Summary: When God came for a visit
1. Abraham believed God’s promise of a son. “Abraham fell to his face and laughed” (17:17).
2. Sarah doubted God’s promise. “Sarah laughed . . . shall I have pleasure my lord (Abraham) being old also?” (18:12).
3. Five categories of doubt (note progression).
Weak faith, a muscle without strength. “Abraham’s faith did not weaken” (Rom. 4:19, NLT).
Little faith, a small muscle without strength. “O thou of little faith” (Matt. 14:31).
Faithlessness, a car’s gear in neutral, no positive faith nor negative unbelief. “O faithless . . . generation, how long shall I be with you?” (Matt. 17:17).
Doubt. “Speculation or controlled by human thinking. “Wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matt. 14:31, KJV).
Unbelief. Negative response or rejection of God’s command. “Because of your unbelief” (Matt. 17:20, NKJV).
B. WHEN GOD CAME FOR A VISIT
“The Lord visited Abraham’s camp in the mountains about mid-day. Abraham was sitting in his tent’s door, and ran to meet three men as they approached him. Abraham asked them to rest and allow them to prepare a meal. They agreed. Abraham ran to get his servants to prepare a gracious dinner. When they got finished eating, the Lord said, ‘Where is Sarah?’ She was in the tent. The Lord said, ‘She will have a baby boy in one year’” (18:1-10, Amplified).
1. Unexpected. The Lord usually comes to us when we don’t expect Him.
2. What if Abraham didn’t have faith eyes? Abraham, “Noticed three men standing nearby” (18:2, NLT).
3. Be gracious to everyone, you never know if it’s God (18:17) or angels. “Entertained angels unaware” (Heb. 13:2).
4. Don’t be cheap. Abraham killed the fatted cow (18:7) for a southern barbeque!
5. Feed others first. “As they ate, Abraham waited on them” (18:8, NLT).
6. God usually begins with a question. “Where is Sarah?”
7. God knows the name of your spouse. Only God and Abraham knew her name had been changed.
8. When listening to God, look for His message of change to you. “About this time next year . . . Sarah will have a son” (18:10).
C. ANALYSIS OF FAITH
“Sarah was ease dropping and she laughed within herself when she heard she would have a baby. Both she and Abraham were old and she was beyond the age of having a baby. The Lord asked Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say an old woman couldn’t have a baby? Is anything too hard for God?’ But Sarah was afraid and denied that she laughed. But God said, ‘That is not true, you did laugh’” (18:11-15, Amplified).
1. You usually get in trouble ease dropping. Why? You don’t hear everything, and you don’t know the context, and often times you want to believe the opposite.
2. God knows your inward thoughts, sarcasm and doubts.
3. Why did God ask Abraham a question instead of pointing out her doubts?
4. Because of ease dropping, you might hear what you don’t want to hear. Sarah heard God question Abraham about her laugh. That probably terrified her.
5. Three questions from God:
First, “Why did Sarah laugh?” Internal examination.
Second, “Why did she say old women can’t have a baby?” To break her limited thinking.
Third, “Is anything too hard for God?” Faith-producing.
6. Sarah added sin (she lied) to her doubt.
7. Doesn’t fear motivate us to doubt and sin. “Sarah was afraid” (18:15).
8. Sarah’s encounter (but not face to face) with God gave her the determination to have the baby.
9. An evening meal can change your life!
D. HOW TO GROW YOUR FAITH
1. Confess your lack of faith. “I believe, help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 4:24).
2. Pray for it. “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).
3. You learn how to use the principles of faith from Scripture. “Faith comes . . . by hearing the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
4. Learn from people of faith. “The genuine faith that is in you (Timothy) which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice” (2 Tim. 1:5).
5. Launch out in faith. “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).
6. Grow by bigger steps of faith. “From faith to faith” (Rom. 1:17).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.