After the Lord visits Abraham with two angels in chapter 18 of Genesis, He tells him that they intend to go down to Sodom and Gomorrah to evaluate the situation there. Apparently things were pretty bad, because the unspoken understanding was that those cities were about to be destroyed for their wickedness. In what appears to be an epic display of haggling on Abraham’s part, the Lord agrees to spare the whole place if only ten righteous people can be found. Incidentally, nephew Lot was still residing there with his family at the time.

There’s a lot going on here. A lot of speculation could arise from this chapter and the one following. But let’s focus on one thing for now:

Obviously this interaction didn’t have to take place. God did not need to take the form of a man, be accompanied by two others, eat food, reemphasize promises, or reveal His intentions to anyone. He didn’t need to visit Sodom and Gomorrah to know what was going on there, and He didn’t need Abraham to convince Him not to wipe them all out. So why did He do it?

Maybe He was giving Abraham the opportunity to intercede. We see this action repeated throughout the Bible. Moses advocated for the Israelites. David spared Saul. Daniel prayed for his pagan captors. Jesus pleaded for those who were crucifying Him.

There is something about sticking out our neck for someone else, especially if they don’t “deserve” it. Jesus did it for us, and what’s more, He still does it as He acts as our intercessor to the Father.