Genesis Chapter 18

Abraham was promised a son, named Isaac and had received a covenant and promise from the Lord, which we know now as the Abrahamic Covenant. He showed an outward token of this covenant by having himself and his family (the men) circumcised as the Lord commanded. This chapter begins as follows:

1 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.

Once again, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Abraham. This time he had three angels, or men of God, with him and Abraham bowed to the ground in respect and reverence of them. This was a common way to show respect for those who were greater than oneself. Abraham recognized the three as associates of the Lord and wanted to treat them well. He offered to serve them by giving the food and drink and washing their feet, which they allowed him to do.

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.

The three men promised that Sarah would have a son, and this time she heard it for herself. Sarah, being unable to have children and also older in age, laughed at the thought. A lesson is taught here, through Sarah, that nothing is too great or impossible for the Lord. In the time it would take to have a child from that day, she would have a son. The men knew that Sarah doubted the power of God, even when she tried to deny her laughter. Sometimes there are things in our lives that we are promised if we will be faithful, and we have the same response as Sarah did. This life is a time when God will test our faith and if we are obedient he will fulfill all his promises, no matter how incredible they may seem to us. Doubt in God is something that Satan thrives on, and he will use it to his advantage if we let it take hold of our hearts. No promise from God will go unfulfilled, because he is a just and true God. We need to have faith in the promises of God. I am grateful for the lessons in my life which have taught me this so far.

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.

The guests headed towards Sodom, which was already a place of sin. The Lord said that Abraham would be righteous and lead and teach his family to be righteous and just as well. He also revealed that He would go to see if Sodom was ripe in iniquity, and I think also if they were to the point of destruction as other places of sin had been. The footnote in verse 20, references homosexuality as the sin they were grievous in. Sin of a sexual nature are an abomination to the Lord, and worst of all sins other than killing the innocent and denying the Holy Ghost. Sodom was a wicked city, which cried out to the land, the same way certain areas of the world today cry out in sexual sin. The Lord knows of our sins. We cannot hide things from him. He knows the desires of our hearts and if we are bound to Satan. There was nothing going on in Sodom that could be hidden from the Lord. Abraham did not look towards Sodom, but continued in righteousness, while the guests, or men of God, went towards Sodom to do the work of 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.

Abraham understood that the Lord would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of the great wickedness there, but Abraham being a man of God and of compassion, and knowing that his nephew and family were in that city, asked if the righteous would be destroyed with the wicked. He and the Lord discussed how many righteous could be there and the city still not be destroyed. The Lord went so far to say that if he found ten righteous people in the city, they would not be destroyed. I think that the wisdom of the Lord would be to destroy the city as soon as the number of wicked would be able to convince the righteous to join them in sin. It would be best for the destruction to come before those souls were lost as well, no matter how many there would be. The value of our souls in the eternities is far greater than the value of this earthly life, and since this life is purely a preparatory state for us, it is better to die in righteousness, then to be spared and turn to wickedness. Throughout the scriptures, there are times of great wickedness and impending destruction. It seems like in each of these situations, the Lord guides the righteous to leave the place of wickedness before the destruction comes, because he is a merciful God and has promised the righteous would be saved. I believe that this will be the same pattern with Sodom and Gomorrah. I am grateful for the promise of protection if we are faithful, but I also understand that the Lord will do His works according to His will and in a way that will save as many souls as possible, even if that means a protection of the soul rather than protection of our physical bodies. I believe that the world will get to a place again, which is ripe for destruction, and I am grateful for the understanding of these things, because it brings peace and comfort to my heart, rather than fear of what may come.

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