Archive for June 20th, 2011

Genesis 18

Genesis 18 has Abraham getting a surprise visit from the Lord.  He is sitting at the door of his tent and sees the Lord by the oaks of Mamre.  That would be quite an unexpected visit wouldn’t it?  Abraham “ran from the tent door to meet them” – there were three men standing there.  Abraham says “if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant” and convinces them to let him wash their feet and feed them as they rest.  They agree and Abraham throws things into high gear as this was an unexpected visit.

He “went quickly” to the tent and asked Sarah to make some cakes from flour.  He “ran” to the herd and kills a calf and has one of his servants prepare it.  He got after it – making quick work of preparations to serve his visitors.  How would you respond when God showed up in your patch?  How do you respond?  Maybe God has come like this – in human form standing outside your door.  But God is around and present and often we not only don’t rush to prepare to be with Him – we totally ignore Him.  We pretend He isn’t even there.  We just do what we were planning to do our way and completely blow off the God who created the universe.  Pretty poor plan.

Sarah is standing in the tent and hears God’s message to Abraham – that he will be a dad in a year or so.  Sarah laughs to herself knowing she is too old and past child bearing age in human terms.  What she fails to understand is that God is not limited by human terms.  So God asks Abraham “Why did Sarah laugh”? Abraham didn’t even know it – but God holds him accountable for that action.  And then God makes this statement which we need to always remember: “Is anything too hard for the Lord”?  Here is the reality of the world we live in – there is nothing that is beyond God’s ability or power.  He can do whatever He chooses whenever He chooses.  He has and knows no limits.  We need to remember that.  God reinforces His promise that Abraham will be a father to many nations.  Why?  “For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice”.  Abraham is to lead his family to follow God.  He has a huge responsibility to lead well.

As God prepares to leave He lets Abraham in on His next item on the agenda – the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  They are wicked cities and their future is not good.  Abraham asks if God will spare them if “there are fifty righteous within the city”.  As they talk Abraham moves the number down to just 10.  Abraham intercedes for those cities and asks God to spare them if ten can be found.  God says “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it”.  We get a good picture of the power of intercession here.  Abraham stands in the gap and tries to intervene before destruction takes place.  We’ll find out what happens in a future chapter – but we can learn from his action.  There is power in prayer and seeking God’s face.

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