BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

Summary of Genesis 18:1-15:

The Lord appeared to Abraham among three visitors one day while Abraham was resting in the heat of the day.  When Abraham saw these men, he hurried to greet them and bowed low, knowing one was God for he says, “my lord” while addressing them. Abraham entreats them to stay, and he washes their feet and brings food and drink for their comfort. They agree to stay.

Abraham bustles about, hurrying the preparations of bread, meat, and milk (it is God). The men ask Abraham where is Sarah. God Himself tells Abraham (again) that Sarah will have a child this time next year.

Sarah who was eavesdropping laughs, believing she is worn out. God, of course, hears Sarah and asks Abraham directly, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Then God says He will return this time next year and Sarah will have a son.

Then Sarah denies she laughed out of fear.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

14a) They may not have invited the men to stay, nor feed them a meal. He selected the best calf to slaughter and brought curds and milk and baked bread. They both did the work themselves instead of servants, and we sense urgency in Abraham’s doings, indicating he knew his guests were special.

b) Personal Question. My answer: Attitude and joy, mainly. I either begrudge every moment and have a miserable time, or I have a good time and feel joy.

15) The first thing they ask is where is Sarah, so their visit was to confirm to Sarah that she would have a son. God says that when He returns, Sarah will have a son.

16) Because God heard Sarah laugh and knew she had.

17) Sarah had to believe God. We must believe God. God blesses (Luke 1:45) and rewards those who have faith (Hebrews 11:6; 11) Without faith you can’t please God.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

I love how God includes Sarah and makes sure she understands and has faith in this culture where women did not matter. This shows God loves all equally.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 5: Genesis 18:1-15

It is possible that Sarah never conceived earlier because she never had faith in God’s promise.

Bible scholars believe this was only 3 months since the last time God appeared because Sarah is not pregnant yet.

Here we literally see the Triune God, appearing as 3 men. So cool!

map of mamre bible

We’ve seen Mamre a lot so far in the Bible

Abraham knew it was God. At what point, we are unsure. Did God appear the same? No one knows. He could have changed his appearance at will.

Note God called Sarah by her new name. (Genesis 17:15-16).

God says His promise over and over again because dumb humans need to hear it over and over again, albeit this appearance was for Sarah, not Abraham.  Genesis 17:17-22

Romans 10:17:  “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ”

Both knew they’d have a son only be God’s miraculous hand, which may have been why they had to wait so long because God wanted to make it clear it was a miracle.

Doubt Versus Faith

As time passes and things don’t happen in our lives as we believe they should, we doubt as we see here with Sarah and Abraham. During their childbearing years, they believed. Now, it’s hard for them to do so.

Great commentary on the tree and this passage HERE

Some scholars think Abraham and Sarah were not having sex for whatever reason so God needed to reinforce His will personally, which is why He appears here.  In other words, they did not believe God (they were doubting His word) and were doing nothing to fulfill God’s will for their lives.

God heard Sarah’s laugh. We should remember God hears everything. God does not punish them for their unbelief. God is faithful to His promises despite our doubt (2 Timothy 2:13). He never abandons us like we do Him.

Hard is the same Hebrew word for wonderful in Isaiah 9:6 referring to Christ.

God talks to Abraham about Sarah’s doubt since he is the head of the household. He is responsible for her faith, or, in this case, her unbelief.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 4: Genesis 17:15-22

Summary of Genesis 17:15-22:

God tells Abraham that he will have a son by this time next year whom the covenant will be established with and who will be the father of many nations and kings. He renames Sarai, Sarah. Abraham laughed at the prospect of being a father at age 100 and Sarah a mother at age 90. God will bless Ismael and make him the father of 12 rulers and a great nation. Then God left.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 4: Genesis 17:15-22

10) God renames both, He tells them the will be a father/mother of nations and kings, and God blesses them.

11a) He is specific. God says He will give Abraham a son by her (Sarah, so not someone else). By blessing Sarah this time as well as Abraham, it’s clear they are the parents who will have the child together.

b) Abraham does not believe God here (funny, since he immediately gets every circumcised) and suggests Ishmael be the one. Instead, God tells Abraham that Sarah will bear the son and his name will be Isaac. He elaborates, saying he will be the one whom he establishes his covenant with, not Ishmael.

