The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.” – Genesis 18:1-2
You may read Genesis 18:1-15 here: Bible Gateway.
God appears to Abraham again. But this time, He visits Abraham in the form of a man. Many believe that this was Jesus reincarnate (John 1:18) accompanied by two angels (also in human form).
This visit must have been only a few weeks or months after God appears to Abraham in chapter 17 with the news that his eighty-nine year old wife, Sarah, would bear a baby this time next year (vs. 21). For there is no record that Sarah was pregnant yet.
Does Abraham recognize these men’s identities? Although he addresses the leader, “my Lord”, this name was also used as a respectful title for men. But as these men suddenly appear, Abraham—possibly in prayer and reflection of God’s last baby news—seems to sense these men are important and may shed additional insight.
Although Abraham’s hospitality is common in the Ancient East, he goes beyond the call of welcome duty. Instead of handing off all the duties to his servants, he personally caters to these three visitors. First, he runs to the men and bows before them. Next, he attends to any traveling needs, namely feet washing. Then he oversees all the food preparations, ensuring the tastiest meal is served. Finally, he stands nearby waiting attentively.
Abraham doesn’t have to ask twice what The LORD says concerning Sarah: “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Sarah—who is at the tent’s entrance behind them—laughs to herself when she hears this incredulous news.
The LORD asks Abraham why she is laughing. “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Then He patiently repeats that she will have a son next year.
Fearful, Sarah denies that she laughed. But God calls her out: “Yes, you did laugh.”
Fear of our motives and/or inner thoughts exposed can pressure us to lie. But God, who loves us and knows all of our struggles, wants our complete honesty.
What impossible situation are you currently facing?
When we come up against seemingly impossible circumstances and/or relationships, God wants to help us. He desires that we seek His guidance and power.
Next week, we’ll explore the remainder of Genesis 18 and learn of God’s mission for the two angels who accompanied Him. . . . I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!