#DailyDevotion When God Gets Personal
Gen 18:1-10 And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. (2) He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth (3) and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. (4) Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, (5) while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” (6) And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” (7) And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. (8) Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate. (9) They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” (10) The LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him.
In the Old Testament, it seems to be that when you see LORD it is when God is getting personal and acting in a covenant type of relationship. So in Genesis chapter 1 when God is creating the world he is less personal. However when he creates man forming him from the dust of the ground, he is LORD, which is the personal name for God and not just some derivative term for deity.
So the true is same here, God appears to Abraham as the LORD. He has come to act personally and in a covenantal fashion. He appears as three men standing before Abraham. Is this the Holy Trinity? Many seem to think so. The one argument against it is one of the persons sends the other two as angels to save Lot and his family. But, the LORD often appears as ‘the angel of the LORD’ so it doesn’t dismiss it as not true. The LORD has a personal interest in Abraham as the one through whom he is going to save the human race.
Now what we see in Abraham is what we see of the people of his day. He is hospitable according to his means. It is probably true not everyone living in the wilderness was hospitable. But according to people who study these things, most people were. If you showed up at someone’s tent you were going to be hospitable to them because someday you would be traveling and might be in need. You would want someone being hospitable to you. When Abraham greets his guests as lord he is not recognizing them as being the LORD. He is using a term of respect. He entreats them to stay so he may be hospitable to them. In similar fashion we should seek to see how we may be of help to those around us. It is a blessing to be a blessing to another person. As St. Paul says, Rom 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” The LORD graciously accepts Abraham’s invitation.
Now in the previous chapter the LORD changed Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah. He has made a covenant with Abraham to bless him with a son and with many descendants. He comes back again to affirm the covenant he made with Abraham. This will not be the last time. It reminds of when people get chinchy with God’s grace. They say, “If Jesus died for all my sins, why do I need to keep asking for forgiveness?” “Why do I need to be baptized if Jesus died for my sins?” “Why do I have to confess my sins to my pastor if I can go straight to God?” Etc. You think God is stingy because you are so stingy. It isn’t because your faith is great. The LORD is crazy generous. So he tells Abraham he is going to have a son in a year, the son of promise. Because we are fallen, human beings, the LORD repeats his covenant to us otherwise, we probably would fall from faith and not believe him.
Heavenly Father, ever repeat your covenant with us we have through your son Jesus Christ that our faith may ever be strengthened and we not fall away. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.