February 5 – Day 36
Genesis 18:26-33 (CEB)
26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will save it because of them.” 27 Abraham responded, “Since I’ve already decided to speak with my Lord, even though I’m just soil and ash, 28 what if there are five fewer innocent people than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city over just five?”
The Lord said, “If I find forty-five there, I won’t destroy it.” 29 Once again Abraham spoke, “What if forty are there?” The Lord said, “For the sake of forty, I will do nothing.” 30 He said, “Don’t be angry with me, my Lord, but let me speak. What if thirty are there?” The Lord said, “I won’t do it if I find thirty there.”
31 Abraham said, “Since I’ve already decided to speak with my Lord, what if twenty are there?” The Lord said, “I won’t do it, for the sake of twenty.” 32 Abraham said, “Don’t be angry with me, my Lord, but let me speak just once more. What if there are ten?” And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it because of those ten.” 33 When the Lord finished speaking with Abraham, he left; but Abraham stayed there in that place.
Comment: “just once more”, I wonder if God was especially proud of Abraham for standing in the place of “defense” as long as he did. To stand in the presence of God and beg for mercy may have been one of the ways Abraham was a blessing to the nations (see vs. 18.)
The Gospel of John 12:1- 11(NIV)
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.[b]” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you,[c] but you will not always have me.”
9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
Psalm 24 (New American Standard)
The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.
2 For He has founded it upon the seas And established it upon the rivers.
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood And has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from the Lord And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face—even Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in!
8 Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in!
10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.
Comment: scripture put to music by Handel is gorgeous, but the fact Handel repeated the question and answer so many times helps to emphasize the point that our Lord is active and strong and we should do all we can to enter the “gates” God flings wide open for our easy access.
Prayer: “I am God’s child, deserving of love and respect, and God will use me to change the world.”