Genesis 18:16-33

 |  April 9, 2018

Gen. 18:16-33

  1. Locate the passage

This pericope continues the encounter between Abraham and the “three men.” Having emphasized God’s Covenant Promise to Abraham, now the attention of the men moves to Sodom and Gomorrah.

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative. It begins with a between the Lord and the other two messengers.

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

Gen. 18:16-22 – The Lord’s explanation of why judgment is about to happen for Sodom and why Abraham should be included in the conversation

Gen. 18:23-33 – The “negotiation” between the Lord and Abraham regarding how many people are necessary in the city for the Lord to spare their judgment.

  1. Exegete the passage

18:16 – The men arose and “looked”

18:17 – Shall I hide

18:18 – God’s Promise to Abraham is certain. He will surely become a great nation. The Hb. Infinitive Absolute intensifies the verb “he will become.”

18:19 – I have known him

18:20-21 – The outcry … is great

18:21 – I will go down

18:22 – Abraham stood before the Lord

18:23 – No description is made of the Lord’s explanation to Abraham of His previous  conversation with the other “men” regarding why Sodom and Gomorrah will be  judged. Abraham recognizes the moral quandary of the “innocent” suffering for the sins of the guilty. The irony of this is that this moral indignation seems to be  missing from Abraham’s thought process in regards to the innocence of his wife  (Gen. 12:10-20 and 20:1-18).

18:24-32 – Abraham courageously “negotiates” with the Lord and intercedes for the innocent people in Sodom and Gomorrah. The fact that judgment takes place   suggests that not even 10 innocent people could be found.

18:33 – The Lord “sent His way”

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

Exp. The passage emphasizes the role of a servant (intercessor) and the righteous judgment of the Lord.


  1. Sodom and Gomorrah are a picture of the world
  2. Abraham is a picture of the mission of the church in the world

Category: Sermon Structure
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