Lord's appearance to Abraham and to Sarah with the final confirmation
that Isaac would be the promised seed and the confrontation of the
doubts of Sarah.
AIM: That we
might be reminded of our own tendency to doubt as we see first the
doubting and the rebuke that came because of it.
INTR: In the
last part of the last chapter Abraham has the issue with Ishmael
resolved and Isaac is the name given to the promised seed and so the
order is set and the promise restated.
1. Circumcision was
established and Abraham and all his household were made to comply and so
the sign of the covenant was given.
2. The manner of the last
appearance of the Lord to Abraham had caused him to fall on his face
before the Lord and we will notice that he quickly responded to this
appearance of the Lord.
3. There is much mystery regarding this
event, but it is not without significance if for no other reason the
faith of Sarah is brought into play.
THESIS: We marvel at the manner in which the will of God is
worked out by faith as we think of the sovereignty of God. The marvel is
that He involves His people materially in all with which they have to do
- not as a condition but as a result of His grace.
humility and service before the Lord (vv. 1-8)
1. We can only imagine
the scene here and yet we see Abraham in his position as a wealthy and
2. The fact he bowed is thought by some to have been a
matter of eastern custom and would have been done to other strangers as
1) The fact that he ran to meet them indicates a level of
recognition that these were not ordinary men.
2) It was Jehovah that
appeared, but Abraham uses another term for a superior one and desires
3. Some of the things done here would have been
customary, the invitation to wash their feet, to rest, and even be fed.
It is the urgency that we sense with Abraham that suggests more.
He desires to serve them but senses that they may be passing by.
The genuine desire of Abraham to humble himself and serve the Lord
(Abraham is doing it) is received by the Lord - v. 5 "Do as thou hast
6. The true servant of the Lord will render the absolute best
of service to Him as did Abraham here. And they did eat.
Sarah Laughed (vv. 9-12)
1. The question of verse 9 was not due to a
lack of knowledge. It intended to establish the fact that she was
involved in this as well.
2. The Lord could have accomplished the
birth of Isaac without the faith of Sarah and the Lord knew of her
unbelief. Abraham had believed the Lord.
3. The details were now
stated in her hearing:
1) She would again be enabled to bear a child
(although she had passed that age).
2) Both she and Abraham were
physically incapable of producing children and she knows it.
laughter was not that of seeing something funny - it was an inward
expression that what the Lord was saying was impossible.
4. We are
herein alerted to the fallacy of human reasoning and bidden to believe
the Lord despite all the evidence against what is promised.
Faith imparted to Sarah (vv. 13-15)
1. The question is directed to
Abraham as to why Sarah laughed and is answered by a question:
anything too hard for the Lord?
1) "I will" appears often concerning
the Lord and does so preciously here.
2) "Sarah shall" have a son.
3) Other determinations by the Lord - We consider Mary who worshiped as
the news of a Son and that
4) She pondered prophetic words spoken
concerning the Babe.
3. Sarah denied that she had laughed and may not
have construed her reaction as such. Our attention needs to be directed
at how it is perceived by the Lord.
4. The impossibility of salvation
considering the awful state of those the Lord saves!
IV. On to
Sodom (v. 16)