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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

2018.03.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 18:1-15

Questions for Littles: Who appeared to Abraham by the terebinth trees of Mamre (v1a)? How many men does Abraham see, when the Lord visits (v2)? What does Abraham do? What does he ask the Lord not to do (v3)? What does Abraham propose to do for the Lord in v4? What does he propose to do in v5? How much does he propose to bring to them? What does he command Sarah to prepare (v6)? What else does he run to have prepared in v7? What does he take along with this food in v8? What does the Lord ask in v9? What does the Lord promise about Sarah in v10? How does Sarah respond to this promise in v11-12? How does the Lord respond in v13-14? How does Sarah respond to His response in v15? 
In our Old Testament reading this week, Abraham is in a hurry to serve the Lord. v2, he ran. v6, he hurried. He told Sarah to make the cakes quickly. He ran to the herd. The young man hastened to prepare the calf.

It’s a flurry of activity. Also, in good Middle Eastern style, the “bit of bread” that he proposed to bring them ends up being a feast suitable to roughly thirty people.

But Abraham, of course, becomes an example of the old adage, “You cannot out-give God.” By the time our passage is over, God has promised that Sarah herself would bear a child for Abraham within a year’s time.

This is where things get weird. Not so much that Sarah laughs in unbelief. We can all probably understand that, though we should not excuse it. But apparently Sarah’s view of God’s capability is rather small indeed. For, when He asks why she laughed, she actually denies having done so!

So, Sarah doesn’t just disbelieve that God can make her to bear the promised son. In fact, she starts an argument with God that presupposes that He does not know all things in all places at all times!

How ridiculous we sinners are, that we would even start an argument with God Himself! But how great is God’s mercy unto us—especially through the promised Son. Not just Isaac, but Jesus who at last would come from him.

God grant to us faith to believe His promises, and humility to hold our tongues!
What promise(s) of God have you had a hard time believing lately?
Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or HB104 “The Lord’s My Shepherd”

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