In which humans take the moral high ground

Genesis 18

Abraham is relaxing on a hot day, when God comes by with 2 others (angels?). Abraham stops them and offers rest, food, water, and to wash their feet, not yet recognizing who these three men are. Everything is prepped and Abraham waits on the trio. They ask about Sarah, and say that in a year, one of them will return, and she will have a son. Sarah laughs and questions this, as both she and Abraham are well old, but God asks her if there is really anything too amazing for him to do. The three men then set off for Sodom, which God says he is about to destroy.

When Abraham hears that God wants to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham intercedes:

Far be it from you to do such a thing to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike! Far be it from you! Should not the judge of all the world do what is just? (Genesis 18:25)

Abraham talks God into promising to save the towns if he could find 10 good, righteous people. This is after talking him down from 50 righteous men.

In the beginning of this story we are treated to a nice little scene that shows the difference between men and women, and serves to reinforce the superiority of men. While Abraham serves God, washes his feet, and waits on him and the angels, Sarah obeys Abraham in prepping food, and then lies to God about not taking him seriously.

The second half of this story marks what I see as a major turning point for humanity. Abraham has come to a moral decision without God, and then convinced God of how he should be behaving. Unfortunately Abraham does not come to the logical conclusion of his argument, that not one righteous man should be prosecuted with the wicked. This is one of the best pieces I have come across yet, and is directly applicable to the modern day. Should we not have this system if there is the potential for an innocent man to be executed? Unfortunately this has happened numerous times.

Lessons I learned:

  • The death penalty is not just if there is potential for an innocent man to be killed.
  • Man can display the moral high ground over God.

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