God Promises Abraham a Son

A husband calls from his office at five minutes to five saying, “Hi, dear! I’m just leaving, and I’m bringing some people home for supper: my boss, the chairman of the board, and the president of the corporation. we should be there in about 15 minutes. Please get busy and … More

Laughed

This situation is similar to what happened at Abraham’s house in this passage. In the heat of the day, Abraham was sitting in the doorway of his tent enjoying the breeze when he saw three men approaching (vv. 1-8). When he saw them he ran to meet them. These three were not just ordinary men - - one was the Lord (v. 13), and the other two were angels. After greeting them, Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah to quickly take three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes on the fire. Abraham ran and butchered a calf so they could have steak.

Who could have imagined the Lord, the creator of the universe, and two of His angels, actually sitting down with an ordinary person like you and me to enjoy a meal of homemade bread and T-bone steak (vv. 9-10). It is amazing how careful the Lord was to set Abraham completely at ease. When the Lord was ready to specify the fulfillment of the covenant promise, He came in person and ate in Abraham’s tent. Nothing could more significantly communicate their close relationship. Then after the meal was over and the dishes were carried away the Lord asked, “Where is Sarah thy wife?” He did this just like He didn’t know she had her ears glued to the tent flap. Then he said, “Sarah, thy wife, shall have a son within a year.”

Sarah was inside the tent listening and laughed when she heard this (vv. 11-15). When Abraham laughed in the preceding chapter, it was the laughter of faith, but Sarah’s laughter was of total disbelief. The Lord knew she had laughed and rebuked her saying, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Sarah was embarrassed so she lied and said she hadn’t laughed. Of course, this only made her conduct more reprehensible. Perhaps she thought, “I’ve been married for over seventy years, I’m old enough to be a grandmother, and now someone is telling Abraham I’m going to have a baby. To Sarah this was all too funny for words. Is a child from a woman past child bearing too marvelous for the One who called all things into existence? It is no laughing matter. He can do it. Nothing is incredible for those in fellowship with the Lord because nothing is too difficult for Him. Abraham was truly a privileged man to stand in the direct line to the coming into the world the very Son of God Himself.

Application

Basically, this account is a call to believe that God can do the impossible. God knows that I may stumble over what He says He can do. I simply must remember that nothing is too hard for God.

Genesis 18:1-15 (English Standard Version)

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. 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 and said, "O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 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." And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes." And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 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. They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "She is in the tent." 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. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?" The LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son." But Sarah denied it, saying, "I did not laugh," for she was afraid. He said, "No, but you did laugh."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »