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.

god promises isaac bsf genesis www.atozmomm.com

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.