Summary: Overcoming The Status Quo
Abraham a man of Challenge, Faith and Promise
Overcoming The Status Quo
Reading Genesis 18:1-15
There is a tendency, a leaning, if not a disposition that we can hold, if not succumb to, that can and does rob us of what our Lord is wanting to do in our lives. This is true for individuals as well as finding its way into the life of any community of believers. That proneness of the flesh to accept the Status Quo as, "well this is how it has been, it has been this way for a long time, if not since I can remember and in spite of my best efforts it never seems to change, so I guess this is the way that it always will be. It seems to be so much easier to roll over on this point than rise to the challenge, with all the hassle and problems, it has always been this way and I see no reason why it should change now." This is how it is, this is how it always has been, this is how it will always be.
We can arrive at this place of acceptance of the Status Quo and live in it, no matter what God may say, simply out of the pressure of our own experience of life and the passing of time. Our experiences of the past re-enforce what has become to us developed prejudices and mind set immovable thinking. Here in this passage we have Abraham having a face-to-face encounter with God. We are told; "Then the LORD, (Yeh-ho-vaw, the same self-existent one,) appeared to him." Then in verse three, after Abraham had gone over to met the visitors, Abraham say; "My Lord, (an emphatic title of God.)" Notice the reaction of Abraham to this theophany, he gets up, runs to the place of the manifestation of God, and BOWS, he comes with worship. Abraham, the one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful man in that region, a man who when he spoke things were done at his bidding, Abraham bows before his Lord and God.
There is no presumption on the part of Abraham that what was happening, was happening because he was the man of God and so this was the right an proper thing to happen to him. We are able to say this because of what he says in verse 3. "My Lord, if I have now found favour in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant." There is humility of spirit in this man that we would do well to learn from. Yes he is a man of God, Yes he has had various visitations in the past, Yes is he the man of promise, who has received the words of the Almighty, God had come to him, out of all the peoples and inhabitants of the world at that time, God had chosen him, yet still this man bows to his LORD and God. This man who’s encounters go back some twenty five plus years, who because of his faith and faithfulness, was about to be told of the impending destruction of Sodom, who even then cries out on behalf of that wicked, evil city. A city whose way of life and practices was the foulest of stenches before God, and undoubtedly was known to Abraham as well, yet he calls for mercy.
Sometimes there are things that happen, and within us rises an indignation, which we add the word "holy" to. We, like the disciples call for the fire of God’s judgment to fall upon that part of His creation, failing to realise that judgment begins in the household of faith, ever before it begins in this sick world. Abraham judged himself by his bowing to God. The result being that he was not judged and his Divine visitor did not pass by that day, in fact there was the re-enforcing of the covenant that God had made to Abraham, in the eating of a meal prepared and spread before them, by the household.
It is during this time of the meal that the subject of the heir is raised once again, "Where is Sarah your wife?" This was not some idle chat around a meal table, God was about to re-enforce and once again confirm His promise to this now aged couple. He knew exactly where Sarah was; He also knew that she was probably listening in on the conversation. Her ears suddenly picked up at the mention of her name. She had in all possibility got as near as she could without being seen and heard. "That was my name just mentioned, what are they saying about me (?)" She hears the words; "I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son." Sarah says in her heart, "I’ve heard this all before, Abe, had been saying this kind of thing for over twenty five years now, at first I believed him, but now I (?) Well he says it because he wants to comfort me, he still takes pleasure in me, we still love each other, but these are dreams of an old man, who loves his wife who could not produce an heir. God you might fool that nostalgic old man, but it will have to happen in my body, and this body is old and well past any child bearing, I know, I’ve been here for all of my life, when we first married, how we wanted that child, but over the years we have come to accept it."