Jesus Tells of Abraham Pleading for
Sodom and Gomorrah
“Tell us a story, Jesus,” said James the Less eagerly. “C’mon, tell!”
“What story?” Brick asked of James the Less.
“A story from the Torah,” replied Nathanael. “Jesus has a perfect memory for Scripture. He hears it once, and he remembers it perfectly. C’mon, tell about Abraham, Jesus.”
“You know all about Abraham,” said Jesus, “you tell it.”
“No, you tell,,” cajoled James. “C’mon, tell it.”
“Well, let’s see. The Almighty decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their great wickedness. In fact, if God was in the business of destroying the wicked, there would be very few people left and He would be booked for weeks in advance. But Abraham said to God, “Far be it from You to destroy the righteous along with the wicked, because You are a merciful and just God.
“Oh, yeah,” said God. “What are you selling?”
“What if there are 50 righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, would you still destroy it?” queried Abraham.
“No,” said God, “I will forbear to deconstruct.” This last He pronounced with a lofty air and laid his right hand across his breast, lifting his eyes heavenward as if to pledge his honor.
“What did You say?” asked Abraham.
“Forbear to deconstruct,” said God, enunciating this time very carefully and rolling his Rs.
“Forbear to deconstruct?” repeated Abraham wonderingly. “You are indeed an enigmatic God! But, now that I have been so bold as to speak, I will continue and say, what if there are only forty five righteous men? Would you still ‘deconstruct’ those towns?
“Maybe,” said God, “but cut to the chase. Where’s this going? What’s your bottom line?”
“What if there are ten righteous men in Sodom and Gomorrah? Would you ‘deconstruct’ the righteous along with the wicked? Say it ain’t so,” pleaded Abraham.
“It’s very wicked there. I doubt that you could find 10 righteous men,” said God.
“You’re not going to flood the place again, are You?” asked Abraham.
“No, floodwater isn’t the sort of PDW that I was hoping it might prove to be,” said God.
“What’s a PDW?” asked Abraham suspiciously.
“Pinpointedly Discriminating Weapon,” replied God, and then He stated flatly, “Collateral damage, don’t you know. But,” said the Almighty with a raised forefinger, “I’ve got an A of D weapon in Research and Development right now that hopefully resolves the issue in an acceptable manner. And did I mention all the mopping up that had to be done after the Deluge? My God, what a mess that was!”
“I’m lost again,” said Abraham, shaking his head. “What’s an A of D?”
“Angel of Death! Don’t you keep up with current trends in weaponry?” asked God. “We’re talking real precision here!”
“Ah, no, but, OK,” said Abraham. “I almost hate to ask, but how, then, are You going to do it?” asked Abraham.
“I’m experimenting with various ‘media’ and this time I’m going to employ H & B from an HBP,” said God, hoping to sound professional.
“What’s H & B from an HBP, or whatever?” asked Abraham.
“Hellfire & Brimstone! And Heaven Based Platform!” cried God impatiently. “Do I have to tell you everything?”
“Hellstone and brimfire!! Heaven Placed Batform!!!” cried James the Less overeagerly, for this was his favorite part of the story and he made explosion noises with accompanying hand motions.
“Do you want to tell it?” asked Jesus, raising his right eyebrow a bit.
“No, you go! Tell it!” cried James, totally oblivious to the annoyance of the Rabbi.
“Well,” said Jesus, slipping back into the character of Abraham, “where was I? Hellstone and brimfire, I mean, hellfire and brimstone,” said Jesus, correcting himself and emphasizing the correct combination of words. And he continued this way.
“Hellfire and brimstone? Where are you going to get those” asked Abraham, suspicion and doubt creeping into his tone.
“Don’t you worry about that. There are huge stockpiles of the stuff and its expiration date is drawing nigh. Use it or lose it,” admonished God.
“Hellfire and brimstone? That stuff’s wicked awful. Why do You have it?” asked Abraham.
“Never you mind that. I have a 2nd Amendment right, you know,” said God.
“Yes, but You haven’t answered my questions. Where will you get hellfire and brimstone and why do you have it, anyway?
“Satan. He owes me,” said God a touch defensively. “What? You don’t think I keep hellfire and brimstone in Heaven, do you? Environmental Impact Statements, Hazardous Materials Handling Training & Licensure, security clearance, background checks, Personal Reliability Program, etc, etc. It’s just too much paperwork.”
“I’m sure I don’t know about any of that,” said Abraham a little sarcastically.
“And that’s why you’re not God,” retorted God peevishly.
“I hate it when You do that!” cried Abraham.
“What?” asked God, wary of walking into a verbal minefield.
“You pull rank to get out of answering questions,” said Abraham. “If we are to have any future dealings, I’m going to want them in writing. And in plain language, no small print.”
“In writing?” asked God incredulously. “No small print? Don’t you trust me?”
“Should I?” asked Abraham.
“Shouldn’t you?” asked God, reversing the proposition.
“Look,” said Abraham, “trust is a two-way street and the days when a man’s handshake sealed a bargain are gone. Any future agreements between us will need to be in writing. Besides, when I tell people that I talk with you, I get funny looks.”
“Perhaps that’s not such a bad idea. Hmm… in writing. I’ll take your suggestion under advisement,” said God, already scheming as to how He could turn the whole covenant business, currently in the conceptual phase, into a Win-Win proposition. God lapsed into silence, so busy was His Mind racing ahead with visions of a vast array of possibilities.
Finally, Abraham broke the silence by clearing his throat, “Ahem. Trust, contractual agreements. In writing?”
Thus interrupted, God returned to the present moment, regarded Abraham absently and said, “Ah, I’ll get back to you on this stuff. Gotta go. TTFN.” And the Almighty vanished in a wisp of smoke (He had been working on entrances and exits and their various effects.) leaving Abraham in mid-sentence, “OK. Good… bye.”
And Abraham was left to wonder if the Almighty was one who could be trusted to keep His Word. And he determined to get future agreements…”
“Written in stone!!” cried James the Less with gusto and before he subsided, he repeated to himself for good measure, “written in stone.”
“So,” said Jesus, concluding his recitation, “so, as you can see, trusting God for everything isn’t always so easy, as our Father Abraham found out. And of course that is the seminal thought from which was born what came to be known as the 10 Commandments, which, as we all know, was…”
“Written in stone!” cried James the Less.
“Written in stone,” affirmed the Rabbi.
And James turned to Brick and said, “That’s what I like about the Rabbi. He puts things in a way that the average guy can understand.”