What does Abraham have to do with America? might be the question. No, not Abraham Lincoln, but Abraham, the progenitor of the Jewish race—one of the great, Old Testament fathers of faith in the One, True, Living God.
Thousands of years separate the United States of America from the time of Israel’s founding father, yet the linkage couldn’t be more apparent. Let’s explore what I mean.
We’ve examined the matter in various ways in our time together in these commentaries. Yet I sense it’s now most necessary to look more deeply into the connection. I believe the commonality of Abraham’s time to ours is undeniable.
Sodom’s Lot and Us
The comparison of Lot’s time in Sodom to us (believers) and our time in the present-day USA is astounding, really, in my view.
Sodom and Gomorrah were perhaps among the most highly successful commercial centers of the world at the time when Lot served in the gates of Sodom. He was apparently a city official—a judge—who rendered verdicts of various sorts in contested matters among the citizenry. It seems that just beneath the civility and smoothly operating society and culture of the time, however, there beat the heart of wickedness that emerged into violence and debauchery once the sun set each day.
We can only imagine what level of depravity could cause God, Himself, to come to earth and get a firsthand look at things going on.
Now, we know the Lord—the Creator of all that is—knew exactly what was going on in Sodom and Gomorrah. But He came, we can be almost certain, specifically so that there would be a record of the visit. I believe part of the reason for the visit was so you and I could consider the record of it these thousands of years later.
The chief sin of those cities—Sodom in particular—almost with a doubt, according to the scriptural record, was sexual activity of the most egregious nature.
God the Son, in a theophany appearance to Abraham, addressed the matter of Sodom and Gomorrah:
And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. (Genesis 18: 20–21)
Particularly, sensual evil of every kind had progressed to sexual perversion of every sort. We know that the Apostle Paul reflected on the perverse nature of the activity thousands of years later:
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. (Romans 1: 26–27)
Abraham, Lot’s uncle—when he finally figured out that he was in the presence of God, Himself—was terribly worried about what the Lord was about to do. Abraham, no doubt, knew about the evil going on in those heathen cities. He must have known that the Lord already knew all about it, too.
Abraham carefully and reverently approached the Lord, asking if He would spare the cities if the Lord could find first fifty righteous there, then thirty, then twenty, then ten.
The Lord said “yes” in every case. Abraham then must have concluded that his nephew and family were the only ones who were considered righteous in God’s holy eyes.
We don’t know what the population of those towns was, but the percentage of “righteous” within the total population must have been infinitesimally small. There just weren’t enough people who believed in God’s way to prevent destruction of the whole area.
In considering America and the degree of the wicked and perverse society and culture our nation has devolved into, here’s an interesting question that is relevant. We’ve heard it asked before:
“Might the Lord relent on our own nation’s well-deserved judgment and perhaps destruction if enough “righteous” (true believers in Christ) inhabit our land?”
We remember the quote attributed to Ruth Bell Graham, evangelist Billy Graham’s wife: “If God doesn’t judge America [for all the wickedness Mrs. Graham saw] He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
The Lord didn’t get angry at Abraham when He rather meekly sought God’s agreement to relent from His decision to destroy those depraved people. Surely there are more “righteous” in America, percentage-wise, than there were in Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot’s day.
On the other hand, in some ways, America, the most God-blessed nation in human history, materially speaking, and one of the most blessed, spiritually, has exceeded any other civilization in wickedness. Considering the slaughter of millions upon millions of the unborn—and the murder of babies even after birth—as well as the twisting of God’s natural order through LGBTQ and other perversion-engendered venues, can the Righteous Lord of Heaven even entertain our prayerfully issued question as He did Abraham’s?
Or is it time for Him, like in Lot’s day, to remove the righteous like He did in that troubled time of antiquity?
Perhaps, thinking on all the things we see developing, we are about to find out.