Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

 Sermon Text: Genesis 18:1-14

 Other Readings: Colossians 1:1-14 and Luke 10:38-42


To learn more about the supposed location of this event and how its history throughout the ancient world, consult this Wikipedia article.

  1. Martin Luther thinks that Abraham did not see the “men” approaching because he was meditating on God’s promises to him. What was the most recent promise God had spoken to Abraham? Confer chapter 17.
  2. Why did Moses (who wrote Genesis through Deuteronomy) here use the name “the LORD” for our God? Consult Exodus 34:6,7 and Genesis 18:3-5.
  3. Sarah laughs at God’s promise of a son, and commentators debate why she laughed. Some say she laughed because she was happy to hear this promise. Others think it was because she wondered about its possibility. Use Genesis 17:19-21 to make a case that Sarah’s laughter was a happy one. Use Genesis 18:13-15 to make a case that Sarah’s laugh reflected realism (at best) or doubt (at worst).
  4. Hebrews 13:2 is very complimentary of Abraham’s actions here and makes an encouragement to us: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” What cultural and personal obstacles are there that make it difficult for us to do this?
  5. “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (18:14) Say or write a prayer to our gracious and almighty God, asking for his help regarding a situation which needs his help. Be assured that you can pray to him and that he will hear you because in Jesus, whom the Father loves, you have “redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13,14).

  1. God had promised (again) to give him a son. This is essentially the same promise he had given Abraham before (cf. Genesis chapter 12) – the promise that he would become a great nation and that from him the Savior would come to bless all peoples on earth. This latest reiteration of the promise added the sign of circumcision to the covenant.
  2. For one, the name “the LORD” highlights God’s grace and compassion, and this meeting was all about God’s grace and compassion to Abraham in the promise of a son and a Savior. Additionally, Moses seems to be using word play with the way that Abraham speaks in verse 3. Abraham addresses the LORD by calling him a “lord.”
  3. On the one hand, Sarah’s laughter might be a recognition of the name Isaac (which means, “he laughs”), the name which God had given to Abraham in chapter 17. On the other hand, the way that Sarah lies about not laughing and the Lord’s reply seem to indicate that she was laughing out for different reasons.
  4. Answers may vary. God give us hearts to trust his providence and protection and to show charity to all, even to strangers!
  5. Answers will vary. God answer you for the sake of Abraham’s descendant, our Savior Jesus Christ!