Partnership & Offense

Yesterday, as the sun shone through scattered clouds onto the small German village where six months remain to pass me by, I dug into Genesis 18. Most people who cite this chapter either do so to cite Sarah’s lack of faith or to speak of Abraham’s plea with God for the salvation of Sodom and Gomorrah. In this chapter, however, I found a couple of items I’d like to talk about.

First of all, when the three men appear near Abraham and he insists on serving them, he immediately runs in to where his wife Sarah is. The verses read as follows in the Amplified Bible: “So Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah and said, Quickly get ready three measures of fine meal, knead it, and bake cakes. And Abraham ran to the herd and brought a calf tender and good and gave it to the young man [to butcher]; then he [Abraham] hastened to prepare it. And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had made ready, and set it before [the men]; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.” The first thing to pop out at me while reading this passage is that the relationship between Abraham and Sarah is not one in which the man commands the woman to serve the men, but rather it is one where they partner together to serve. What makes this more interesting is that from the 10th verse on, we find that one of the three men was the Lord Himself. As the story transitions into this acknowledgement, there is no indication that either Abraham or Sarah were surprised by this.
Abraham, who is famous even thousands of years later as a man of incredible faith, could easily have told his wife “bake cakes, get the butcher to prepare a young calf, and bring milk and curds to us. The Lord is among these men!” But instead the husband and wife duo team up to serve God. In this circumstance, neither Abraham nor Sarah elevated themselves among the other, instead preparing the way for an encounter with God.
What I see here is a marriage where respect is a firm foundation. And what’s more is that this act of service paves the way for God to flat out bless the sandals off of the pair as He tells them “within the year, you’ll have a son.” Sarah famously laughs as she overhears what He says. Preachers have used this verse time and time again to show that Sarah “lacked faith,” but what a stark contrast that is to Hebrews 11:11 which says “[b]ecause of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word. (AMP)” Sarah may have doubted for a moment, but she regained her faith quickly and gave birth to Isaac.

Here’s where things get interesting though. The Amplified Bible has a footnote at the bottom of this page that raises the fact that John 1:18 states no man has ever seen God in bodily form, and therefore only the Angel of the Covenant could be meant here. The “Angel” was Jesus Himself.
This totally blew my mind, because this means that Jesus came straight to Abraham and blessed him to have a son whose lineage would one day produce Him in human form to save the world. Thousands of years before Jesus of Nazareth was born, Jesus the Angel of the Covenant made the birth possible.

“God offends the mind to reveal the heart.” Personally, I love having my mind offended by God. He is bigger than any of us can wrap our minds around, and yet humble enough to walk the very earth He made and bless those whose minds are offended by His words.

These are just my thoughts and notes. Be blessed.
David

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