What is the church? And what can we continue to liken it to in Genesis 18?
"Then Yahweh said, “Shall I conceal from Abraham what I am going to do? Abraham will surely become a great and strong nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed on account of him. For I have chosen him..."
Yahweh God reveals himself to his chosen. He opens his mind and his heart to his children. And not just so they can obey with blind faith, but so they can hear and think and respond! Abraham responds to God's plans and not necessarily in the affirmative! He pleads for mercy on what he must know to be wicked towns for even he is not sure there are fifty, forty, thirty, or even twenty righteous people there deserving of being spared God's just wrath, but he argues him down to ten. Of which four are his own flesh and blood.
And God is pleased to walk with Abraham alone and speak with him like this! God, who knows what He's going to find in Sodom and Gomorrah and Zeboiim and Admah. God is not argued into changing His mind. He is delighting in the compassion He sees in His child! The maturity. As any parent who has had one of their first "adult" conversations with their son or daughter does. It could be about anything, from life itself to their favorite band but it gives us joy to hear not just their opinions but the way they present them, the consideration and budding wisdom in them, the heart behind them being conformed into the heart of our savior, Jesus Christ.
The church are those in whom God delights.
"When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
When I called them, they went from my face.
They sacrificed to the Baals, and they sacrificed to idols.
And I myself taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them in my arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
I drew them with human ties,
with the bands of love." Hosea 11