The Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary on Genesis

Genesis chapter 18

written by
Kraig J. Rice
www.7-star-admiral.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Clicking on these links will move you down this web page)
Genesis chapter eighteen
  Chapter 18- Sarah will have a baby
  Gen. 18:1 - 15 Sarah is to bear a son of her own
  Christ appeared to Abraham
  Christophanies in God's Word
  A few scriptures on Christ's deity
  Sarah cooked
  God's timing is always perfect
  Sarah laughed
  Is anything too hard for the Lord?
  Does God have a sense of humor?
  Gen. 18:16 - 33 Abraham interceded for Lot
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I mostly quote scriptures from the Old King James Translation of the Bible (the authorized 1611 version)
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A devotional commentary is different from an exegetical commentary. In a devotional commentary like this one I can give the application of a verse rather than just the interpretation of a verse.






Genesis Chapter 18
Sarah will have a baby

Sarah was to bear a son of her own:
"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, and said: My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash Your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: and I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort Ye Your hearts; after that Ye shall pass on: for therefore are Ye come to your servant. And they said:
"So do, as thou hast said."
And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said: make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat. And they said unto him:
"Where is Sarah thy wife?"
And he said: "behold, in the tent." And He said:
"I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son."
And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying: after I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the Lord said unto Abraham:
"Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying: shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."
Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And He said:
"Nay; but thou didst laugh"
(Genesis 18:1-15).

Note: there are several things I want to teach from the above verses:

Approaching God on your knees
will keep you in good standing

The literal appearance of Jesus Christ to Abraham:
The preincarnate Christ (in human bodily form) appeared with two of His Seraphs (Heavenly messengers in human bodily form) to Abraham. Why? Because He wanted personally to bring the good news to Abraham and Sarah that they were to have a child of their own. What father does not enjoy having fellowship with his own children? Let us enjoy the time of fellowship that we have with our Heavenly Father. This is one reason why He has created us. How do we know it was Christ, God the Son? Because the English word for Lord in verse one is the Hebrew word, Yahweh or Jehovah. And the English word for Lord in verse three is the Hebrew word, 'Adonay, a title, used in place of Yahweh due to reverence and respect for Him. Therefore, when we place these two names together we get Yahweh or Jehovah 'Adonay. That is one of the divine title names for Christ. It simply refers to Christ as God the Son. I want to repeat a couple of things here.

Abraham spoke to Jesus Christ face to face. Jesus was accompanied by two of His Seraphs (messengers) in the appearance of men. Abraham knew He was the Lord because the sheep of Jesus know the voice of their Good Shepherd
(John 10:14). The word used for "Lord" in Genesis 18:1 is the Hebrew word, Yahweh, that means "the eternally existing One". That is the proper name of the one true God. So, here is the question: how could Abraham have talked face to face with Jesus if Jesus had not been born yet? The simple answer is that Jesus loved to show Himself to saved folks in Old Testament days before He came to earth as a baby. When He did things like that, in theology, we call that a Christophany. What in the world is a Christophany? The Eternality of Jesus Christ means that Christ is eternal- He does not have a beginning or an ending. Certain names and titles prove His deity because only God is eternal. Jesus Christ existed in times past, He exists now, and He will always exist in the future. That means that Jesus Christ was pre-existent. The definition of pre-existence means that He existed before His birth. One evidence for Christ's pre-existence is proved by His other Christophanies. Let us take a brief look at some Christophanies in the Old Testament.


Some Christophanies in the Old Testament

Preacher, before you start on that, will you teach us more about a Christophany, please? Ok. A Christophany is just a fancy religious word that refers to the appearance of Jesus Christ in bodily form in the Old Testament times. Why is studying that important? Because it is part of the proof of Christ's deity. Also it shows that He is not just a transcendent God but an imminent God. He is actively involved in His creation. What does that mean to you and me? It means that He is always near to help us when we get into trouble just like He helped His saved people in Old Testament times. Remember, Who He is. He is God the Son. In other words, the Christophanies of Jesus Christ prove that He is eternal-  and only God is eternal. Jesus Christ was called the Angel of the Lord before He came in His incarnation (when He was born as a baby). Let us take a look at a few more Christophanies of Jesus Christ in the bible:


Remember what the Lord of Armies (Hosts) did in Old Testament days:
"As Joshua approached the city of Jericho, he looked up and saw a Man facing him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to Him and asked, "Are you friend or foe?" "Neither one," He replied. "I AM Commander of the Lord's Army." At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. "I am at your command," Joshua said. "What do you want your servant to do?" The Commander of the Lord's Army replied, "Take off your sandals, for this is holy ground." And Joshua did as he was told"
(Joshua 5:13-15).

