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The guest that came to dinner?

November 21, 2009

Guest who came to dinner?

The Eighteenth Chapter of Genesis is known as the Vayeira. The Vayeira Parsha means that he will command his children and his household after him and that they shall keep the way of God.[i] Previously in the other chapters of Genesis we studied a Memorial Portion called Noach Parsha, which means that “he will command his children and his household after him that they should keep the way of God” – that he would ensure that his children’s children would do charity (tzedakah) and justice (Verse 18). With the reassurance from the scriptures, Abraham kept the way of God. In this chapter, LORD and two angelic beings have revealed themselves to Abraham, and have fellowship with Abraham, in the evening at dinner time. Thus, Abraham has a divine appearance from God. God revealed Himself to Abraham by the Oaks of Mamre (Alon Mamre) – as he sat by the door, probably between 12pm to 5pm, and it was the temperature was hot, outside.

Also in the scripture God reveals to Abraham that Sarai is his chosen wife, a wife of the promise. Sarai like Abram undergo a name change and she will be called Sarah from henceforth.  Nevertheless, Sarah is the wife of the promise, and there can only be one wife. All of our lives ought to be about making someone happy, finding the one true love, our consummate mate, for a man ought to have a wife (helper, not a hindrance), which is a promise from God. Although you may have more than one woman that is totally devoted to you, God only gives you one woman of promise, and you can’t compromise God.

The Lord appeared to Abraham by the tree, while he was inside his tent – but at the door, in Alon Mamre (verse 1). The three men suddenly appeared before Abraham’s eyes as he looked up and were inside his tent, adjacent to where he was sitting (verse 2). Then Abraham hurriedly ran from the tent door to meet the three men and bowed himself to the ground, the he said,

Verse 3”My LORD, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:

Verse 4- Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:

Verse 5- 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.”

Then three men said to Abraham, Verse 5- “So do, as thou hast said.”

Next, Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah and asked her to make cakes. Then again Abraham hurried also and ran to the herd and took perfect calf and gave it to a young man; who hastened to prepare the meat; and the butter and also the milk. The young man served the food under the tree, to Abraham and his guest (verses 6-8). The three men said,

Verse 9, “Where is Sarah thy wife?

Abraham said, Verse 9, “Behold, in the tent.”

One of the three men, Verse 10, ‘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.’

Sarah was listening behind the tent door and she laughed to herself because she and Abraham were old. Most women Sarah’s age are in post-menopausal state. The conservation of age, in one hundred-fold and so on is documented in the Bible, so she did not how or when she would have a child, because she probably did not believe her lords were capable of delivering a divine message to her. Sarah was about to become a mother of a nation, many nations. This is the second time that Sarah’s name has been called in a blessing which consist of a miracle, Genesis 17:16.

Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” (Verse 12)

And the LORD said unto Abraham, “Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?’” (Verse 13)

Is anything 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. (Verse 14)

Then Sarah denied, saying, “I laughed not; for she was afraid.” (Verse 15)

One of the three guest, ‘And he said, “Nay; but thou didst laugh.”’ (Verse 15)[ii]

Lastly, the three men rose from Abraham’s tent, and their seats that were near the terebrinth tree in Mamre. The men looked forward to the city of Sodom. So Abraham went with the three guests and sent two on their way (Verse 16). The LORD spoke to Abraham:

And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do (Verse 17);

Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him (Verse 18)?

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 (Verse 19).[iii]

Then the two men turned and continued toward Sodom, and Abraham stood still; before the presence of the LORD. Abraham continued to host his guest in righteousness and justice (Verse 20-21). Abraham advocated for the sons of Ham, and thus his name change was fitting from Abram to Abraham (Verse 23-25).

And Abraham drew near, and said, “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? (Verse 23).

Peradventure there is fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? (Verse 24)

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 is far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Verse 25)

Today we have our advocate to go before our Father God, and that is His Son, Jesus Christ, a propitiation that died on the cross for all men.

And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. (Verse 26)

And Abraham answered and said, “Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which is but dust and ashes (Verse 26):

Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy the entire city for lack of five? (Verse 28)”

And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. (Verse 28)”

Abraham was speaking to God, and if this is so then God replied to Abraham ‘that if he found forty-five righteous souls then he would not destroy the city of Sodom.’ In this chapter, I hear nothing about God’s intentions to destroy the city of Gomorrah. God did not respect the deeds of the sons of disobedience; therefore he destroyed city of Sodom and the city of Gomorrah, which are desolate to this day.

So the story ends, Abraham continued to advocate the fate of the people in the land of Canaan, and he is therefore living up to his name. Abraham acts compassionately as a concerned citizen and Father to the inhabitants of the city of Sodom; which is North of the City of Tyre (Phoenicia) – present day Lebanon, in the land of Canaan. Canaan is a descendant of Ham, in the tenth chapter of the Book of Genesis.[iv]


[i] Genesis 17:10

[ii] Romans 4:19-21

[iii] Romans 4:3; and Romans 4:16-22

[iv] Genesis 10:5-20

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