Genesis 18: Abraham Intercedes for Sodom

1 And the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth

-Abraham’s act obviously meant recognition. Even though this passage says “men”, they obviously did not look like ordinary men and since Abraham was already wealthy like a king, it probably was not because they appeared rich or important. Abraham recognized these men as being God’s men either through instinct (Holy Spirit) or because he realized he had seen one of them before. The fact that he says “O Lord” in the next verse means that he recognizes one of them as who he thinks is God Himself. As we talked about before, if it is only an angel, the angel would correct Abraham and not allow him to make the mistake of referring to an angel mistakenly as God. Since this being has the appearance of a man, it is quite likely that this individual is Jesus, God the Son. The other two men must have been angels accompanying Him and Abraham somehow understood that this One was of more importance than the other two and were only accompanying.

3 and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5 while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” 6 And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

-This confirms that these beings did come in the form of men that they would eat and did not appear as a spiritual being only resembling a man. They appeared to have normal bodies like you and I. We’ve talked about there being four different words in Hebrew for the English word “man”. The word used here is the plural of “enosh” which if you recall means man in the mortal, fleshly sense. We see Abraham give them the utmost respect as guests, even washing their feat. If Abraham thinks he is entertaining God, he must be in both excitement and panic. How does one entertain God if he comes by your house? This demonstrates both Abraham’s faith and his submission to God up to this point. Abraham has come far enough in his journey that he knows who is boss. He knows who he owes everything to. Even let them eat while he stood by, not even eating himself. A “seah” is a unit of measurement of roughly 7.33 liters or one third of an “ephah” which is 22 liters.

9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”

-”The way of women had ceased” obviously means that she was old enough to have reached the state of menopause. There was now no physical way she could possibly have a child now even if she could before. It would truly, by all definitions, take a miracle at this point. Her age would have probably been the equivalent of 60 years old today. One amazing small mention that is easy to miss if in verse 12 when she calls her husband “lord”. What a stunning display of respect. In 1 Peter 3:5-6 in referring to marriage, Peter writes, “For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord…” By her conduct in scripture, Sarah is considered an excellent example of a good wife. I gave her credit last chapter as well but just in this one word, we see a perfect example for wives everywhere. As mentioned before, husbands must love and sacrifice for their wives and wives should respect and honor their husbands. In this, the most joy in marriage can be found. The fact that Sarah referred to her husband in this way even while laughing about something else, tells me that they must have had an excellent, loving marriage. This was a day where men did take multiple wives and Hagar was not given early on even though it was very cultural to have children through a servant if the husband and wife could not conceive. “have pleasure” in this last verse certainly refers to the joys of having a child.

13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

-Sarah was ashamed when she realized she had just laughed at something God had said. I can imagine the look on her face and her hand coming up to cover her mouth quickly, like a child who just said a bad word in front of his parents. How we are like children to God, even when we are old! And how He is a loving and understanding father! God did not scold her for this but merely encouraged her to have faith.

16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

-This is another bizarre inclusion in the bible if you do not understand the entire bible and the nature of Jesus, God the Son. God appears to be talking to Himself, no really! He asks Himself if he should hide the truth from Abraham. Is He thinking and considering? God does not need to think and consider. Thinking suggests indecisiveness and not knowing. God knows everything; therefore, He never has to think and consider. What is happening is God the Son, the one in the form of a man, is asking God the Father what to do. Jesus is perfectly submissive to God the Father, calling Him Lord. He does nothing apart from the will of the Father. Even though Jesus Himself is God, we know there are things that Jesus does not know that God the Father knows. We are told in by Jesus Himself in Matthew 24:36 regarding the end times says “…concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” So there are things that are kept from God the Son, including the end of the world. Jesus must have been asking earnestly what He should do from the Father because He does not know what to do in advance. He is there under orders awaiting the next order. So Jesus is sent to investigate Sodom and Gomorrah and only God the Father knows if He will destroy it. It is a chilling thought to think that Jesus could come to Earth and could even be on Earth right now doing the Father’s will. How would we possibly recognize Him if He appears like an ordinary man. We don’t have a clue what He looks like and He can probably look like anyone. Perhaps we should all be like Abraham was here and be perfectly hospital to anyone, any stranger that comes to visit. You never know if the person your are entering could be an angel, or even God Himself!

