Sermon: “The Judge of All the Earth” Genesis 18:16–33)
We struggle to trust God. Sometimes, we grow bitter that God does not take away some kind of suffering in our lives. Other times, even when the circumstances of our lives go fairly well, we grow suspicious that God may be keeping us from something even better. Or, we come across someone else’s story of sorrow and injustice, and we wonder whether God may be setting us up for a similar downfall. At every turn, the indwelling sin of our hearts causes us to look upon God with distrust. This is not new, of course. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, only rebelled against their Creator after the serpent slanderously questioned God’s goodness toward them: “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1). All human beings descended from Adam and Eve have inherited their original suspicion that we have a truer sense of justice than God does.
Is this true? Should we trust God at all? How well do we actually know him? How well can we actually know him? If God has no accountability beyond himself, how do we know that he will not abuse his power and authority? In fact, we find part of the answer to these questions in Genesis 18:16–33, where God reveals that he has an “open book” policy, similar to the “open door” policy implemented in some organizations. In companies with an open door policy, anyone from any part of the company the right has the right to meet with top leadership to ask any hard, critical questions they may have. To an even greater degree, God graciously gives us his word to open up the thoughts, motivations, and desires behind his actions. Then, he invites us to ask hard questions that probe his goodness and justice. God does not owe us an explanation for his actions, but he has nothing to hide. More than that, he wants to draw us closer to himself in trust by personally addressing the questions we may have. Remarkably, God is transcendent, but he also strives for transparency: God reveals his righteous character by word and prayer.