Genesis Chapter 18

The Lord Visits Abraham
I. Observation A. Context: Where & When did these events take place? What’s happening at this time? (v.1) 1. Where: “near the great trees of Mamre” a. Near Hebron, about 22 miles south of Jerusalem (Ryrie) 2. When: not certain, but it is likely soon after the events of Chapter 17 because in Gen. 18:10 the Lord alludes to Isaac’s birth being about a year away, just like in 17:10 3. What’s happening: Abraham is sitting at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day B. The Lord Appears to Abraham (v. 2-15) 1. Abraham’s Response: Reverence and Hospitality (v. 2) a. It’s not clear if Abraham recognized one of the men as “the Lord;” likely not until later. 2. The Lord’s Response: Confirming the Promise of a Son a. He knew Sarah’s name, which could have indicated to Abraham that it was the Lord. b. He knew about the promise of a son by Sarah, which would have also indicated it was the Lord. c. He was deliberate about confirming the promise within earshot of Sarah. 3. Sarah’s Response: Doubt and Disbelief a. Either she didn’t know about the promise or was not convinced of its fulfillment (Ryrie) b. Laughed to herself in disbelief, reasoned with logic rather than depending on faith. 4. The Lord Confronts Sarah’s disbelief a. At this point, it is clearly evident that this is the Lord: he knew her thoughts and heard her laugh to herself. b. Sarah was afraid (fear) and lied (sin)—often our fears give way to our sin, perhaps in an effort to protect ourselves. C. The Lord’s Discourse with Abraham regarding His intentions toward Sodom & Gomorrah (v. 16-33) 1. The Lord “reasons” with himself whether or not to keep his intentions from Abraham (v. 16-19) a. Shows the closeness of the relationship; gives support for Abraham’s being known as “friend of God” (Ryrie) b. Insights into why Abraham was chosen (v. 19): (1) So that he will direct his children & household: Leadership (2) In keeping the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just: Faithfulness, Morality, Integrity, & Fairness (3) So that the Lord would be able to fulfill his promise: Dependable 2. The Lord discloses his intentions to Abraham: To Judge Sodom & Gomorrah a. Why?: The outcry (not clear from whom) against them is so great & their sin is so grievous (v. 20) b. The Lord goes to investigate the claims and collect “evidence” himself to see if the reports were true (v. 21) (1) Obviously, omniscient God already knew this, but this act was to illustrate that he is a just God who is intimately aware of the acts of mankind and knows first-hand the offenses against him. 3. Abraham appeals to the Lord’s sense of justice: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” (v. 23) a. Illustrates Abraham’s concern for other people (Ryrie) b. Also, he knew that Lot and his family lived in that area and perhaps feared for their safety c. Sadly, as we will see later, there were not even 10 righteous people in Sodom & Gomorrah. 

Genesis Chapter 17 II. Interpretation A. What does this passage tell us about Abraham?

B. What does this passage tell us about Sarah?

C. What does this passage tell us about God?

D. What does this passage tell us about the relationship between God and Abraham?

E. Other Insights & Thoughts

III. Application A. Just as with Sarah, the Lord holds us accountable not only for our outward actions, but also our inward thoughts. B. The Lord hears the cries of his people (v. 20) and judges fairly the offenses against him. C. The Lord responds to the hearts of his people (as with Abraham’s heart for people)…he is concerned with our concerns

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.