develop an intimate relationship with God. He'll tell you everything you need to know.
Amos 3:7 says: “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” Thankfully, those prophetic servants of His were kind enough to write down their revelations and we have them in this book known as the bible.
Do you read it? Study it? Listen to it preached and taught? A more reliable source concerning future events cannot be found.