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We have an account in this chapter of another interview between God and
Abraham, probably within a few days after the former, as the reward of
his chearful obedience to the law of circumcision.
- The visit which God made him, ver. 1 - 8
- The matters discoursed of between them,
- The purposes of God's love concerning Sarah, ver. 9 - 15.
- The purposes of God's wrath concerning Sodom.
- The discovery God made to Abraham of his design to destroy
Sodom, ver. 16 - 22.
- The intercession Abraham made for Sodom, ver. 23 - 33.
1: This appearance of God to Abraham seems to have had in it more
of freedom and familiarity, and less of grandeur and majesty, than those we
have hitherto read of, and therefore more resembles that great visit which
in the fulness of time the Son of God was to make to the world. He sat in
the tent - door in the heat of the day - Not so much to repose himself, as to
seek an opportunity of doing good, by giving entertainment to strangers.
2: And lo three men - These three men were three spiritual
heavenly beings, now assuming human shapes, that they might be visible to
Abraham, and conversable with him. Some think they were all three
created angels; others, that one of them was the Son of God. He bowed
himself towards the ground - Religion doth not destroy but improve good
manners, and teaches us to honour all men.
9: Where is Sarah thy wife? - By naming her, they gave intimation to
Abraham, that tho' they seemed strangers, yet they well knew him and his
family: by enquiring after her, they shewed a kind concern for the family of
one, whom they found respectful to them. And by speaking of her, she
over - hearing it, they drew her to listen to what was farther to be said.
10: I will certainly return unto thee - And visit thee. God will
return to those that bid him welcome.
12: Sarah laughed within herself - It was not a laughter of faith,
like Abraham's, (Ge 17:17), but a laughter of doubting and distrust.
The great objection which Sarah could not get over was her age.
I am waxed old, and past child - bearing in a course of nature, especially
having been hitherto barren, and which magnifies the difficulty, My lord
is old also. Observe here, That Sarah calls Abraham her
lord, and the Holy Ghost takes notice of it to her honour, and
recommends it to the imitation of all Christian wives, (1Pe 3:6).
Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him lord, in token of respect and
17: Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do - Thus doth God
in his councils express himself after the manner of men, with deliberation.
The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him. Those that by faith
live a life of communion with God, cannot but know more of his mind than
other people. They have a better insight into what is present, and a better
foresight of what is to come.
19: I know Abraham that he will command his children, and his
household after him - This is a bright part of Abraham's character.
He not only prayed with his family, but he taught them, as a man of
knowledge; nay, he commanded them as a man in authority, and was prophet
and king, as well as priest, in his own house. And he not only took care
of his children, but of his household: his servants were catechized
servants. Masters of families should instruct, and inspect the manners
of all under their roof. And this is given as the reason why God would make
known to him his purpose concerning Sodom; because he was communicative
of his knowledge, and improved it for the benefit of those that were under
21: I will go down now and see - Not as if there were any thing
concerning which God is in doubt; but he is pleased thus to express himself
after the manner of men.
23: Abraham drew near - This expression intimates, A holy concern.
A holy confidence; he drew near with an assurance of faith, drew near
as a prince, (Job 31:37).
27: Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, who am
but dust and ashes - He speaks as one amazed at his own boldness, and the
liberty God graciously allowed him, considering God's greatness, he is the
Lord; and his own meanness, but dust and ashes. Whenever we draw
near to God, it becomes us reverently to acknowledge the vast distance that
there is between us and Him. He is the Lord of glory, we are worms of the
30: Oh let not the Lord be angry - The importunity which believers
use in their addresses to God is such, that if they were dealing with a man
like themselves, they could not but fear that he would be angry with
them. But he with whom we have to do is God and not man, and he is
pleased when he is wrestled with. But why then did Abraham leave
off asking when he had prevailed so far as to get the place spared if there
were but ten righteous in it? Either,
- Because he owned that it deserved to perish if there were not so many: as
the dresser of the vineyard, who consented that the barren tree should
be cut down if one year's trial more did not make it fruitful,(Lu 13:9). Or,
- Because God restrained his spirit from asking any farther. When God hath
determined the ruin of a place, he forbids it to be prayed for,(Jer 7:16).
33: Abraham returned into his place - To wait what the event would
be; and it proved that his prayer was heard, and yet Sodom not spared,
because there were not ten righteous in it.