One bad appple can ruin a barrel, but ten good men can save a town.

Monday, 6/27/11

In the First Reading God visited Abraham at the pine grove of Mamre, and he told Abraham that he had heard such terrible things about the towns of Sodom and Gomorra that he was going down to see, and if the reports proved true he would completely destroy the two towns.

Abraham had a nephew who along with his family had settled in Sodom, so he set out to persuade God to spare the sinful town. Saying that God certainly would not want to hurt good people, Abraham asked God to spare the town if he found fifty just men there. God agreed, for the sake of the fifty he would spare Sodom.

Seeing he had succeeded, Abraham began to (pardon the expression) jew God down. Would he spare the town if only forty, thirty, twenty were found? God, after agreeing to spare the town if there were ten just men quickly departed before Abraham could twist his arm any further. 

We are always hearing how a few bad people can corrupt the whole assembly, how one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel. This Bible story tells us the opposite is true: the presence of ten good souls has the power to save a corrupt mass.

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