Genesis 18 records an interesting conversation between God and Abraham. God is about to destroy the City of Sodom due to its wickedness and Abraham pleads with Him not to destroy the city for the sake of the righteous who live there.
“Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?" he asks God, "What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?" God answers that He would spare the city for fifty righteous.
Abraham continues to haggle with God beseeching Him not to destroy the city for the sake of 45, then 40, then 30, then 20, then 10.
Genesis 18:32-33 marks the turning point in this conversation. - Then Abraham said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” The Lord answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home. And then the city was destroyed.
Why did the Lord stop at 10 while he had been so accommodating to His friend Abraham's repeated entreaties on behalf of Sodom? We do know that Sodom had at least one righteous family, that of Abraham's nephew, Lot. Would not the Lord have spared the city for their sake? I think He would. But the Lord stopped at 10 because that is where Abraham stopped. And because Abraham stopped, the city was destroyed.
Our city, our country and our society are where they are today because that is where you and I have stopped. People are dying of curable diseases as money earmarked for healthcare is diverted into politicians private pockets because we stopped; young people are being destroyed by drugs in our neighbourhoods because we stopped; our sisters are raped in the streets and our children are molested in the homes because we stopped; corruption is eroding the very fabric that covers our moral nakedness and tribalism is destroying the nationhood we have painstakingly build for half a century because we stopped.
We stopped pleading with God on behalf of our city, our country and our society. And just as we do not know the exact reason why Abraham stopped at 10, we are also not always very clear why we have chosen to stop where we have stopped.
Perhaps we just got tired of interceding on behalf of an ungrateful people and a thankless nation. Perhaps we stopped because we ourselves felt safe in our gated compounds and our air-conditioned offices far from the cluttered chaos and sinful smells of Sodom; Perhaps we stopped because our private health insurance, our private security guards, our access to private groups of schools for our children and the easy reach we have to a host of other services that our money can buy have shielded us from the decay and immunized us against the daily suffering that surrounds us. And perhaps we have stopped because our faith in God has ceased to be as strong as it once was and instead of looking up to Him as the God of the impossible that we first met, we now superimpose our own limitations upon Him and dare not trust Him to save the city even for the sake of one.
And so our city, our country and our society face imminent destruction on our watch.
But it is not too late to humble ourselves on behalf of our brethren and dare to ask Him who is all knowing and all merciful: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?"
But we must not stop at asking. We must then rise up and be the answer to the question we ask. We must become God's hands and feet in rebuilding the land of our birth and the place of our habitation so that our homeland of Kenya may once again become a heritage of splendor and the glory of Kenya, the fruit our our labour, may once again fill every heart with thanksgiving.