Sunday service, Dietmar Joosten, 07 May 2017
Genesis 18:1-15 (New International Version (NIV))
The Three Visitors
18 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. 2 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.
3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,[a] do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs[b] of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10 Then one of them 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 very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord 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.”
In the same manner the Lord sent an angel to Mary. And Mary accepted it. What we think is impossible is possible with God. God’s Life comes from obedience. When the Lord speaks, listen!
Abraham was sitting under a tree, but he immediately knew that the Lord was visiting him when he saw the three men. Lot lived in Sodom. He separated from Abraham because there was division between their servants.
Abraham was hospitable. That is a sign of someone who walks with God. How will you win others if you don’t invite them into your home?
Abraham was taught that human reasoning is fatal. He once listened to his wife that there must be another way for God to fulfill His promise. And till today the other son that was born of Hagar is fighting with Sarah’s son.
Your human reasoning might say, “where in the Bible does it say that you as a young boy should not write an sms to a girl”. But that is the beginning of your end. The Bible says it loud and clear in Timothy to flee from youthful lusts (2Tim 2:22).
Abraham understood that his own reasoning was his enemy.
A certain missionary in Germany prayed for helpers. Many came saying that God had called them. So he would take them into his orchard and show them how to prune the trees. After awhile he would come to have a look but he saw that the person pruned the trees totally differently to what he told him. When he asked him about it he was told that he knew how to prune trees for he grew up on a farm. The missionary thanked him and told him that he would call him if he needed him. One after another he tested them, but each one did it in their own way, until at last one came that did it exactly as the missionary showed and told him, and the missionary chose that one.
We must train our children to listen and obey, and when they are old it will be automatic.
If we continue reading in Gen 18:16-19,
“16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.””
The Lord said, “how can I hide things from Abraham”. Maybe you say that God doesn’t speak to you. Why? Because you’re not ready to listen to God and obey. Do you think that it will be easy to obey God? No. But God said of Abraham that He loved him and won’t hide anything from him. Does God hide things from you? God in heaven could give them a child for He knew that they will teach him to obey. He could command his children and they would obey. Not plead with their children, but command them and they will obey. Can you command your children that they obey? Maybe you have many excuses, your own human reasoning. That’s why things go in your house the way it goes. The heathen doesn’t hinder God’s working, but our own ways, reasoning and the way we do things.
A man of God said, “when we are simple, we are never dense, and we will have discernment”. The Bible says that if you are not like a child you cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven (Matt 18:3. Education is good, but keep it simple. For example when no water comes out of a pipe that used to have water, it’s clear that there must be a blockage if the reservoir is full. It’s simple. Complicated people will get very technical and calculate why no water comes out. But the spiritual man understands that the pipe is blocked. Remove the blockage and the water will flow. Remove the sin in your life and the Water of Life will flow again!
Sin can make your child toxic. Watch and pray! Don’t look for excuses but discern when there’s something not right in their life, and help them.
You might think that you can sin and make it right and nothing changes, whereas God says that sin brings death. Or you might think that your parents are old and reason in an old-fashioned way, and so you push their advice aside. Respect and honour your parents. There’s a special blessing that awaits those who look after their parents. Human reasoning might dictate that they must go to an old-age home and you have all the reasons why that is the best. But is that what God wants from you and me or does He expect us to hold their hand right to the end? Do not despise your parents.
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