Yahweh said, “Will I hide from Abraham what I do, since Abraham has surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him? For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Yahweh may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him.” Yahweh said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know.”
God had come to investigate the bad situation in Sodom and Gomorrah. We know that God already knew the situation in those cities because God is all knowing and all powerful, however, God acted in this way to benefit us. God knew that Abraham was to have a great influence on future generations of those who would believe in God and He wanted Abraham to have a correct understanding of what God was doing to Sodom and Gomorrah. God is not a mean God who wants to destroy people and we are all about to learn more about this fact because of what God did for Abraham here. We can see that God thinks it’s important that we understand what He’s really like.
This passage also says something about what happens to a person that God knows. God says concerning Abraham that He has “known him, to the end that… his children and his household… may keep the way of Yahweh.” In other words, God was “knowing” Abraham in such a way that Abraham would end up where He wanted Him to end up. Mankind doesn’t know things in that way. We can’t make things happen through our knowledge, but God can make the future with His. We don’t understand this because we are not God, but it is still true that God was the one responsible for making Abraham and His children good.
That’s why Christians are good too. It’s not because we were good that God chose us. It is because God chose us that we are good. That’s the way it was with Abraham and that’s still the way it is with us today. We could not come to God on our own because we were too sinful to even realize that we were sinful. God is the one who told us about who we are and who He is so that we could realize that He provided a way for us to be saved.
Like Abraham, it’s important that we know God as correctly as we can. That’s another good reason to study the Bible.