Genesis chapter 18 is a curious passage to engage with missionally, especially around verses 16-21. In these verses the reader learns of YHWH either talking to himself, or His companions, in deep perplexing contemplation, loud enough to enable Abraham to overhear.  The narrator has placed it between God having a meal with Abraham, reiterating His covenant and Abraham’s intercession for Sodom.  How does one engage with this from a missional perspective?  Was it simply to teach further generations the punishment for sin, or warning Abraham as a patriarch of what a great nation should not to become.  Or is there a deeper understanding linking this story with earlier themes in Genesis.   Was Abraham eavesdropping or did God use it as device to stir the depths of Abrahams soul, enabling him to access a greater understanding of what it means to be ‘made in the image of God’.   Whether eavesdroppng or not, it prompted Abraham to begin a form of negotiation with the Creator of the universe, prompting Him to reconsider the total obliteration of the city.  There is little evidence in the text to say why Abraham risked the consequences of debating/questioning YHWH’s judgement apart from Lot, nevertheless, his intercession went beyond that of his family or even the righteous, it was extended to those throughout the city who did not deserve it.  Is it possible that this could be a prototype of Matthew 22:36-40 when Jesus highlights the greatest commandments, showing that its missional value firmly rooted in the foundations of love.

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