Then the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave,  I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”  So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD.  Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it?  Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”  And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”  Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.  Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”  Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.”  Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”  He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.”  Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”  And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
– Genesis 18:20-33
The Lord reveals to Abraham that He will go down to Sodom and Gomorrah to see if their wickedness is as great as He has heard. Abraham pleads with the Lord to spare the city, first on behalf of fifty righteous persons, but ultimately for the sake of ten. Abraham’s intercession is both compassionate and wrongheaded.
As the reader of Genesis soon finds, not even ten righteous people are to be found in these large cities, and God rains judgment on them. This is tragic, disappointing, and unsurprising. On the objective scale of a Holy God, “none is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God” (Romans 3:10-11).
We cannot ask that God would spare the world for the sake of ten righteous people; they will not be found. But, thankfully, we can plead that God would spare the world for the sake of His glory and for the sake of His Son. We can call on God to be who He is: gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. We can plead the precious blood of Christ, which is powerful enough to wash away sin and redeem a lost world.