Desert dwellers know what “heat of the day” means. It’s the time of day when nobody wants to be outside. It’s the time of day when you hide from the outdoors and retreat into the cooler indoors. Or you jump into cold water to cool off.
Call me fastidious, but I find it interesting that the Lord visited Abraham during the hottest part of the day. Why not choosing the cooler morning hours for a visit? I like to think that if the Lord won’t avoid the heat of a day, He’ll less likely avoid us as we go through the heat of temptation. As long as we’re human we’re exposed to it. And asking the Lord for His intervention, we can expect help coming from not just One or Two, but Three. When the Lord came to see Abraham, three visitors arrived; the Trinity stopped by for a visit!
The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were one of the reasons why the Lord stopped by. He came to find out how corrupted they really were and what course of action to take. God decided to involve Abraham in the process. Here is a snippet of the conversation unfolding between the Lord and Abraham (Genesis 18:16+22-26):
Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? (…) Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham certainly had God’s ear, and I believe that’s very good news for us. Have you ever wondered whether our prayers matter? You bet! God wants to hear what His children have to say.
One of His hallmark features, proclaimed throughout the ages, is God being One. Jews pray and proclaim God’s Oneness in the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9):
Sh’ma Yisra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.
What a beautiful testimony to pray and proclaim!
There is a special feature to God’s Oneness, and that’s His being Three in One. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, differ from one another, and yet they are still a unit. God is diverse and He is One. Don’t we often seem to have a problem with diversity or see fault in it? In totalitarian systems for example oneness is thought to be accomplished by achieving (or by trying to achieve) conformity. Everybody has to think the same, dress the same, act the same. However, that’s definitely not the case in God’s Kingdom. God’s Oneness is based on love and respect, and that’s the kind of respect and love God would like us to adopt.
Not only is “Oneness in Diversity” possible, it’s a mantra in Heaven with God Almighty being the prime example. “Hear o world, the Lord our God is One.” Wouldn’t it be great to make this our international prayer? It would have an effect on how we approach otherness in the people around us, wouldn’t it?