101-118-Genesis Part 2 Chapter 18
Abraham was at the door of his tent cooling himself in the heat of the day. He looked up a saw three men approaching and knew them to be heavenly bodies. One of them was the Angel of the Lord, being Jesus. Abraham bowed and offered to wash their feet, as was customary in that day. As it was in the heat of the day Abraham also offered them refreshment. We should always be ready to entertain strangers that come are way as they could be ministering spirits in need. (Hebrews 13:2) Or possibly it could be the Lord of Angels himself, as we do when we entertain the least of His brethren. (Matthew 25:40) Our Lord stands at the door of our heart and knocks. If we open the door He will come in and by His gracious consolations provide a feast to share with us. (Revelations 3:30)
The angels asked where Sarah was and Abraham answered she was in the tent tending to her duties. This the proper way that the Lord should find us when He comes, as it was in Luke 2:8 when the angels of the Lord appeared to the Sheppard’s in the fields to announce the birth of our Savior. We are slow to believe and often need to be told several times in the same purport. The blessings of many come from God’s common providence but the blessings believers receive come from Divine promises. The angel’s declared that when they returned next year Sarah would have given birth to a child. Sarah heard what they had said to Abraham and laughed. It was not the same as when earlier when Abraham had heard the promise that he laughed, for his laughter was that of joy and Sarah’s was of disbelief. The Lord who searches the heart knows the motive behind our actions. He knew that one laughed out of faith and the other sprang from unbelief. The Lord will discipline the one who He loves and this he did. He rebuked Sarah in order to convict, silence, and brought her to repentance.
Two of the angels went off toward Sodom while the Angel of the Lord remained with Abraham. The Angel of the Lord shared with Abraham that the cry of wickedness from Sodom was great and their sin was exceedingly grave. God is forbearing towards sinners but this is mistaken and fancied that God does not see and therefore does not regard. When the day of His wrath has come God will look towards them.
Here we read the first recorded solemn prayer in the bible. Abraham pleads for the Lord to spare Sodom for the sake of the righteous. First if but fifty then for forty-five and on down to only ten righteous found in Sodom. Here we see the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16) The prayer of Abraham did not save Sodom but Lot and his family was spared because of it. It is encouraging to us then to pray for our family, friends, and neighborhood for the blessing of God upon them.