Abraham Intercedes for Sodom

22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”

-What a bold question! But an all to common one. So many people say the reason they have a hard time believing that a God exists is that bad things happen to good people. This comes from a misunderstanding of what good is. We think of good in the world as someone who is generally nice and does harm others. We think of good as a child, innocent. So when we see major disasters and horrible unspeakable things especially that which is done to children by sick and twisted minds, many people cannot believe a righteous God would allow such a thing. We fail to understand that we are all evil and all live in an evil, sinful world. We also don’t realize that death is not the worst thing to happen to a person. We don’t realize that God will use evil for good and use these horrible things to reveal Himself to people. These horrible acts do not disprove God but on the contrary, show what happens without Him and why we need Him. We have no ability to do anything by ourselves good apart from Him and natural disasters or bad people doing bad things is an excellent reminder that we are not safe. We are never safe. There is no such thing as safe. It is an illusion that we create. We are not in heaven right now and at any moment death can instantaneously come to us and our families. We are utterly helpless and at the mercy of God. We must constantly remind ourselves that God is not beholden to us and has no obligation to save us and anything He does is purely grace. We, even little children as hard as it is to imagine, deserve death for our sin. Anytime people die or a bad thing happens to a “good” person, it is less than what is deserved. But God does show mercy, God does intervene, God does answer prayer to those who call out to Him. But if a major disaster is happening and you are about to die and you call out to God for the first time in your life sincerely, do not expect to be saved. After all, who are you? God does not know you. When have you ever taken the time to know Him or thank Him for what He does for you? But to His adopted children. He often saves them or at least takes away some of the pain if it is their time. But if they die, all that means is that the path to being with God is accelerated. Death is not the worst thing that can happen, it can even be a blessing.

26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

-I find this passage humorous myself. Abraham isn’t asking what is truly on His mind. Abraham does not know if there are as many as ten righteous in that city. In fact, he may doubt that there is. He is asking God because he knows that his nephew Lot lives in Sodom and will be killed if God destroys the city. Abraham considers Lot righteous and we know that God counts faith as righteousness. If Lot has faith that God spoke to Abraham and is indeed real then perhaps God will spare him. Lot has always been like a son to Abraham and he even journeyed into modern day Syria with an army to rescue him. He does not want his kin to be killed. However, many interpret this passage as Abraham caring for human life in general. But Abraham does not ask God not to destroy the city for the sake of children who live there and are innocent. He is only asking about “righteous” people. He obviously has at least one righteous person in mind. If Abraham really did have concern for the children or “innocents” that don’t know better, then he at least knew that God would not make an exception because we are still only a few hundred years removed from the flood. Abraham may know what had happened to the Earth generations before and no that it is not above the Lord to destroy the world if everyone in it is wicked. This is why he asks if there are any people righteous, like Noah was, would he spare them? We don’t know if Lot living where he was would have been considered righteous but perhaps like Noah, because Lot was like a son to Abraham and Abraham was considered righteous, perhaps Lot was spared for Abraham’s sake just as Noah’s sons were.

Spanish Words:

encinar = oak forest, grove

alzar = to lift, raise

postrar = to prostrate, weaken

traer = to bring

recostar = to lie down

bocado = mouthful, bite

sustendar = to sustain

prisa = hurry

mantequilla = butter

reir = to laugh

juicio = trial

clamor = clamor, roar, outcry, toll

justo = fair, just

Genesis 2: The Seventh Day, God Rests

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

-“all the host of them” everything that exists in the sky and in space was created at this time. Obviously, stars have burnt out, supernovas, comets, who knows what has happened but everything was set in motion and put in its place here.

2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

-A simple logical question is, If God is…well…God, why does He need to rest? Was He tired? How can God get tired? God is doing this for our benefit. Long before the establishment of the Sabbath rest, God is showing us in creation that all living things have been created for a need of rest. We are given a model for a week, six days of work, one day of rest. Like I said last chapter, this is a model for the way things were intended upon creation and the way they will be in the new Earth. Sin corrupted the original model to the point that it is very hard and even impossible for many to follow this model of 6 days on and 1 day off. Here in Mexico, families would not survive if the men and sometimes the whole household did not do something all 7 days without rest. Like the ocean existing and eating meat, it is not a sin to not follow this pattern, but this exists as a result of sin.

