Genesis 18:1-15    God Appeared and Announced the Time of the Birth of Isaac

1 “Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, 3 and said, "My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. 4 Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. 5 And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant." They said, "Do as you have said." 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes." 7 And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. 8 So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.

 

9 Then they said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "Here, in the tent." 10 And He said, "I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son." (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" 13 And the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?' 14 "Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son." 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, "I did not laugh," for she was afraid. And He said, "No, but you did laugh!" NKJV

 

Facts revealed:

Y      Yehowah (the Lord) appeared to Abraham and it is interesting that the appearance of God was of three men.  Could this represent the trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? 

They certainly work as One, when the two men go on toward Sodom, Abraham is left talking with Yehowah Who stayed behind and Who went His way when He finished talking with Abraham.  [Genesis 18:17-33]

 

Yet, the One Who talked with Lot in Sodom claimed first person responsibility when Yehowah poured fire and brimstone from Heaven.  He said, “I can do nothing until you arrive in Zoar and I will spare the place for which you have spoken.  This indicates that the One talking to Lot was also Yehowah.  [Genesis 19:22-24]

 

Y      Yehowah appeared in the form of a man, which indicates that if man is created in the image of Elohiym, then it is the human form that is made in the likeness of the form of God.  Jesus, Who is God the Word also was in the image of man, which is the image of God.

Y      Abraham was still in Mamre, which is in Hebron, when Yehowah destroyed Sodom and the cities of the plain.

Y      Abraham ran to meet the men and called them Adonay (my Lord), and invited them to wash their feet and rest themselves under the terebinth tree and they accepted his invitation and said, “Do as you have said.”

A Worthy Detail:  The leaves of the terebinth tree has an air-conditioning effect, making it an extremely desirable place to be in the heat of the day.
Another  interesting point:  Abraham both saw and touched Yehowah since the Holy One was one of the three men  who came to him; as Abraham saw them approaching and washed their feet
(involves hands-on) and provided refreshments for them.

Y      Abraham then provided bread, milk, butter and meat of the calf the young man prepared and they ate while he stood by them under the tree. 

This is a case where God Himself ate meat and milk at the same setting, which Jews of today will not do because they say it is in violation to the commandment of God which says, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” [Deuteronomy 14:21, Exodus 23:19, and 34:26]   This was an offensive pagan practice to use the milk specifically from the mother of the animal being boiled.

 

However, this commandment had nothing to do with eating meat and drinking milk at the same meal, but it was a commandment to refrain from following the pagan practices they would be exposed to in the land of Canaan.  It was a commandment to avoid even this aspect of Idolatry.

 

If it is wrong for Jews to eat that combination, why was it right for Abraham to serve it to God Himself and find it acceptable?

 

I believe that Jews are greatly in error in their interpretation of the Law by their tradition which Jesus condemned as making the Word of God ineffective.  [Matthew 15:3-6, Mark 7:8-9]

 

Y      It is interesting that when Yehowah spoke to Abraham, the text uses the plural and says, “Then they said to him” which is again suggesting the plurality of God.  [Verse 9]

Y      The text then returns to the first person as God continues and says, “He (notice the gender specific reference to God as being male) said, ‘I will certainly return to you according to the time of life and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.”’

Y      In the previous chapter God had changed Sarai’s name to Sarah and declared that she would have a son, to be called Isaac.  [Genesis 17:19]

Y      It is now 9-months before the time of the birth and God says, “according to the time of life” (or the time of gestation).

Y      So the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was at the time that Isaac was conceived.

Y      The old age of the couple is stressed again because God does not want us to overlook the fact that the birth of Isaac was clearly the miraculous work of God and could in no way be viewed as a mere happenstance.   In verse 17 of the previous chapter we were clearly told that Abraham would be 100-years old and Sarah would be 90.

Y      When Sarah laughed to herself, because of the hopelessness of the age factor, God could plainly hear as though it had been a loud laugh.

Y      It is also interesting to note that when Sarah laughed, she referred to Abraham as “Adoney” (my lord), which is the same word Abraham used to greet Yehowah as the men arrived at his tent.

Y      Yehowah heard Sarah’s thought and said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘shall I surely bear a child since I am old?’ Is anything to hard for Yehowah?  At the appointed time I will return to you according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

Y      Abraham did exactly the same thing [Genesis 17:17] as he laughed and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old?  And shall Sarah who is ninety years old bear a child?”

Y      God’s question was not a rebuke but a declaration that with God all things are possible, in spite of the age issue.  It was an answer to Abraham as well as to Sarah, and it was addressed to Abraham directly.

Y      God hears the thoughts as loud as the voice, and when Sarah denied laughing, though she was correct in that she did not laugh out loud but in her heart, God said, “No, but you did laugh.”