Genesis 18:1-15

October 10, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, and said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by. “Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; and I will bring a piece of bread, that you may refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have visited your servant.” And they said, “So do, as you have said.” So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it and make bread cakes.”

Abraham also ran to the herd, and took a tender and choice calf and gave it to the servant, and he hurried to prepare it. He took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and placed it before them; and he was standing by them under the tree as they ate. Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” He said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ “Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah denied it however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

This week, we begin a look at something that has caused a lot of controversy in some circles. Chapter 18 of Genesis is the beginning of the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Before we do that, let’s recap a little.

God has come to Abram and Sarai and completely changed their lives. He has taken them from their home, set them apart with a promise of them becoming a mighty nation (even though they’re 100 and 90 respectively), has changed their names, and has now given them the sign of the covenant – circumcision. God then promised again that He would give Abraham and Sarah would have their own son, and that Isaac would be the one with whom the eternal covenant was established.

As we begin chapter 18, God again appears to Abraham. He finds him sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. As Abraham looks up, he sees three men standing before him. As soon as he sees the three men, he runs to them and bows to the earth. He instantly recognizes the Lord and makes a specific request: “if I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by”. Abraham then asks them to allow them to show them hospitality. He brings them water for their feet, and wants to bring them bread for refreshment. Abraham runs back into the tent and tells Sarah to make three bread cakes for the visitors. He then takes a calf and has it prepared. He then takes that plus curds and milk and the bread that Sarah made and placed it before the Lord and the two angels. He stood near them under the tree as they ate. While standing there, they ask him where Sarah is, and he tells them that she is in the tent.

God then tells him at the same time next year, she will have a son. Sarah, who is standing at the door of the tent, overhears this. Sarah knows that she is well past childbearing years and she physically cannot have children anymore. Because of this, she laughs at the thought that she might bring her husband a son. God, knowing that she laughed, questioned Abraham on why she laughed, asking him “Is anything to hard for the LORD?” He then tells them again that at this same time next year they will have a son. When caught out, Sarah denied that she had laughed at the thought of having a child next year. God confirms that He knows that she laughed.

It is interesting because Sarah had to know that it was God by her husband’s actions as well as Him knowing that she laughed, even though she wasn’t in His presence. What would cause her to deny that she laughed when the Lord called her on it? I don’t know. She may have been embarrassed.

Have you been embarrassed by things you’ve done? Have you denied or doubted the truth of God at different points in your life? Are you denying Him now? Maybe you’ve heard the truth about sin, hell, and judgment. How those who lie, steal, blaspheme, covet, and lust are sinners. How those who die in their sins will find themselves before a just, holy, and righteous God who will cast them into hell as the proper punishment for their sins. How you won’t have any discussion or time to argue about it before the judgment is passed. You might be denying these things because you don’t think that a loving God would do those things. You might be denying these things because it would mean that if you died right now, you would be cast into hell.

Please understand, if you are living a lifestyle of sin, and you die in that sin, you will go to hell. That’s the what the Bible says. But, the Bible also says that there is a way to escape that judgment of God. If you will repent of your sins (turn from those things that you know are wrong) and put your faith in Christ (trust Him alone to save you), you can know without a shadow of a doubt that will go to heaven when you die; not because of anything you did, but because of everything that Jesus did. Please….consider your life and what would happen if you were to die right now. Don’t deny the truth of God because things look differently that you think they should, or doubt that something like that will happen. Instead, repent and put your faith in Christ….

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