And the men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.…
The whole wonderful scene springs out of the theophany. Abraham's faith has given him a special position with the Lord. "Shall I hide from Abraham that thug which I do?" &c. The true priesthood and mediatorship is friendship with God. The grace of God first gives the likeness and then exalts it. The Lord knew Abraham because Abraham knew the Lord. The superior angel, the Lord, remains behind his companions that Abraham might have the opportunity of intercession; so the Lord lingers in his providence that he may reveal his righteousness and mercy. As to the pleading of the patriarch and the answers of the Lord to it, we may take it -
I. As it bears on the CHARACTER OF GOD.
1. He is open to entreaty.
2. He is unwilling to destroy.
3. He spares for the sake of righteousness.
4. He "does right" as "Judge of the earth," even though to the eyes of the best men there is awful mystery in his doings.
II. As it reveals the CHARACTERISTICS OF PATRIARCHAL PIETY.
1. It was bold with the boldness of simplicity and faith.
2. It was full of true humanity while deeply reverential towards God. Abraham was no fanatic.
3. It waited for and humbly accepted Divine judgments and appointments not without reason, not without the exercise of thought and feeling, but all the more so as it prayed and talked with God.
4. The one living principle of the patriarchal religion was that entire confidence in God's righteousness and love, in separating the wicked and the good, in both his judgments and his mercy, which is the essence of Christianity as well. "The right which the Judge of all the earth will do is not the right of mere blind law, or rough human administration of law, but the right of him who discerneth between the evil and the good, too wise to err, too good to be unkind." - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.