It was a city against which the outcry was very great, filled with wicked men and rampant immorality. Here are snipits from their headlines:
- unbridled lusts
- despise authority
- bold & willful blasphmers
- eyes only of adultry
- enticing others
- greedy hearts
- very great sin
- forsaking the right way
- loving gain from wrongdoing
- loud, boastful, foolishness
- enticed by sensual passions of the flesh
- promise freedom, but are slaves
- Ezk.16:49; 2 Pet. 2:4-10; Gen. 18:20 TPT
A resident of the city described his living there as, “living among them, day after day, distressed my soul by all the rebellious deeds I saw and heard.” 2 Peter 2:8 TPT
The reports of the evil within this city were so outrageous, that God said, “I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me.” Gen. 18:21 TPT
THIS is the city, that Abraham found himself negotiating with God for. Abe’s nephew, Lot, was living in this city and it is his quote that we mentioned earlier. The city was worse than the armpit of the Middle East, it was a swirling cesspool of licentiousness, perverted sexual behaviors, pride and rebellion.
Lot had chosen to live there (which is another story altogether) and now God had sent angels to rescue him because God was going to send judgement on the city.
So, in the prayerful negotiating for the saving of the city of Sodom and rescuing Lot, Abraham asked God, “Will you destroy the wicked with the righteous? If there are 50 righteous in the city, will you spare the city?” To which God responded, “If I find 50 righteous, I will spare the whole city for their sake.” Gen. 18:25-26 TPT
Abe continued negotiating, how ’bout if there are 45? 40? 30? 20? 10? Each time, God answered, ” I will spare the city.” Gen. 18:27-33 TPT
Here was a vile, wicked city that practiced group rape in the city square on unsheltered visitors, and God promised if there were just a handful of righteous people in the city, He would spare the entire city.
I have recently found myself wondering how many righteous God would find in America. Would He find enough righteous people in America that He would, “Spare the whole country for their sake?” My prayer has been, “Lord, are there enough in America? Raise up the rightoeus. I wanna be one of the righteous.”
In matter of fact, regarding Sodom, He did NOT find enough righteous in the city. All He found were Lot, his wife and their two daughters. That’s 4!!! In a city of between 3,000 and 1,000 citizens, ONLY 4 were righteous! And God sent 2 angels to them to get them out. Even then, Lot’s wife didn’t make it out alive, so there were only 3 who survived when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire and brimstone.
The entire city was completely destroyed and leveled because there were not enough righteous people in it. Please, stop for a moment and think that through. Had there been only 10, the city would have been spared. Imagine that.
Consider yet another city, if you will.
This next city, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, was one of the greatest cities of ancient times. During the seventh century it occupied and controlled the Eastern shores of the Mediterrean Sea. It was a thorn in Israel’s side for generations and finally in 733 and 721, it fully conquered and took captives from both the Northern and Southern kingdoms of Israel.
The Assyrians were feared for their army. They were a warrior society and fighting was their skill. They were cruel, ruthless warriors. They were the first to use iron weapons and siege equipment to dominate their enemies. Their army was a standing army, meaning that they were professional soldiers whose only duty was to fight.
They were brutal with their chariots, swords, spears, bows and arrows, slings and daggers. But they also used armor, battering rams, siege towers and went not just over walls and towers but they also would tunnel under city walls for surprise attacks. They were the world’s first true master’s of war.
Their primary belief was “warfare is the process of ordering the universe.” So order the universe, they would.
The capital city of the Assyrian Empire, was Nineveh.
Now imagine this –
“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah… saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”Jonah 1:1-2 TPT
What would you do?
These masters of war, cruel and ruthless people are the ones God wants you to confront. He wants you to call out to them… call them to repent. Change their ways, Turn to God. Stop their cruelty. THAT great city is the one He tells you to go to. In a word, Jonah said, “NOPE”. He called for an Uber, taking him as far as he could go in the opposite direction of Nineveh, and went all the way to the Tarshish seaboard.
To make a short story, even shorter, Jonah eventually did go to that evil and intimidating city of Nineveh and told them that they had 40 days before their city would be overthrown. And look at their response –
“And the people of the Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. And word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose and removed his robe and covered himself with sackcloth and ashes. And he issued a proclamation…Let neither man nor beast taste anything or drink water… and let them call out to the mighty God…let everyone turn from their evil way. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”Jonah 3:5-9 TPT
Do you think that God found 10 righteous in the city of Nineveh? 20? 30? 40? 45? 50? How did God respond?
“When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said that he would do to them, and he did not do it.”Jonah 3:10 TPT
Because the people of Nineveh did turn to God and repent of their evil practices, their city was spared. There was a 150 year stay of judgment on Nineveh, because God found righteous people in the city that had been set for judgment and distruction.
Again my wondering goes to America as a nation. Are there enough righteous here that God would relent of our pending judgment? My city, Mission Viejo, are there enough righteous here? Am I one? Am I contributing to the blessing of my city and nation? Am I praying and negotiating for my city and nation?
God is the same, He never changes, what He did for Abe and Jonah He will do for me and my city, and my nation. And He will do the same for you, your city and your nation – as you find yourself among the righteous of the city.
What a responsibility.
Could you really be the salt that perserves your city and nation? I hope so, cuz He still says, “I will spare the city.”
Blessings to you,