Scripture for Today : GENESIS CHAPTER 18

Genesis 18

18 And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:

4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:

5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.

8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

13 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.

17 And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I 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 know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

20 And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord.

23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?

25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

26 And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:

28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.

30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.

31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.

32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.

33 And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.


4 responses to “Scripture for Today : GENESIS CHAPTER 18

  1. Wait on God’s Time

    By Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

          “Sarah bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him” (Gen. 21:2).

    The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11). But we must be prepared to wait God’s time. God has His set times. It is not for us to know them; indeed, we cannot know them; we must wait for them.

    If God had told Abraham in Haran that he must wait for thirty years until he pressed the promised child to his bosom, his heart would have failed him. So, in gracious love, the length of the weary years was hidden, and only as they were nearly spent, and there were only a few more months to wait, God told him that “according to the time of life, Sarah shall have a son.” (Gen. 18:14.)

    The set time came at last; and then the laughter that filled the patriarch’s home made the aged pair forget the long and weary vigil.

    Take heart, waiting one, thou waitest for One who cannot disappoint thee; and who will not be five minutes behind the appointed moment: ere long “your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”

    Ah, happy soul, when God makes thee laugh! Then sorrow and crying shall flee away forever, as darkness before the dawn. –Selected

    It is not for us who are passengers, to meddle with the chart and with the compass. Let that all-skilled Pilot alone with His own work. –Hall

    “Some things cannot be done in a day. God does not make a sunset glory in a moment, but for days may be massing the mist out of which He builds His palaces beautiful in the west.”

    “Some glorious morn–but when? Ah, who shall say?
    The steepest mountain will become a plain,
    And the parched land be satisfied with rain.
    The gates of brass all broken; iron bars,
    Transfigured, form a ladder to the stars.
    Rough places plain, and crooked ways all straight,
    For him who with a patient heart can wait.
    These things shall be on God’s appointed day:
    It may not be tomorrow–yet it may.”


  2. I have a Hebraic Roots Bible – A Literal Translation, here’s some samples – 1. And YAHWEH visually appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre….
    3. And he said to YAHWEH …
    13. And YAHWEH said to Abraham, Wh has Sarah laughed at this…
    17. And YAHWEH said Shall I hide from Abraham that which I am doing?
    You get the drift, that the KJV and most others perpetrated the unbiblical custom of substitiution ie LORD and LORD GOD (titles) for His name ie YAHWEH or YAHWEH Elohim – contrary to Ex 3 wherein he told Moses He was to be addressed and remembered always by His name – a permutation of YHWH ie YHVH is Hayah which in English is “I AM”

  3. Devotional Hours with the Bible, Volume 1: Chapter 9 – Abraham’s Intercession for Sodom

    By J.R. Miller

    Genesis 18

    Three travelers came one day to Abraham’s tent door. They were strangers–he did not know them. Yet he treated them with warm-hearted hospitality. That was the custom of the East. Kindness was always shown to the stranger. No man’s tent was his own alone–it was his and God’s, and its shelter and comfort must be shared with any other who were passing through.

    Abraham rose eagerly when he saw the three men approaching, ran to meet them, bowed himself to the earth before them, and welcomed them into his tent, showed them the most gracious hospitality, and provided for them an abundant meal. At length Abraham learns that one of the men whom he had thus entertained was God Himself, and that the other two were angels from heaven. But at the time he had no thought that they were other than ordinary men. In the Epistle to the Hebrews this beautiful incident is used to teach the duty of entertaining strangers, reminding us that in doing so–some have entertained angels unawares.

    It is not likely that we shall have such visitors as Abraham had, that heavenly angels shall come to our doors unawares in the guise of book agents, peddlers, or strangers of any kind. Yet the lesson remains, teaching the duty that we should so treat all who come to our door as friends, neighbors or strangers, in whatever garb they come, that if it should turn out that they are angels–we shall not be ashamed to remember how we received them and treated them.

    William Bryant said that his rule was to treat every person who came to him in any way–as if he were an angel in disguise. It may not always be easy to do this–but this would seem to be the Christian rule.

    Jesus taught the lesson very clearly in His description of the Last Judgment, when He said that those who will be welcomed to the King’s right hand will hear the words: “I was a stranger–and you took Me in;” while those on the King’s left will hear, “I was a stranger–and you did not take Me in.” If we knew that the stranger at our door needing welcome, love, shelter, and kindness were Christ Himself–how would we treat Him? Yet He says, “Inasmuch as you receive one of the least of these My brethren–you receive Me.”

    Times have changed since Abraham’s day, and we are not expected to entertain everyone who comes along–as this good old patriarch entertained these men. Yet there is a courtesy which we may show to all who cross our path, a kindly spirit and manner which will at least not give pain, and may give pleasure and help. We should not treat even a beggar or a tramp–in a way the remembrance of which will condemn us should we learn that he is really an angel in disguise.

    “Then the LORD said–I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” These strangers brought to Abraham a promise that in a short time, a son should be born to him. Thus the patriarch’s faith received another assurance to strengthen it. The time of waiting was now almost at an end. The messengers then rose up to depart, and Abraham accompanied them on the way.