12) Personal Question. My answer. I wait for clarity in some way when it is unclear. I pray for clarity. I don’t act in haste.

13) It’s the first time God has given them a time frame. Before it was “some day” you’ll have a child. Now, it’s definitive. This is probably comforting for them, after they get done laughing at God.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 4: Genesis 17:15-22

I want God to give me a new name. It’s funny how one second, Abraham is totally in with circumcision, but the child thing, Abraham is doubtful. I’d hope if God/Jesus ever appeared to me, I would take them seriously.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 4: Genesis 17:15-22

Sarah is a minor change, and it just gives her a higher status.

Abraham doubted as shown by his laughter. Some Bible scholars think this was a rejoicing laugh; others think not. You can decide. Sarah for sure did not believe God (she even lies about it in Genesis 18:15). I think Abraham doubhted.

God does not forget Ishael, but He makes it clear Isaac is the one. Isaac, meaning laughter, would forever be a reminder of their doubt and their joy.

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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 17:9-14; 23-27

Summary of Genesis 17:9-14:

God tells Abraham that he and his descendants must keep His covenant. Every male must be circumcised, which is the sign of the covenant. This is to take place at 8 days old, and this applies to all male, whether adopted or not. If any male has not been circumcised, they are to be cut off from God’s people, as this will be a sign that the covenant has been broken.

Genesis 17:23-27:

Every male on that day was circumcised, including Abraham, his son, Ismael, and all in his household.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 17:9-14; 23-27

7) “It will be the sign of the covenant between you and me.”

8 ) That he/they are faithful.

9) Having faith is more important than works.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 17:9-14; 23-27

I love that Abraham obeyed immediately without delay. So, too, are we called to obey immediately as well.

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End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 11, Day 3: Genesis 17:9-14; 23-27

The cutting of the foreskin represents how God is setting His people apart (cutting them off). It is a physical sign that they are His people. Since males were born into it, it was fitting to be associated with reproduction. This is a sign of faith. Circumcision also helped with cleanliness, which was important in a society where no one bathed. Also, it was a sign of cleansing as well.

With Jesus, we are spiritually circumcised.

Why the 8th day? Childbirth is traumatic on a baby. After all, it goes from a water world to a world of air and newness. After 8 days, the baby’s body will recover faster, and some experts think that because the immune system is in place by now, that the baby will be less likely to get an infection. Doctors believe that a baby’s body can also blood-clot better on day 8 of life.

It’s important to note that the people were part of the covenant through faith. When they rejected circumcision, they were rejecting the covenant that God had granted through grace. Circumcision is not something you do that gets you to heaven, although the early Christians tried to make this so. (Galatians 5:1-15). Now, with the new covenant, you are free to circumcise or not.

Abraham’s immediacy speaks to his faith and his obedience to God’s commands. What does your response say when God tells you to move?

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Supporting Faith

In today’s world, it is more important now than ever to support faith, believers, and organizations that profess faith. From your local church to a struggling friend, it’s up to us to protect fellow Christians and spread the Gospel as well. With so many faith-based organizations under attack, it’s up to us to come together and offer strength through our numbers.

There is so many worthy organizations, from sponsoring children across the world to BSF. While it’s impossible to give to all or to support all, you can choose the ones closest to your heart to support.

That being said, it’s my annual post about supporting my blog and my writings. One day, I hope to be published. It’s been a dream of mine for 10 years now. While there are times I’ve had to put this dream on hold, it’s something I’m trying to resurrect this coming New Year. My husband has started his own business, so we are praying for God’s blessing in these uncertain times.

If you would like to support my blog, I’d appreciate it. While there is no pressure to give as I know you all have other causes to support, I’d just like to throw it out there as an option.

Click HERE or I have a donation button on my sidebar that uses PayPal. It’s secure, and you don’t need a PayPal account.

Whether you donate to me or another cause, please do so. Every little bit helps. Thanks in advance, and I’m looking forward to Abraham and Isaac!

God bless you and hugs to all!!

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Friday Digest: BSF’s Study of Genesis Lesson 10

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN GENESIS CHAPTER 15-16:

  • God judges sin but with grace
  • God’s timing is not our own
  • Nothing is impossible with God
  • God is our shield
  • God is our light
  • God seeks us even when we flee from Him

Take Away: God’s graciousness is unfathomable.