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Listen while you read: "Come Christians Join To Sing"1 (Lyrics)
Genesis 18:3-5 – [Abraham] said, "If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way — now that you have come to your servant." "Very well," they answered, "do as you say." (NIV)
I love to host a dinner party. I plan the menu, prepare what I can in advance, and set the table. It's a chance to bring out the nicest dishes, the linen, the vintage pressed glass pieces that I collect, and the prettiest napkins. It takes a lot of planning, but it's fun to delight my guests and enjoy a wonderful dinner together.
When I find out that someone is going to visit my house for dinner that very day, I fly into action, see what is in the freezer, make a quick trip to the grocery store, and clean up the house as rapidly as possible. It is stressful, but exciting! This is what happened to Abraham and Sarah at their encampment. Abraham welcomed the three men, who turned out to be messengers of God, and hurried to practise hospitality.
Far from being perfect and righteous, Abraham lived a life beset by problems, disobedience and its consequences, and family strife. Yet God took the initiative and showed up, calling Abraham out of his problems. When God comes to dinner, He creates life and movement out of darkness, just as He did in creation — life out of death, a life marked with new meaning, freedom, and hope. What was Abraham's response? He urged the heavenly visitors to stay, rushed to prepare supper, stood over them as they ate, and walked a while with them on their way. More importantly, he heard God's voice, and believed Him. Abraham is an example of someone saved by grace, whose faith was counted as righteousness.
God had promised Abraham and Sarah a son, but waited thirty years to fulfill the promise. As the holy visitors reminded him, is anything too difficult for the Lord? Sarah laughed at the promise of a baby in her old age. This was a God-sized event, because it was humanly impossible. Do we miss out on joy and laughter because we don't believe in miracles, thinking that only special people get them, or doubting that God can actually pull it off? Do we limit what God can do in our lives, by questioning His promises or His love given without conditions?
If we trust in God, we can have the laughter before the miracle happens! If we never had to wait for God's promises to be fulfilled, we might take His gifts for granted. The joy comes in having that perfect trust. God has power beyond measure to give us more than we could ever hope or dream of.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, we thank You that You come to meet us just as we are, bringing hope and new life. May we believe in Your promises, and trust You to fulfill them. We pray that we may have the same kind of faith as Abraham, by knowing the One whose promises never fail, even if we have to wait for them. Amen!