A Deep Relationship
This chapter stirred a whole lot of thoughts in me that I've decided to write my thoughts in the reading.
Reading: Genesis 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. 2 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 3 and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant."
My thoughts: This is so deep that Abraham could recognize that it was the LORD who came to visit him. Three men came to him and He immediately knew that it was the LORD. How? How could it be that he knew that the LORD, the God of the universe, came down in the form of a man to visit him personally? My only response to that is that Abraham must have spent so much time with God, communicating with God that he could easily recognize that God's presence was here. The image that pops up in my mind is that of a married blind woman, for example. She can't see her husband, but she could feel him physically, of course. By feeling her husband physically she understands his features and the texture of his physique. By here is the main key. Never seeing her husband, she can know/feel when her husband is in the room. It could be the heat he gives off, or maybe the smell. but regardless of what it could be, because she is so in tune with the presence of her husband, she is able to recognize his presence even in the midst of a crowd. Maybe it's in this same way that Abraham could recognize the the LORD was here so he insisted the God would not simply just pass by.
4 "Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5 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.”
My thoughts: This is extremely funny to me. God does not need food or drink, nor does He need His feet washed, but He sat there listening to Abraham and accepts his offer to serve Him and just responds to Abraham by telling him pretty much to do what he wants.
6 And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8 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.
9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”
My thoughts: They called his wife by her new name "Sarah" instead of "Sarai," her old name.
And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 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. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”
My thoughts: Sarah's reaction is that of someone who has lost all hope. Clearly everything is against her and you can clearly see it through her words. She has gotten used to life being the way it is for her. She saw herself as no longer useful, and of course seeing her husband's condition, she ruled out every possibility, including something as simple as pleasure.
13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’14 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.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
My thoughts: Now the LORD is outside of the tent with Abraham, and yet He has some interactions with Sarah while she's in the tent. God calls out Sarah's unbelief to Abraham. Don't forget that Abraham also laughed when God told him the news about him being a father of many nations (Genesis 17:17). Then she denies it in fear and it's like God is right there with her in the tent telling her that she did laugh. The thing about all this is that Sarah too recognizes that it is the LORD who is out there. Well at least, I have a very strong impression that she does. My favorite line here is "Is there anything too hard for the LORD?" It's like God simply proving a point that He is the one that created everything, even the people whom He is talking with.
16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 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.”
My thoughts: Just look at this here. Look how God opened up to Abraham without him having to ask anything. Because of God's relationship with Abraham, there is a commitment level that God knows He must keep. There is a level of depth of communication that God has with Abraham that He has taken upon Himself to keep. Let's be real here, God doesn't have to tell Abraham anything. He's GOD! He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, without telling anyone. How deep must their relationship be? How amazing must it be to be able to be so close to God that He comes to you, eats with you, speaks with you, walks with you, and tell you His plans? I want that so much...
20 Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 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.”
My thoughts: Now this is a little terrifying. The wording here is really interesting. Pretty much God came to check up on things to make sure if what He was hearing in heaven was legit or not? The thing is, God coming to double check on things to see if it's true or not is rather an interesting statement here. Why? Well, God knows EVERYTHING! There's nothing hidden from Him. Night is like the noon day in His eyes. So He already knew what He was going to do way before He told Abraham about it, which makes this next part even more interesting to me.
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 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? 25 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?” 26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
My thoughts: Again this clarifies how much Abraham knew the LORD. He clearly saw that it was God standing with him so he took any opportunity to speak with God as he normally does in his daily life.
27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 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.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 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.” 31 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.” 32 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.” 33 And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
My Thoughts: This interaction may seem a bit strange when looking at the surface, but again this shows how deep the relationship between Abraham and God was because Abraham is reasoning with a God who has already made up His mind. Look how Abraham kept pushing the matter deeper and deeper, and God stood there listening although He already knew what Abraham wanted to say.
Frankly speaking, this relationship here is by far one of the most encouraging relationships between man and God. To think that God would want to stand and talk to a man who has fallen? God is a Holy God. So the image of God wanting to stand next to a sinful man, can you imagine its implications? My mind is still blown. This is just the beginning of the Bible. I can't wait until I get to the parts about Jesus here on earth.