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14. Visitors

June 23, 2009

Text:   Genesis 18:1-19:36

Key Verses:   Genesis 18:18-19

Outline:           I. The Lord Visits Abraham      Gen. 18:1-33

                           II. The Angels Visit Lot      Gen. 19:1-29

                          III. Lot’s Daughters Visit Lot      Gen. 19:30-36

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     There seems to be at least two themes in these chapters which could be summarized as follows:

          God visits His people and it’s all about God; and

          The blessings of living life without compromise.

     This visitation of the Lord and His two angels comes very soon after His visitation in Chapter 17. In both visitations we learn that Isaac will be born to Sarah and Abraham in about one year. God and two angels visit Abraham when he is worshipping God at the trees of Mamreh. Abraham bows to them, asks them to stay, and offers to provide them with food. water, and a place to rest. Abraham tells Sarah to bake some bread while he chooses a heifer, slaughters it, and prepares it for his guests. The Lord asks where Sarah is and then proceeds to confirm to Abraham that He will return in one year to see His Son. Sarah overhears the conversation and laughs, as did Abraham in chapter 17, because she is beyond the child bearing age. The Lord responds to Sarah’s laughter, restates His promise, and says “nothing is too hard for the Lord”. Sarah claims she did not laugh but the Lord corrects her.

     The Lord and his angels prepare to leave but the Lord stays behind to tell Abraham about his plans for Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sin. Abraham questions God about His justice system wondering if He is willing to kill the righteous along with the wicked. He learns that the Lord is patient and will not destroy Sodom if He can find even 10 righteous people living there.

     The two angels arrive at Sodom and see Lot at the city gate. Lot receives them, bows to them, and invites them to his house for food and rest. They accept Lot’s invitation and spend the night. The men of Sodom come to Lot’s house that evening to proposition the “angels”. Lot shuts them out but offers his two daughters to the men in place of the angels. The men scoff at Lot’s heritage and faith, pressuring Lot further so the angels intervene and blind the men of Sodom. Lot is instructed to gather his family and leave because Sodom is to be destroyed. Lot informs his daughter’s fiance’ but they do not believe and find the promised destruction a joke. Early the next morning, Lot, his wife and two daughters flee Sodom with the angels. Instead of going to the mountains, Lot negotiates with them to go to Zoar. Lot’s wife looks back and turns into a pillar of salt. Lot is forced to leave Zoar and go to the mountains, living in a cave. Interesting, he does not think of returning to the area where Abraham lives. Lot’s daughters do not believe they will find husbands because of their father’s reputation and scheme to have sons by their father. Thus the Moabite and the Ammonite nations are born, future enemies of God’s people.

     Note the following comparison:

genesis_comparisons_contrasts

Lessons/Application:

     God’s Visits:

        1. Greet the Lord with humility, hospitality, and an attitude of worship.

        2. God visits you to give you assurance that He is in control. Give Him a chance to talk and be encouraged. His special visits will confirm His special promises.

        3. Welcome your visits from God. If you are living in sin, He will rescue you. If you are living for Him, He will encourage you.

        4. It would not be unusual for God to give you a hug while correcting you so run to Him, not away from Him.

        5. Wait on the Lord to speak and wait on the Lord to act. We are not to procrastinate but be alert; listening for His voice, anticipating His works, and ready to leap out in faith.

     One’s Lifestyle:

        1. The more we humble ourselves in worship before God, the clearer are His answers and directions.

        2. An abundant joy-filled life is found in consistent worship and obedience to God, our Father.

        3. Believe enough in God to place your future in His hands.

        4. Heritage doesn’t guarantee acceptance, only belief in God’s Promise.

        5. The past is over so live in the present knowing your purpose is in the future.

     One’s Knowledge of God:

        1. Do not be afraid to question God to learn the depth of His Love, the abundance of His Mercy, the fairness of His Justice, and the finality of His Judgment.

        2. Character traits are love, mercy, compassion, justness, patience, and omnipotence.

        3. Recognize that God is just and punishes unrepentant sinners.

 

God visits His Chosen One’s

to

Assure us of His Faithfulness;

Faithfulness to His Promise

and

Faithfulness to rescue us from harm.

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