    The Lord then told Abraham what he intended to do to Sodom–if he found the wickedness of the city as great as it had been reported to Him. When Abraham heard the words of the Lord, his heart went out in compassion for the people of Sodom, and especially for Lot, and he began his intercession. “Abraham drew near, and said.” He drew near to the Lord when he began to plead. This showed his earnestness, also his great boldness and confidence.

    We may get from this example of Abraham’s, several lessons for ourselves. One is that we ought to draw near to God in spirit when we plead with Him. If we are really in earnest we will do so. We should always have deep reverence in our heart when we approach God–but reverence need not keep us far away from Him. We are His children, and children do not dread a true father–nor stand far off when they desire to ask any favor of Him. God does not want us to come before Him as if we were slaves–but as His dear children. “Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help.” “Having therefore boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus–let us draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith”.

    Abraham’s intercession also showed a noble heart. Were the people of Sodom anything to him? Lot, his relative, was there–but Lot had not treated Abraham well; he had been ungenerous toward him. Yet Abraham did not nourish malice, and now, when doom is impending over Lot, he is quick to plead for him. Lot had been drawn away from God into the world–but this did not prevent Abraham’s seeking to save him from destruction. Indeed, this only added to his interest and his compassion. We should pray for others–even though they have treated us badly. Jesus tells us to intercede for those who persecute us.

    But a careful reading of this narrative of Abraham’s intercession, shows that he did not pray merely for Lot. Indeed, Lot’s name is not mentioned at all in Abraham’s prayer. Of course, it must have been that Lot was in his thought and compassion, in all his pleading–but not Lot only. It was for Sodom that he begged, for the saving of the city, not for the saving of his nephew alone. Abraham was a great-hearted man. A little while ago he fought for Sodom, not for Lot only, and rescued them. Now, when they were in far more terrible plight, he intercedes with God that they might be saved. We need to widen our praying, taking in all men.

    There is a striking contrast to Abraham’s intercession, in the prayer of Lot as he fled from Sodom. He thought only of himself, and pleaded that he might not be driven to the mountain–but that the little town of Zoar nearby, might be made his refuge and spared for his sake. There is not a word spoken for Sodom or its people, in his pleading. The characters of the two men, Abraham and Lot, are revealed in nothing else more markedly, than in the reach of their prayers.

    As we look at Abraham standing before the Lord, interceding for the cities of the Plain, we are reminded of Christ as our Intercessor. He ever stands before God in heaven and pleads for us. We have a glimpse in one of His parables of His intercession for the impenitent. He pleads that the axe may not fall, that the fruitless tree may not be cut down–until He has tried in other ways to make it fruitful. Only the intercession of Christ spares the impenitent from speedy destruction. They are spared through Divine mercy that yet more may be done for their salvation. We have another glimpse of Christ’s intercession in John’s word, that if we sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. In heaven He carries our affairs in His hands. When we sin, He acts as our Advocate, securing our deliverance.

    Abraham pleads God’s own righteousness. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” He certainly will. We need not fear for a moment, that anything He does will be wrong. Some people worry about the fate of the heathen, and ask if God can be just and do so-and-so. A far better solution to such perplexity, is Abraham’s, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Surely we can trust Him with all such things, leaving them in His hands with perfect confidence.

    Other people have perplexity concerning the apparent lack of justness in the allotments of earth. Some godly people have little but trouble here on earth, while some very evil people have much prosperity. We have the same truth on which to rest all such seeming inequities. We do not know what is good and what is evil–in the way of earthly experiences. What we call trouble–may have more blessing in it for us than what we call prosperity. Then the end of life–is not in this present world. God may not make all things equal before death–but He has eternal years in which to adjust the equities!

    Abraham’s intercession was humble and reverent. “O let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak.” The Lord loves importunity in prayer. He delights in the earnestness of His children, when they call upon Him. Two of our Lord’s parables enforce the duty of persistence in pleading. Christ’s own example in the Garden, shows us that it is right to pray and pray again. The Lord is never angry with us for being urgent in intercession for others. No doubt He is grieved far more by our lack of earnestness, than by our importunity. All Christians should pray for the lost–as earnestly as Abraham pleaded for Sodom.

    Abraham first asked if God would spare the whole city in case fifty righteous men were found in it. He then asked if it would be saved though only forty-five were found, though only forty, though only thirty, though only twenty, though only ten. To each request came an answer of mercy. If there had been even so many as ten holy people in Sodom–the whole Plain, with all its cities and inhabitants, would have been spared from destruction for the sake of the ten!

    We do not know how many other cities, towns, and communities in the world–have been spared along the centuries, for the sake of the few righteous people who lived in them. The wicked make sport of the godly–yet they do not know how much they owe to them in a thousand ways. Infidels, while they scoff at Christians and caricature the gospel, forget that for the very blessings of their civilization, the things that brighten their homes–they are indebted to the Christianity which they so despise!

    The world, even the wicked world, will never know what it owes to its saints. We do not know, any of us, what our debt is to the godly, the true, and the holy about us. Our security in our Christian community, is the result of the influence of the praying lives round us. As saints diminish in a place, and the wicked multiply–life and property become insecure.



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