Outline for “Abraham-He Wasn’t Expecting Any of This!”

by Jonathan Spurlock
(Holts Summit, MO)

Text: Genesis 18


Introduction: The events in this chapter come at a significant time in Abraham’s life. He had just received the promise from God that his son would be born in about a year, plus he had just received a new name from God. Formerly, Abram, he was now known as Abraham; likewise, his wife Sarai was now Sarah. Now Abraham is resting in his tent during the heat of the day—and he receives three visitors whom he never expected to see!

Unexpected Guests, vv. 1-8
-They came during the “heat of the day”, perhaps 1-3 pm.
-Abraham ran to meet them, indicating by some (Jamieson/Fausset/Brown, e.g.,) that he knew the visitors had a higher rank or social standing
-Abraham’s hospitality, even at age 99 he ran to meet the visitors.

Unexpected Good News, vv. 9-15
-They had been hoping against hope for a child
-No need for trying “Plan B”, as with Ishmael; God will keep His promise
-News was so unexpected, Sarah laughed!
--Sarah was apparently at the speaker’s back, or in or near the tent. There was no way, humanly speaking, for him to see or hear her—but he did!
--Because the guest was God, He could and does see everything!

Unexpected Bad News, vv. 16-33
-Sodom and Gomorrah, fate certain, they’re doomed to destruction
-Abraham was perhaps aware of the condition of both cities but may not have known extent
--When Abraham heard, he immediately began to intercede. Why 10?

The Application for Us
-We may entertain angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2) and not even know it.
--Why not treat all people with respect?
-God has something to say, whether good news or bad news.
--Rejoice with the good
--Intercede with God when we hear the bad news
-Who might we minister to today?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. http://www.lockman.org

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