GOD COMES NEAR
Mighty God, this is my heart’s desire: command and I will obey; overrule and I will yield; lead and I will follow.
Read Genesis 18:1–15
The Three Visitors
18 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,[a] do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs[b] of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
- Genesis 18:3 Or eyes, Lord
- Genesis 18:6 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectReflect on these lines from an old hymn: ‘God is on the field, When He is most invisible’ (Frederick William Faber, 1814–63).
Abraham has received the news of Isaac’s impending arrival already. This visit appears to be for the benefit of Sarah, even though culture dictates she is in the background (although listening in!) (10–12). God does what He does because He promises to do it. Isaac would be born, not because Abraham and Sarah prayed long and hard, or trusted flawlessly (they didn’t) but because God said He would do it.
Abraham and Sarah were being asked to take God at His word – and this above everything else is the life of faith. Think of some of the promises God has made to His people, including us:
God has promised to forgive us (Ephesians 1:7).
God has promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20).
God has promised that we will never die (John 11:25,26).
God has promised that He will never drive us away (John 6:37).
We can safely take God at His Word because He keeps His promises. Reading these (and other) promises can help strengthen our faith to keep trusting Him.
If you can, take a moment to search online for the famous image of the Old Testament Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev. It’s a representation of today’s reading about Abraham’s meeting with God.
Forgive me Lord, sometimes I doubt Your power. I need to be reminded again today, that with You, all things are possible.
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