Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 18

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: To Record God's Creation and Identify His Plan (c 1-22)
Theme: The Story of Abraham (c 12-25)
Message: Sodom and Gomorrah (v 1-33)

Genesis 18 Commentary

(18:1-5) Abraham shows Hospitality - Abraham was eager to show hospitality to these three visitors, as was Lot (19:2). In Abraham's day, people's reputations were largely connected to their hospitality the sharing of home and food. Even strangers were to be treated as highly honored guests. Meeting another's need for food or shelter was and still is one of the most immediate and practical ways to ober God. It is also a time- honored relationship builder. Hebrews 13=2 suggests that we, like Abraham, might actually entertain angels. This thought should be on our minds the next time we have the opportunity to meet a stranger's needs.

(18:14) The Lord can do Anything -  "Is anything too hard for the LORD?" The obvious answer is "Of course not!" This question reveals much about God. Make it a habit to insert your specific needs into this question: "Is this day in my life too hard for the Lord?" Is this habit I'm trying to break too hard for him?" "Is the communication problem I'm having too hard for him?" Asking the question this way reminds you that God is personally involved in your life and nudges you to ask for his power to help you.

(18:15) Sarah being Afraid Lies -  Sarah lied because she was afraid of being discovered. Fear is the most common motive for lying. We are afraid that our inner thoughts and emotions will be exposed or our Nongdoings discovered. But lying causes greater complications than telling the truth and brings even more problems, You will be far better off telling the truth right from the start.

(18:20-33) Abraham changes His Mind - Did Abraham change God's mind? Of course not. The more likely answer is that God changed Abraham's mind. Abraham knew that God is just and that he punishes sin, but he may have wondered about God's mercy. Abraham seemed to be probing God's mind to see how merciful he really was. He left his conversation with God convinced that God was both kind and fair. Our prayers may not change God's mind, but they may change ours, just as Abraham's prayer changed his. Prayer helps us better understand the mind of God.

(18:20-33) Abraham questions God -  Why did God let Abraham question his justice and intercede for a wicked city? Abraham knew that God must punish sin, but he also knew from experience that God is merciful to sinners. God knew there were not ten righteous people in the city, but he was merciful enough to allow Abraham to intercede. He was also merciful enough to help Lot, Abraham's nephew, get out of Sodom before it was destroyed. God does not take pleasure in destroying the wicked, but he must punish sin. He is both just and merciful. The greatest news of our lives is that God's mercy extends to us.

(18:21) One Last Call to Repent - God gave the people of Sodom a fair test. He was not ignorant of the city's wicked practices, but in his fairness and patience he gave its people one last chance to repent. God is still waiting, giving people the opportunity to turn to him (2 Peter 3:9). Those who are wise will turn to him before his patience wears out.

(18:25) A Lesson in Judgement - Was God being unfair to the people of Sodom? Did he really plan to destroy the righteous with the wicked? On the contrary, God's fairness stood out. (I) He agreed to spare the entire city if only ten righteous people lived there. (2) He showed great mercy toward Lot, apparently the only man in the city who had any kind of relationship with him and even that was questionable). (3) He showed great patience toward Lot, almost forcing him to leave Sodom before it was destroyed. Remember God's patience when you are tempted to think he is unfair. Even the most godly people deserve his justice. We can thank God that he doesn't direct his justice toward us as he did toward Sodom.

(18:33) A Lesson in Prayer - God showed Abraham that asking for anything is allowed, with the understanding that God's answers come from God's perspective. They are not always in harmony with our expectations, for only he knows the whole story. Are you missing God's better answer to a prayer because you are only considering the answer you expect?

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Be Encouraged

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 18, and in today's text, we see Sarah's response to the promise of the Lord. We discussed yesterday how the Lord makes the impossible - possible as He reminds Abraham and Sarah that He is fulfilling His promise of a son to them. The Lord keeps His Promises, both the Promises of Blessings and the Promises of Judgement towards Sodom. What catches my eye is the Lord is holding judgment on the land for a handful of righteous men. In making an application, we see the Lord is affected and moved by how we live and our decisions. It seems like we are living in Sodom, but the same God who would delay his judgment then is the same God that delays His judgment today for a few righteous folks. How about you? Would the Lord wait for His judgment in your town because He sees you and those influenced by you living righteously before Him? Let us learn from our text today and be encouraged. On a discouraging day, how you live does make a difference in delaying the judgment of the Lord, so let us be obedient to the Lord and share His Love of the Lord because your life makes a difference.


Genesis 18

Genesis 18

 1And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

 2And 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,

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

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

 5And 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. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

 6And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

 7And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.

 8And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

 9And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

 10And 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.

 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

 12Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

 13And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

 14Is any thing 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.

 15Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

 16And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.

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

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

 19For 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.

 20And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

 21I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

 22And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.

 23And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

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

 25That 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 be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

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

 27And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes:

 28Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.

 29And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake.

 30And he said unto him, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.

 31And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.

 32And he said, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.

 33And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.