Summary: Sermon on Gods Word
9th Sunday after Pentecost Genesis 18:10-15 10 Then 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. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” 13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.” 15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
God’s Word Is Nothing to Laugh At.
It happens almost every summer somewhere where the heat is oppressive - the number of deaths that have occurred during the hot days. In our air-conditioned cars, homes, and offices, maybe we laugh at the heat. No reason to fret when central air is blowing on us. But the dangers of exerting oneself in the heat hit are still there. When someone dies because of the heat all of a sudden, we realize that the heat wave is nothing to laugh at. We all become more cautious. We all take it more seriously.
God’s Word is to be taken much more seriously. It proclaims a God who created us and makes demands of all those he has created. It proclaims a God who will examine each person in the light of his law to see if there are any who have merited eternal life. It proclaims a God who has provided the only way sinners can be forgiven. It proclaims to each person where we can expect to spend our eternity, and why we should expect it. God’s word is nothing to laugh at, because God means what he says and God does what he says.
I. God Means What He Says.
When the Lord told Abraham to go to a new land, Abraham listened and went. He was 75 years old when he set out for the land of Palestine. The Lord told Abraham his descendants would inherit the land he sent him to. A gracious promise! It’s just that at age 75, Abraham had no children. The Lord had told Abraham he would have a son. About 24 years later, Abraham and Sarah still did not have a son. Even though the Lord repeated that promise to Abraham all those years, we might understand if Abraham and Sarah had given up hope. We might understand if Abraham and Sarah would sit together at night, talk about God’s promise to them, and have a good chuckle over it. But God’s word is nothing to laugh at. God means what he says.
When Abraham was 99 years old, the Lord repeated his promise to Abraham. This time, God’s promise was a little bit different. This time, God delivered it in person. "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 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." (Genesis 18:1,2)
Now when the Lord comes to his people, it is always with a purpose. God did not come to Abraham just to shoot the breeze with him. God came to proclaim a promise he had given several times before. In the past, the Lord told Abraham that he would have a son. When? God did not say. This time, God spoke to Abraham face to face. This time, God pinpointed when he would fulfill his promise. "The LORD said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’" (Genesis 18:10) After years of waiting, God was going to fulfill his promise! Abraham and Sarah would have a son! God meant what he said.
What a shame that a moment of joy was turned to ridicule. "Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of child-bearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, ‘After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?’" (Genesis 18:10-12) Who would blame Sarah for her reaction? She would have a son?! No way. Not at age 90. Not after hearing the promise again and again, only to be let down, again and again. There was only one problem with Sarah’s "reasonable" attitude. This was God who was telling her she would have a son. God means what he says. And God’s Word is nothing to laugh at.