Genesis 18

Genesis 18

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18 And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” The LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. The LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 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, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” Then the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

Abraham Intercedes for Sodom

So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD. Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

(ESV)


Genesis 18 Commentary

by Hank Workman

2 stories, 1 overarching Truth: “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?”(Genesis 18:14)

Story One has 3 visitors coming to visit Abraham. Within this conversation, it’s revealed that within the next year Abraham will have a child, the child of promise from all the years of not seeing one. Sarah, who is eavesdropping, laughs. It is a ridiculous statement in her old age to even consider the ability to bear a son.

“Is anything too difficult for the Lord?”

Story Two involves a conversation after the Lord decides to reveal His plans for Sodom and Gomorrah and their destruction. In a fascinating twist, Abraham begins to intercede on behalf of the righteous who abide in those towns – mainly with the concern of his nephew Lot who lives there. In a strange negotiation of sorts, the Lord relents in how many are found there being righteous to 10 only – of which He will turn his wrath back. God entertained Abraham’s negotiations but His Word held strong.

“Is anything too difficult for the Lord?”

But there is an incredible picture of Abraham within these stories. “Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the Lord.”(Genesis 18:22)

It is a beautiful picture of Abraham standing before the Lord interceding on behalf of the people. Abraham stood firm before God, drawing himself to ask or pray for what he would. Throughout all the years of waiting on the promises God had given Abraham, even though at times he took things into his own hands, he knew God was true and faithful. He knew God was good. He was banking on Him holding to His promises and indeed believed nothing was too difficult for Him.

There are times we cling to a dream and wonder will it ever happen? “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” There are sorrows of our hearts that bombard and cripple us at times, wondering where the end will be. “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” There are situations of which we intercede, begging God for answers and hope. “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?”

Where do each of us need to be reminded of this sheer question God Himself posed if anything is too difficult for Him? Where do we need to faithfully stand and intercede before Him, remaining steadfast in our prayers? Nothing my friends, is too difficult for Him. Absolutely nothing.


Genesis 18 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

I have to admit, I’m not a great intercessor.

I sometimes fall victim to the attitude that “the Lord will do what the Lord will do.” But the Bible prescribes a persistent, faith-filled prayer life. If God’s character was to “shoot us down” when we attempted to intercede for a person or event, we would not read stories like the one in Genesis 18.

Abraham was a skilled negotiator who genuinely believed that God heard Him. Not only that, he believed that God would respond to his requests and inquiries. But consider the primary motive for Abraham’s prayers. He understood justice and empathized deeply with those who would be unfairly destroyed in these evil cities. He was not indifferent to the suffering of the righteous and he believed wholeheartedly in the wrath of God.

This resonates with me on so many levels, but most significantly as a foster parent. There are so many children right now who are suffering as a result of choices made by their parents or people in positions of authority in the foster care system. They need intercessors.

50 righteous people in Sodom was not enough. Abraham persisted. 45? 40?

No…

30? 20?

No…

“Remember, there is a sense in which all this negotiation was fruitless. There were not ten righteous people in the city, only four. The cities were destroyed. Yet God specifically revealed the fate of these cities to Abraham to draw out of him an intercessor’s heart of love, so even before the time of Jesus Abraham could be conformed into the image of His Son (Rom 8:29) who is Himself an intercessor (Heb 7:25).”

David Guzik

Are you an intercessor?

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