3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

-the word translated as “holy” in Hebrew is the word “qadosh” which means “to be set apart for a special purpose”. God set the seventh day apart for a special purpose and to dismiss the idea of the Sabbath because we are not bound by the law as Israel or because we go to church on Sunday now instead of the seventh day of Saturday is foolish. God created things this way. Have you ever tried working weeks straight at a time? I have and I learned first-hand that we are not created to do this and doing so causes serious physical and mental health issues. The sabbath day and when to go to church should not be confused. There is no specific day given to when we should gather for Church, the early Christians started meeting on Sunday because the Jews continued to hold Sabbath services on Saturdays. It’s simply tradition. We do not need to switch our church days to Saturdays, its unnecessary. We should be gathering as much as possible anyway, not simply once a week.
The Creation of Man and Woman
4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

-The word “generations” here means “history” not multiple generations. This word is used this way throughout the bible describing histories so we are not seeing a passing of generations, just 7 days. The word “day” in the second sentence simply means “age” or “the time” not one day.

5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground—

-This is something I missed dozens of times over the course of my life, you just sort of skim right past it. These two verses are saying rain did not exist yet. It did not rain. Plants were watered by mist coming up from the ground. We also see the plants were intended to be cared for by man. They were not designed to trim and plant themselves, this is part of our job of subduing the Earth. If we don’t do it plants grow wild or do not grow at all.

7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

-Why is it so important to point out that man became a living creature when at this point every other living creature was already made? There is a difference here, no other creation was given “the breath of life”. What this means is God did something in our creation different from everything else in creation, He gave us a soul. We are the only Earthly beings with eternal spirits and that is what the breath of life means. This is part of how we are in the image of God, we are Spiritual beings and not just physical like the rest of creation. This is what gives us the ability to be regents of the Earth. Other times the breath of life is mentioned is when Jesus breathed on His disciples and they received gifts of the Holy Spirit and also in reference to the scripture as being God breathed. Remember what I said last chapter about the voice of God being creation? God’s breath created something else AFTER we were already formed out of dust.

8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.

-In the East means East of where the Hebrews were in the wilderness. We will see where in a few verses.

9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

-There is no reason in the world not to think of these two trees as literal trees with some kind of literal fruit that can be consumed. Nothing is suggested as poetic and the Hebrew words for “tree” and for “good” are the same used everywhere else. Not only this, but we know the tree of life still exists and the nations will eat of it for healing during the millennium. It is located in “the midst” of God’s paradise and has 12 kinds of fruit, one for each month.

10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.

-This gives us some geography to prove that Eden was a real physical place on Earth and not only that, it was located at a higher elevation so a river can flow down from it.

11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.

-Experts believe this is located in modern day Saudi Arabia at the Hijaz mountains. There is a dried up area where there used to be a river called the Kuwait River. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijaz_Mountains

12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.

-There really is gold in that land even today! There is a mine site there called “”Mahd edh-Dhahab”(cradle of Gold) that produces 5 tons of gold per year! http://www.mauenvios.com/trujillo2001/The_Lost-River-of-Eden.htm

13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush.

-the land of “Kush” is located in modern day Sudan just south of Egypt. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Kush

14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

-These rivers still exist today and flow through Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. Given these descriptions and the language of this account, Eden must have been a very large place like a country encompassing parts of modern day Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Iran and others. The garden of Eden was simply “within” Eden somewhere and the waters that flowed down to make these four great rivers also flowed in the garden, wherever it was.

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

-Man was created to work. There are many who think heaven is simply us floating in the clouds and playing harps for all eternity. This will not be so. We will be doing tasks and working throughout time which to many probably sounds more like hell but as we see in the next chapter, the ground was cursed and work was made burdensome and painful. Work use to be pleasant. Don’t you ever feel proud of a job well done? Doesn’t it often seem better to keep yourself busy at times? Have you heard of people in relatively good health who retire and then end up passing away in a short amount of time? We were created to work but the curse will be removed in the new Earth so work will be enjoyable and fulfilling.

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

-The first thing to point out here is the Lord “commanded”. He did not say, you have a choice, He said “Don’t do this!”. It is interesting that the man was not commanded to not eat from the tree of life which implies he was free to eat from it. We find out later that neither Adam or Eve did because it was kept from them. Also, this is the tree “of the knowledge” of good and evil and so it did not contain poison. Everything God created was good, including this tree. The knowledge itself is not evil, its what we do with it that can be.

