Verses that don’t say what you think they say (3)

There’s this passage:

When the men got up to leave, they looked down towards Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. Then the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.’

Then the Lord said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.’

It’s after God has promised Abraham a son from Sarah, and before Abraham’s intercession on behalf of Sodom. What’s above is what we remember. What it actually says is:

When the men got up to leave, they looked down towards Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. Then the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.

Then the Lord said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.’

So what’s missing:

‘For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.’

Why don’t we hear this? Because we have come to absorb the individualistic belief that everyone is totally responsible for their own faith, and there is no duty parents to actively direct the household to ‘keep the way of the Lord’. It’s the same attitude that has led to the rejection of infant baptism, or even ‘dedication’; instead we get ‘thanksgiving’ services. If we are seeking to be bible believing Christians – and there aren’t any others – we need to listen to what the bible says. Or we can just stop pretending and enjoy the ride down the river along with the rest of the dead fish.

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