This week’s story is a small event in history but it carries a lot of insight about God and His purposes, concern and even His acceptance of us when we are less than trusting. What has struck me most is that God came in person (the theological term is “theophany”) to Abraham and Sarah. These appearances are rare but not unheard of in the Bible. God isn’t limited in how He makes Himself known to us. In the days before Jesus and the completed Bible, these occurrences were more necessary and frequent. What really stands out here is that God is intimately aware and concerned about us. His coming to Abraham and Sarah in physical form is testimony of His love and interest. Abraham offering genuine hospitality to these strangers set the stage for him to recognize that this was his Lord that had come. What might have happened if Abraham and Sarah had ignored these travelers? What if they had been stingy with their hospitality or rude?
The truth is that God is fully aware of everything about us – actions, thoughts, motivations and attitudes. He knew that Sarah laughed to herself and called her out on her lie. He is never in the dark or uncertain about what is really going on in and around you and me. Abraham and Sarah didn’t have the advantage of knowing about God like we do. We have the Bible and with it understanding of the ultimate visit when Jesus came to rescue us.I love it that God came to have a meal and tell Abraham and Sarah, in person, that they were going to have a child. It reminds me that God is not merely omnipotent and sovereign but that He is caring and concerned for each of us.
By the way, we should all follow Abraham’s example.
Hebrews 13:2 tells us,“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” (NLT)