Reading For Thursday Genesis 18:1-15
Abraham is sitting at the door of his tent during the heat of the day when company arrives. This occasion is the last time that the word "appeared" is found during the Abraham narrative. Abraham is staying near the oaks of Mamre, which holds significance as a place where he met with God (12:6; 13:18). There is a certain comfort in being in places where notable things have happened in our lives. Abraham is probably sitting in the shade of his tent door enjoying what air might be stirring when three visitors show up. Abraham responds quickly and runs to meet them. This is the only place in scripture where three heavenly beings appear in this way. Abraham addresses these distinguished guests with respect and reverence and offers them generous hospitality.
Abraham addresses the leader of the three as “my lord” while referring to himself as “your servant”. He promptly invites his guests to stay and refresh themselves. Abraham wants to alleviate any anxiety they might have about being burdensome to their host. Washing the feet of travelers was common, especially in the Patriarchal period. The trio promptly accepts the gracious offer (18:2–5).
Abraham rolled out the proverbial red carpet for them in spite of the fact that it was hot and would have been unusual for guests to arrive during the heat of the day. He eagerly extended welcome and was courteous. We too, as Christians, are to give ourselves to hospitality (Heb 13:2). Abraham and Sarah immersed themselves in preparing a splendid meal that included fine flour as cakes, a tender calf, curds, and milk. The meat was a luxury served only on special occasions that certainly would have left his guests feeling honored. Abraham attentively stood by and waited on his guests as they ate.
Following the meal, the three inquire about Sarah’s location. The question probably surprised Abraham. Not only would it have been a bit odd for them to inquire about the wife of another man, but they also knew the name of Abraham’s wife– her new name.
Knowing that Sarah was listening, the Lord made a decisive announcement that Sarah would have a son, and this son would be born about this time one year later. God repeats the details, and Sarah's reaction may indicate that Abraham had not shared this information with her. Sarah received the announcement with skepticism. The elderly couple had long passed that stage of life. Sarah reacts as Abraham reacted, and she laughs. God knows her thoughts and addresses them with the question, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” As unbelievable as this proclamation seemed to Sarah, God always keeps his promises.
Thing To Consider:
- How often do we need reminders about God's promises and faithfulness?
- What do we learn from Abraham's hospitality?
- What part does fear play in our thoughts and interactions with others?
- Why do you think God gave Abraham and Sarah the specific time they would conceive this time?