OceanSide church of Christ

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Genesis 18

Victor M. Eskew


I.           The Title of Genesis 18


A.            Abraham’s Divine Visitor Brings News

B.             Abraham Entertains Strangers

C.            Which Do You Prefer First?  The Good News?  Or, the Bad News?


II.         The Key Verse of Genesis 18:  Genesis 18:1-2


And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre:  and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him:  and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.


Why this verse?  The entire chapter deals with the messengers that came to the home of Abraham.  One of them will communicate two messages to this faithful patriarch.


III.       The Outline of Genesis 18


i.               Abraham’s Hospitality (Gen. 18:1-8)


a.     The Guests (Gen. 18:1-2a)

b.    The Greeting (Gen. 18:2b)

c.    The Generosity (Gen. 18:3-8)


ii.              Sarah’s Laugh (Gen. 18:9-15)

iii.            God’s Revelation (Gen. 18:16-21)

iv.            Abraham’s Supplication (Gen. 18:22-33)


IV.        The Lessons from Genesis 18


A.  In the OT, the Lord appears to man numerous times (Gen. 18:1).


And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre…


1.     The Lord had already appeared to Hagar in the form of “the angel of the Lord” (Gen. 16:7).

2.     The Lord will later appear to Moses in the burning bush (Exo. 3:2, 4).

3.     Moses will also be granted the privilege of seeing the back parts of God (Exo. 33:18-23).

4.     We need to understand two concepts:

a.  Manifestations:  God can take any form and appear unto man.

b.  Anthropomorphism:  When God, who is Spirit, is described in human terms.

B.    Who are these three men? (Gen. 18:2)

1.  Could they be all three members of the Godhead?

2.  Many believe they are the second member of the Godhead and two angels.


C.   We see hospitality both defined and demonstrated.

1.  Hospitality:  the love of strangers, fond of guests

2.  Abraham greets these men and takes care of their needs:  water for    

     cleansing, comfortable seats in the shade, appetizer of bread, and a meal.

                     3.  Two verses:

                          a.  Romans 12:13


Distributing to the necessity of the saints; given to hospitality.


                          b.  Hebrews 13:2


Be not forgetful to entertain strangers:  for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.


D.   The promise of a son through Sarah is renewed and a set time is appointed for the birth (Gen. 18:10).


And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son.


E.    Sarah’s laugh (Gen. 18:12).


Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also.


F.     “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14).


G.   We cannot conceal things from the Lord (Gen. 18:15).

1.  Sarah laughed “within herself” (Gen. 18:12).

                     2.  The Lord heard her laugh:  Wherefore did Sarah laugh? (Gen. 18:13).

                     3.  When Sarah denied having laughed, the Lord confronted her (Gen. 18:15).


Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid.  And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.


H.   God honors the relationship He has with His faithful servants (Gen. 18:17).


And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?


I.     All fathers need to be able to have said of them what was said of Abraham (Gen. 18:19).


For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.


J.    Sin ultimately brings the judgment of God (Gen. 18:20-21).


And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.


K.   “Abraham stood yet before the Lord,” and so can we (Gen. 18:22; See Ephesians 2:18).


For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.


L.    What is the answer to Abraham’s question in Genesis 18:23?  He asked God:  “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?”

1.  There are times when the righteous suffer because of the evil deeds

                          of the wicked.  Prophets such as Daniel and Ezekiel were taken into

                          captivity because of the evils of the nation.

                     2.  Ultimately, there will be a clear distinction between the righteous and the

                          ungodly (Ps. 1:5-6).


Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous:  but the way of the ungodly shall perish.


M.  The question of Genesis 18:25 could be made into a statement of fact.  THE JUDGE OF ALL THE EARTH SHALL DO RIGHT.


N.   Man has the ability to make interecession on behalf of others (Gen. 18:24; See I Timothy 2:1).


Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city:  wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for fifty righteous that are therein.


I exhort therefore, first of all, supplications, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.


O.   The presence of the righteous can preserve a city (Gen. 18:26).


And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.


P.    Abraham made six bold appeals to the God of heaven to spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of the righteous (Gen. 18:24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32).  We are urged to come boldly into the presence of God as well (Heb. 4:16).


Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.


Q.   God is not a God who is eager to destroy the ungodly.  He would have refrained from His wrath if only ten righteous could be found in the city (Gen. 18:32b).


…And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.