Remember the outcome of this war. The Israelites with the help of God went into the Promised Land and had complete victory rather than annihilation. It was because the Lord went before them as their military leader.


"The Angel of The Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur- she gave this name to The Lord Who spoke to her: "You are The God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen The One who sees me"
(Genesis 16:7,13).


"But The Angel of The Lord called out to him from Heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. "Do not lay a hand on the boy," He said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son"
(Genesis 22:11-12).


"There The Angel of The Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight- why the bush does not burn up." When The Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." Then He said, "I Am The God of your father, The God of Abraham, The God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God"
(Exodus 3:2-6).


"Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains. So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. Then they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it. So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord because of the Midianites, that the Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel, who said to them, "Thus says the Lord God of Israel: "I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land." Also I said to you, "I am the Lord your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell." "But you have not obeyed My voice." Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!" Gideon said to Him, "O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites." Then the Lord turned to him and said, "Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?" So he said to Him, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." And the Lord said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man." Then he said to Him, "If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You." And He said, "I will wait until you come back." So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot; and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them. The Angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth." And he did so. Then the Angel of the Lord put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the Lord departed out of his sight. Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, "Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face." Then the Lord said to him, "Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die..."
(Judges 6:1-23 Modern King James Version).


"Again the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, "Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean. For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines." So the woman came and told her husband, saying, "A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name. And He said to me, Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death. Then Manoah prayed to the Lord, and said, "O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born." And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the Angel of God came to the woman again as she was sitting in the field; but Manoah her husband was not with her. Then the woman ran in haste and told her husband, and said to him, "Look, the Man who came to me the other day has just now appeared to me!" So Manoah arose and followed his wife. When he came to the Man, he said to Him, "Are You the Man who spoke to this woman?" And He said,
"I AM."
Manoah said, "Now let Your words come to pass! What will be the boy's rule of life, and his work?" So the Angel of the Lord said to Manoah, "Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. She may not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor may she drink wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean. All that I commanded her let her observe." Then Manoah said to the Angel of the Lord, "Please let us detain You, and we will prepare a young goat for You." And the Angel of the Lord said to Manoah, "Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the Lord." (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the Lord). Then Manoah said to the Angel of the Lord, "What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass we may honor You?" And the Angel of the Lord said to him, "Why do you ask My name, seeing it is Wonderful?" So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the Lord. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on- it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar- the Angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground. When the Angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the Lord. And Manoah said to his wife, "We shall surely die, because we have seen God!..."
(Judges 13:1-22). MKJV


The Angel of The Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. And The Word of The Lord came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
(1 Kings 19:7-9).


Was the Angel of The Lord also the Holy Rock mentioned by the apostle Paul? So, Who was the Rock (the Rock of Ages)?
"For it is my desire, my brothers, that you may keep in mind how all our fathers were under the cloud, and they all went through the sea; and they all had baptism from Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and they all took the same holy food and the same holy drink: for they all took of the water from the Holy Rock which came after them: and that Rock was Christ"
(1 Corinthians 10:1-4 Modern English Translation).


"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!"
(Philippians 2:5-8). Living Bible


Let us take a quick look at a few scriptures that help prove Christ's deity:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"
(John 1:1).

"Jesus answered, "The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!"
(John 8:58).

"Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him"
(Colossians 1:15-16).

And I will teach more about Christ's deity a little further along.


Sarah cooked food for them all. At her age, not only was she pretty but she was still able to cook a meal fit for a King
(Proverbs 31:10-31).


God had a timing for the judgment of the folks in the cities of the plain, and He had a timing for the birth of Isaac. Sometimes, we may not know what God's timing is but all we have to do is to trust Him to work everything out for our good and for His glory
(Romans 8:28).


Why did Sarah laugh? Sarah probably laughed in skeptical unbelief at what the Lord had said about her having a baby at 90 years old. It would have to be a miracle for that to happen and how many miracles do you think that she ever experienced in her lifetime? And here is God asking a question again. Remember, when God asks a question it is not Him seeking information because He is omniscient (He knows all), but He wants to know if she is going to consent to His plan with her free will. God is always a perfect gentleman in that respect. In essence, she says yes but denies that she has laughed because she is afraid that God might get angry at her. Also His question may have been meant to probe her to see if she really understood what He was telling her. He wanted to make sure that she got it and she did.


