As a kid, how much haggling did it take for you to get what you wanted from your parents? Tell about the time when your art or skill of persuasion went several rounds with Mom or Dad.



In this story, Abraham (the father of the Jewish nation) has just finished eating lunch with three heavenly beings—probably two angels and God. God reveals his plan to destroy two nearby cities (Sodom and Gomorrah) because they are so evil. Abraham’s nephew lives in Sodom, so we overhear Abraham bargaining with God, trying to talk God out of destroying the city. Amazingly, compared to many Old Testament stories, God is patient with Abraham’s attempt to save the city.


God’s Story

Have someone read aloud Genesis 18: 16-33. As you listen, alternately think about what was going through Abraham’s mind as God’s “secret” plan is revealed round by round. Ditto, what do you suppose was going through God’s mind as Abraham kept up his plea round by round?


Finding My Story in God’s Story

  1. In your mind, sit and sip at a table with Abraham and the three heavenly visitors. What two key phrases would you want to report in your blog after watching this interaction?
    1. _______________________________________
    2. _______________________________________


2. What would you have done when Abraham started “arguing” with God?

  1. Run for cover.
  2. Try to stop Abraham when he followed God.
  3. Interrupt and say, “He doesn’t really mean what he’s saying.”
  4. Walk alongside Abraham and cheer his bravery.
  5. Other __________.


3. It seems that much of the Old Testament is filled with an angry, violent God. What surprises you about this discussion between God (the Lord) and Abraham?

  1. Abraham didn’t immediately get “fried” by a lightning bolt.
  2. God’s desire to meet Abraham’s request, time after time.
  3. It’s possible to have a simple “back and forth” discussion with God.
  4. Abraham’s deep care for Sodom.
  5. Other __________.


4. From reading this account, what hope do you find for your future interactions with God?


5. If you talk to God, when do you find the time to do it?

  1. Only when I’m having a bad day; otherwise, I’m on cruise control.
  2. When things are going great, I say “thank you” a lot.
  3. When calamity strikes people I care about, I can’t stop praying.
  4. Almost daily, just to keep our (God’s and my) relationship strong.
  5. Other __________.


6. What might you need to do to feel more comfortable interacting with God?



Our Story

7. If you could sit down in God’s office today, what is the BIGGEST issue that you would try to talk God into doing for you?

  • As you may have to wait for God’s answer, how long can you hold out?
  • At what point does your patience meter run out and you move on to another topic, another need?


8. How can this group stand with you as you wait for an answer from God for the BIGGEST issue that you named in question #7?


9. Pray together as a group for how each of you can be patient until God comes through for the need you have.