Chapter by Chapter - Genesis 18

     Chapter 18 of Genesis begins with Abraham receiving another visit from the Lord. Abraham was sitting near the entrance of his tent when he saw three men appear by the great trees of Mamre. He runs to greet the Lord and his two angels and bows down:

"He said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my Lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 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." - Genesis 18: 3-5

     Something that stands out to me is the line "If I have found favor in your eyes." This comes from a man who: has a close relationship with God, literally hears and sees God and Jesus, and has a personal covenant with Him...BUT, just like us, he wants to know if he is still worthyWe know he IS because we have read his life story but what about you? You don't know your end story so you're left to wonder...Am I Worthy? 

     Ever sit down to talk with God and ask him, "Am I making you proud?" How about when you look at your son/daughter and ask yourself "Am I a good dad/mom?". We constantly wonder, are we doing enough? Now, I don't know about you, but hearing Abraham ask (if he is worthy) makes me feel more at ease because it means Abraham was JUST LIKE US! He walked with God and still feels he needs to ask, "Am I worthy?" He makes a few big mistakes (that we know of) yet God CONTINUES to bless him! If you question whether you are worthy, remind yourself of this...YES, YOU ARE because God loves us! The bible says: repent, turn away from your sins, have faith that Jesus is the Son of God, and we shall be in heaven. When we makes mistakes or take the wrong path, correct it and repent, for we serve a forgiving God.

     Picking back up at verse 6, Abraham asks Sarah to gather their best flour and make bread for their guests. Then he gathered the top choice calf for a servant to prepare for their meal along with curds and milk. Once the meals were prepared, Abraham delivers the food to the Lord and His angels at the tree. The men then asked Abraham where Sarah was (she is in the tent nearby) and stated:

"I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son." - Genesis 18:10

     Sarah was listening from the tent and laughed to herself. The thought of her becoming pregnant and bearing children while her and Abraham were well past their prime and deep into old age brought about a sarcastic chuckle. She thought to herself, after all this time, now I finally get to be a mother? It's a sarcastic remark and a natural one. For the women reading this post, how would you feel if you tried all your life to give birth and year after year, you bear no child. Then someone tells you, "Hey, I know you are in your 90's, but you'll be pregnant within the year." You would laugh too!

"Then the Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son." - Genesis 18: 13-14

     Busted! The Lord heard her laughter and her thoughts! To make the moment even more awkward, Sarah lies and tells the Lord, "I didn't laugh." Think that over for a minute. This brief moment between the Lord and Sarah provides us with a life lesson. One, we can't lie to the Lord. He knows whats in our mind and hearts. Two, that He can do anything and it goes based on his time because He knows what is best for us. Three, God will call us out when we are wrong just like He did with Sarah when He said "Yes, you did laugh" after she lied.

     The remaining text from the chapter explains why the men are there in the first place. To scope out the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and to begin their destruction. 

"Then the Lord said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him." Then the Lord said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know." - Genesis 18: 16-21

     We just discussed that God knows all, right? So why does He need to go down to the cities and see for himself? Doesn't God already see and know all? As the pastor from Through the Word app explains, "consider who this conversation is really for. God wants Abraham (and us) to understand and make sense of it. God doesn't just execute justice from heaven and leave us wondering. This time He walks it out in a way we and Abraham can understand. God wants us to learn the difficult balance of justice and righteousness so that we can direct our children, to keep the way of the Lord." (Through the Word App)

     So God does know all and this is His way of teaching us this difficult process. The angels head to Sodom to carry out their mission as Abraham realizes his nephew Lot is still in Sodom. That's right "in" Sodom. Lot once lived near Sodom but later got caught up and moved into Sodom. With this in mind, it quickly becomes personal to Abraham and he begins to plead with the Lord.

"Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?" - Genesis 18: 23-24

     Abraham has a point here and I am sure many of you wonder if the same is true for us in the United States, or other nations in this world. Will the majority of evil cause the righteous to parish along with them or will those be saved from the punishment. For that answer, read Revelations and study about the Rapture. The time Jesus makes His return and comes back for us.

     After many back and forth pleas from Abraham, the Lord agreed that if Abraham could find at least 10 righteous people in the city, He would spare it. The chapter ends with  Abraham returning to his tent. God already knows ten righteous people do not live in the city, for the city is full of corruption and sin. He knows the cities have completely turned towards evil and it's time for the destruction to begin. He could have told Abraham, "Listen, they don't exist and the city will burn" but that could have led Abraham to assume God was being hard headed and having no compassion. Instead, I believe God used this moment to once again show His compassion and Love. Naysayers could say that God was just brushing Abraham off here in this moment but it's simply not true. Why? Because God IS Love and Love brings compassion and forgiveness. He demonstrate that Love every chance He gets.

     Stay tuned for Chapter by Chapter - Genesis Chapter 19 and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

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Ken is a blogger at Christian Pals Blog. He enjoys anything creative and playing golf.
Proud father, husband, and servant of God.

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