Is any thing too hard for the Lord?
God is so great and supremely awesome. Whatever your need is, whatever you want from Him, know that God is great and there is nothing that He cannot do. Go to Him in prayer. Lay out your petitions before Him with trusting faith. He is a Father who loves to bless each of His children. This statement is mentioned again by God in the bible:
(Jeremiah 32:27). Expect a miracle! This statement can also be worded: "is anything too wonderful for the Lord?" One of Christ's names is Wonderful
(Isaiah 9:6).




Does God have a sense of humor?
Have you ever told something to someone and made them laugh, and because they laughed, it also made you laugh? Have you ever told a joke and made someone laugh? One of the foundation stones of laughter is the use of exaggeration. I image that Sarah could have been thinking that the Lord was joking around with her and it made her laugh but she did not want to embarass herself by admitting it, just in case it was true.

Let us take a look in the bible to see how God has a sense of humor:
He created the strongest man in the world (Samson),
He created a great fish to transport Jonah to Nineveh,
He arranged for Peter to find money inside of a fish,
He allowed 2,000 pigs to drown in a lake,
He had singers lead an army into battle,
He had the earth travel backwards (2 Kings 20:11; Isaiah 38:8),
He delivered 3 million slaves out of Egypt by using a stick (staff),
He had the walls of Jericho fall down when the Israelites shouted,
He talked to Job from a tornado,
He had a party with three Hebrews in a furnace of fire
He brought up Daniel out of a den of hungry lions,
He had a flock of birds feed Elijah the prophet,
He had a donkey talk to Balaam,
He allowed Peter to walk on water (Matthew 14:24-33).
and there are other examples in His word:-)


Abraham interceded with the Lord for Lot in the city of Sodom:
"And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. 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 the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 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. And the Lord said:
"Should I hide my plan from Abraham? For Abraham will become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord and do what is right and just. Then I will do for him all that I have promised."
And the Lord said:
"Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto Me; and if not, I will know."
And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord. And Abraham drew near, and said: wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from Thee: shall not the Judge Of All The Earth do right? And the Lord said:
"If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes."
And Abraham answered and said: behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And He said:
"If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it."
And he spake unto him yet again, and said: peradventure there shall be forty found there. And He said:
"I will not do it for forty's sake."
"And he said unto Him, oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And He said:
"I will not do it, if I find thirty there."
And he said, behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And He said:
"Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty."
And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: peradventure ten shall be found there. And He said:
"I will not destroy it for ten's sake."
And the Lord went His way, as soon as He had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place"
(Genesis 18:16-33).

Why did God communicate with Abraham? There may be several reasons. Abraham was a prayer intercessor. He talked to the Lord on behalf of any righteous individuals within those cities. Another reason might be because Abraham was God's friend
(2 chronicles 20:7). Another reason might be that if God destroyed those cities of the plain without making it clear to Abraham what He was doing, Abraham could have thought that God might have been acting too much like Satan acts. God did not want Abraham to have a warped or distorted view of Himself. One might say that God gets blamed for too much of what Satan does, already, without adding more to it. And there may be a lot of other reasons. In the final analysis, The Judge Of All The Earth always does what is right. God loves to have conversations with those who love Him. What one says often reveals what is in his or her heart and Abraham had a tender heart towards God and for his nephew, Lot.

Why did Abraham stop at ten people and not go lower in his count with the Lord? Because Abraham knew that 8 righteous individuals were not enough to prevent God from destroying the entire earth during the days of Noah. The number 10 was the lowest he could go and Abraham probably guessed that there were not 10 righteous individuals in the city of Sodom. I am sure that Abraham was concerned for his nephew, Lot.

I believe, from these scriptures, we can make a strong comparison between God's love and mercy versus God's punishment of wicked individuals. God grants forgiveness but He can also judge those who are guilty.

Another point of logic that God is making in His word here is that He will not destroy the righteous along with the unrighteous in regards to our end times. He will come in the rapture of His church before His judgment falls on this world. In other words, He is going to deliver the righteous before destruction comes.



Genesis chapter 18
The deity of Christ





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Genesis chapter 17
The entire chapter





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