The Book of Genesis

week 30

Chapter 18:1-11


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note: all scripture is from the NKJV unless noted otherwise



Gen 18:1-11 1 Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, 3 and said, "My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. 4 "Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 "And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant." They said, "Do as you have said." 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes." 7 And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. 8 So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.

9 Then they said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" So he said, "Here, in the tent." 10 And He said, "I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son." (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.

Who were these three men?

First off it appears that Abraham was spending time in prayer just by reading the first two verses.

1 Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground,

Abraham may have been looking up seeking the Lord in prayer which is a way to pray.

1 Kings 8:22-23 22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven; 23 and he said: "LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.

Mark 11:25 "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

Luke 18:11-14 11 "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men--extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 'I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' 13 "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' 14 "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Notice in both of these cases men were standing and praying. But it's not the posture of your physical body that God sees, but rather the posture of your heart.
You can say all kinds of wonderful things to the Lord in prayer, but if they are just empty words they mean nothing to Him.
But then you can also say a few words like, "I love you Lord" and mean it from your heart, and God will accept your sacrifice of praise to Him, because He knows your heart whether it is true or not.

In the midst of Abraham's prayer, God answers him by sending three men to him.
Notice it doesn't say that they walked up to Abraham but rather that they were standing next to him or by him.

"God, I'm calling on you to answer my prayers, where are you Lord?" and God answers with the same answer He gave to Abraham, I'm right here next to you, all you have to do is lift up your eyes and see.
We expect God to answer in a certain way, and if He doesn't answer that way, we think God has not answered us.
But once again God is not limited to our ways or our thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

I was talking with a friend the other day and he was telling me how God has him in a place of rest and preparation. He doesn't know what God is going to do, but he sees God preparing him for his next calling.
Is he saying God will do this or that seeking his own ways? No, he is waiting on the Lord and what He would have him to do.

So the answer to who these three men are is. I don't know, but I do know that one of them is Jesus. How do I know this?
Look at verses 2 & 3 again.

2 So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, 3 and said, "My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.

Abraham bowed himself to the ground before them. If these were just three angels their response would have been.

Rev 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

We are not to worship angels. But still they are in books, TV shows and there are even sites on the Internet speaking of angels. People spend a lot of time reading about them and wanting to know more about them.
But if an angel where here right now, they would say to you, "stop it, don't seek me but seek the Savior, the true King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ!"

4 "Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 "And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant." They said, "Do as you have said."

I wonder if Abraham washed their feet or if he had a servant do it.

Luke 7:44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.

Simon was a Pharisee who is a religious leader in a sense or a know-it-all of the Holy Scriptures. But although he knew so much of God's word, he didn't follow God's word by being a servant.

But here we see Abraham the servant. Even though he was rich and powerful in a sense, he still humbled himself to be a servant.
That's what happens when you are a child of God, You have a desire to serve others putting your own needs aside.

6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes." 7 And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. 8 So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.

One thing I notice again is that Abraham ran and got the calf, and also he went to Sarah and not a servant to prepare the bread.
Also Abraham did not sit and eat with them but rather he stood by seeing to their needs.

9 Then they said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" So he said, "Here, in the tent." 10 And He said, "I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son." (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.

Sarah was standing in the background listening to all that was going on.
Next week we will read her and Abraham's response.

But before we close, I have to ask. How many of you have felt like a Sarah, in the background and useless.
Wasn't that the way Sarah was feeling? After all she was Abraham's wife but she stood in the background.
And even though she was in the background, Abraham could not have done it without her.
I know that may sound crazy because you need a man and a woman to have a child.
But still Sarah was in the background, possibly feeling useless or too old as we read in verse 11. But then so did Abraham.
As Abraham and Sarah seemed to forget, nothing is impossible for God.
"I'm to old, or I'm just no good to anyone. I could never be like him or her." We say.
Excuses, excuses, excuses. We seem to have a million of them, How come we never come up with excuses for serving the Lord?
Remember an excuse is the same way as saying no.

So don't ever think that you are too useless, or old, or unable or even compare yourself to others.
Why? Because it's God doing the work, not you. You're just the vessel with the Lord working through you.

Gen 18:1 Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.



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