“And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;” (Genesis 18:1)
“And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,” (Genesis 18:2)
God (the LORD, Jehovah) had appeared to Abraham several times prior to the appearance here in Genesis 18. However, it is not recorded in the Scripture the manner in which, or what form, God used to appear to Abraham until this chapter.
In Genesis 18:2, the Scripture says, “…three men stood by him…”
Our question is: What does it mean to be visited by the Third Man?
There are several results of God appearing to one of His Children:
Part A. The Revelation of Deity
Part B. The Revelation of Declaration
Part C. The Revelation of Destruction
Part D. The Revelation of the Dedicated
In yesterday’s devotion, we looked at the first two, saving the other two for today and tomorrow. (If you did not read it yet, please read the previous devotion.)
Part C. The Revelation of Destruction
“And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;” (Genesis 18:17)
“Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” (Genesis 18:18)
“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.” (Genesis 18:19)
In Psalms 25:14, God says:
“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.”
In John 15:15, Christ says,
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
Abraham was not only a Servant of Righteousness (Romans 6:4-22), but he was also a Friend of God (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23). As John recorded of the Friends of God, “but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” In this verse, Jesus was speaking to His Apostles, even the foundation of the Church (Ephesians 2:19-22).
In our text verses, Genesis 18:17-19, God gives two reasons for declaring His Destruction of Sodom to Abraham:
1) “…and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him…” (Genesis 18:18)
This of course, points to Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:8-16):
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16)
As has already been pointed out in previous devotions in this category on Genesis, Abraham was a type of Christ; the father of the Faithful. Christ Himself is The Faith, to Whom the Promise was made concerning the details of the Everlasting Covenant of Genesis 17 and explained in Galatians 3:1-29.
Upon the basis of who Abraham typed out, Christ; so all the seed are blessed in Christ; then we are the friends of God. Hallelujah!
2) “For I know him (Abraham)…” (Genesis 18:19a)
a) “…that he will command his children and his household after him…” (Genesis 18:19b)
This is having reference primarily to commanding his household of faith in the things concerning God. That is, Abraham taught Isaac; and Isaac taught Jacob; etc. the ways and the will of God. God said, I know that Abraham, a man of Faith, will be faithful in teaching his children (physical and spiritual, but primarily his spiritual children of faith; Galatians 3:7, 29) about God.
b) “…and they shall keep the way of the LORD...” (Genesis 18:19c)
Because of Abraham’s faithfulness to teach his posterity about God, those who were possessors of faith would hear the Word of God and obey the Word of God.
This is the pattern when truth is presented to the Regenerated Child of God; those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God (Romans 8:14-16). They not only have the capacity to hear the Word of God and discern what they are hearing (1 Corinthians 2:9-16); but they also will be doers of the Word of God (James 1:22-25; 2:14-16).
Why? Because they are ordained (appointed) unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). It is the natural progression of faith. That is, to bear fruit – and that that fruit remain (John 15:1-16).
c) “…to do justice and judgment...” (Genesis 18:19d)
Read Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 5, 6; and Ephesians 6:4:
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
It is the father’s responsibility to teach his children the Ways of Righteousness. See Deuteronomy 4:9d, “…but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.”
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” (Deuteronomy 6:4)
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:” (Deuteronomy 6:6)
“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)
“And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.” (Deuteronomy 6:8)
“And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:9)
The fruit of righteousness is that which is right and just before God and man.
Then in Genesis 18:20-22, God declares to His friend Abraham that He is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham’s reply in Genesis 18:23 revealed that God was going to totally destroy Sodom and Gomorrah: “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?”
God was getting ready to completely destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain for their great sin. God says in Genesis 18:20, “…because their sin is very grievous.” (The nature of their sin will be discussed later in Genesis 19; but for now, we will just say that God will not tolerate sin, and it must be judged.)
In light of God’s Declaration of His Will to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah – this brings us to the last point in Genesis 18, which we will discuss tomorrow, The Revelation of the Dedicated