Reading through the Bible together

Friday, May 4, 2012

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The Lord Himself appeared to Abraham and Sarah.  What led Him to do that?  Would He appear to you or me?  First, He came to announce personally the news that Sarah would have a son.  “Where is Sarah your wife,” He asked Abraham (v. 9), showing He knew her by name and came to give her a message.  She was listening at her tent door, keeping her distance as was the custom in those days.  Nevertheless, she got the message and laughed to herself observing, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” (v. 12).  The Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh . . . ? Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (vv. 13-14).  Sarah overheard this also and, being afraid, denied laughing.  The Lord had to contradict her: “No, but you did laugh” (v. 15).  How embarrassing!  How could she think that the One who knew her name and her future would not know the truth about her thoughts and actions?  Do we believe that God can't read our thoughts?  If so, we are in for some surprises.


God also knew what was going on down in the Jordan valley, where Lot had moved his family.  And He had come down to personally investigate the matter.  An outcry had gone up from some in Sodom and Gomorrah against the “very grave” sins and injustices taking place there.  But God knew that Abraham was praying for his family members now living in Sodom, and He came down to share with Abraham what He planned to do (v. 17).  He explained that it was important to communicate with Abraham, for His purpose was to develop a relationship with him, that he would command his household to keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice (v. 19).  God was teaching Abraham about His righteousness and justice, and this would be a prime object lesson.  As Abraham interceded with God, he showed his understanding of God’s righteousness and justice by saying, “Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked!  Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”  Abraham knew about God's mercy and justice.  Do we understand it?


Edwin Reynolds

Professor, Southern Adventist University