23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? 25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? 26 And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
The Lord had just brought Abraham into His plans, informing Him that Sodom and Gomorrah would soon be destroyed, and Abraham took the opportunity to speak up for any righteous people that might live in that city. Perhaps Abraham’s thoughts were specifically with his nephew Lot, who had gone to dwell in that land.
I examined these same verses back in March, and what stood out to me was how Abraham’s chief concern was not that the guilty might escape their just punishment, but that the innocent might be unjustly condemned. His perspective is focused on the good in the world and trying to save it, rather than on destroying the evil.
Of course God knows better than Abraham the state of the city and what He will find there, but He still takes Abraham’s concern seriously. In this way He shows care for His son’s heart. And even though the outcome will still be the same, He is willing to do what He can to ease Abraham’s mind on the matter.