I have a question about Psalm 33 and Genesis 18. In Psalm 33 it states that God sees all of mankind from Heaven. He is able to view and know every man and woman’s thoughts, feelings, etc. There are a number of other places that say as much as well, this is just the one I remembered the book and chapter for. But in Genesis 18:20-21 He says that He is going down to look at Sodom and Gomorrah to see if the sin and wickedness are as bad as the outcry that has reached Him. My question is, why? Why would He need to go and see in person when He can see from Heaven?
You’re right. God knows and sees everything, so there has to be another reason for His visit. While He used the situation in Sodom and Gomorrah to explain His sudden appearance on the road by Abraham’s home, several important things happened while He was there. First there was the promise of a son for Abraham and Sarah. Then there was the institution of the fellowship meal, a tradition that continues in the Middle East to this day. And finally there was the fact that for the sake of the righteous, God will withhold judgment of the wicked.
All three of these are important to us today. Isaac was called the child of the promise, who was supernaturally born, and later became a model of the Lord’s sacrifice for us (Genesis 22). Jesus used the tradition of the fellowship meal to explain that the Church consists of sinners who are saved by Grace, not because of their meritorious behavior (Matt. 13:33). And in removing Lot from Sodom before destroying it, God created a model of the Rapture of the Church, which has to be removed from the time and place of judgment ahead of time (Luke 17:28-29).