Summary: PENTECOST 9(C) - Abraham teaches true Christian characters as he weclomes the Lord and follows God’s Word.

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GENESIS 18:1—14 AUGUST 10, 2003

GENESIS 18:1-14 1The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

3He said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,A do not pass your servant by. 4Let a lit-tle water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way--now that you have come to your servant."

"Very well," they answered, "do as you say."

6So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. "Quick," he said, "get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread."

7Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hur-ried to prepare it. 8He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

9"Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked him.

"There, in the tent," he said.

10Then the LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son."

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?"

13Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, `Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son."

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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:

Think of the hardest thing that you’ve ever done or think of the hardest thing you have yet to do. Sometimes those impossible jobs seem just like that – impossible. Sometimes some jobs are just impossible and you and I cannot accomplish them or get them done. Toward the end of our text we heard the Lord ask the question of Abraham, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” We realize then and there, even those things that seem impossible are very possible with the Lord. One of the most impossible things in all creation is that you and I would be saved at all. We come into this world with a sinful nature that stands opposed to God and His will. Our sinful nature makes us mortal ene-mies of God. How does an enemy of anyone become a friend and, then, also be given salvation? An enemy cannot do this for himself. It is impossible. Thankfully, by God’s grace, you and I have been saved. Paul says in Romans, “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy”(ROMANS 9:16). Our Lord describes the impossible becoming the possible. You and I, who are enemies of God, become not only friends of God, but also His children to inherit eternal life. Then, the rest of our lives are spent worshipping, rejoicing and praising God because we are no longer God’s enemies but we are God’s children with Christian character. That’s what we learn in our text today as


I. Abraham welcomes the Lord

II. Abraham follows God’s Word

I. Abraham welcomes the Lord

Abraham and Sarah are about to have some visitors. We are told at the beginning of our text, The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham was sitting in the shade of the trees in the shade of his tent trying to stay cool when the Lord appears to him – not just the Lord, but also His messengers. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. This was the custom of the day. Visitors didn’t just come barging in – they stood at a distance from the tent waiting to be invited. They stood at a distance to let the person at the tent know that they meant them no harm. Abraham looks up and sees the three people, “When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.” Here was Abraham, a very wealthy man, a very powerful man, yet when he comes to meet these three strangers, he bows low to the ground as a sign of humility. We already begin to see his Christian character.

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