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

-It has already been established last chapter that man and woman are equal before God and are equally made in the image of God. At the same time, man was created first and woman was created as a helper. It’s very clear here that this is the purpose. Woman was created “for” man, not vise versa and not equal in the sense of authority and role. Before sin, we also see God saying that something is “not good”. That is not the same as evil or sinful, just that it lacked a goodness about it. Being alone is not good. The very nature of God in three persons means that no one person is ever alone: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the marriage relationship, men and women get to be together in a sense symbolic of God the Father and God the Son being united as one yet still different persons. Paul reveals to us in Ephesians that the husband role in marriage reflects God the Father’s role and the wife role reflects God the Son’s role. We would never say, with proper understand, that Jesus is “less” than God. Jesus is equal to God. In that same sense, woman is equal to man only she has a role to play of submissiveness to a man’s leadership. This to, due to the corruption of sin, is impossible to carry out all the time but this was the original created purpose. It’s important to keep in mind that being submissive is not the same thing as being lesser. Jesus’ submissive to the father’s will is what all Christians should strive towards. Submissiveness is the feminine form of love while sacrifice is the masculine form of love. God sent His son to sacrifice for us on the cross to pay for our sins which was the masculine act of love. Jesus carried out that will in perfect obedience which is the feminine for of love.

19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

-Here we our seeing our new role as Regents of Earth in practice. Giving something a name means power and Adam is exercising His given power to name animals which was granted by God. Previously, only God had named things which also shows we are reflecting His image by doing something that He does. God created time and named “day” and “night” being that this is His domain. But the animals are ours.

20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

-We see that part of the reason God brought the animals before Him wasn’t just to name them but to teach Him something. He was trying to make Adam understand that he was missing something. Something was incomplete, and “not good”. God didn’t simply create Eve but he prepared Adam for her. He molded him into the man He wanted him to be and gave him his start and his purpose in life before bringing her before him. Adam had to know who he was before he can know how to lead another. I think this is 100% true today. I have seen it in my own experience that I have not been given my Eve and have had some bizarre, unexplainable instances surrounding women I have been interested in and things not working out to where it seems as if God has put up a wall and stopped me from proceeding further with anyone. The reason is that I am still learning who I am, what my created purpose is, what my future will be, where it will be, and until I know and see what He wants me to see, He will not send my Eve to me. Take heed single Christian men! You want to find her now? Then listen to God and what He’s trying to show you!

21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

-Why a rib? The Hebrew word used here is the word “tselo” which is actually translated as “side” elsewhere in the bible. A rib comes from the side meaning that a woman belongs at a man’s side, not in front or behind, not on top or below, but an equal, side-by-side. Once again, men and women are equal in value and worth, despite the differences in designed roles. Given the word meaning, this could be translated as God taking a part of Adam’s side, not necessarily just a rib.

22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

-I love the imagery of God, the Father, escorting His daughter down the aisle towards Adam and presenting her to him. I’d like to think that’s how it happened.

23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.”

-There are four words in Hebrew that mean translate to “man” in English. The one’s given here are “ish” for man and “ishshah” for woman. “ishshah” literally means “man with a womb”. So again, the same thing as a man, but different role.

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

-And that’s where marriage comes from. Again this is the created purpose of marriage but the corruption of sin makes this not possible in today’s society. I can’t imagine a woman not going on her own and making a life for herself before marriage nor can I imagine a man waiting to leave home until he has met the right woman to establish his own household. If anything, the opposite seems to be true. Women seem to wait for a man to be well established before she would consider marriage seriously for the sake of security. This is not wrong or sinful, just not the way things were created to be before sin. We live in a broken world.

25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

-Seeing as there is no sin and therefore nothing to be ashamed of, it makes sense that there was no need to cover nakedness. Today I can’t imagine being naked alone with literally “the most beautiful woman in the world” and not at the very least having my mind filled with intense lust and desire. But this is the effects of sin. Lust is a desire for something that we want. We want to feel good so badly that we will do anything to get that feeling. Without sin, without pride, we would not have a problem controlling ourselves in such a situation, the thought would not even occur. Selfishness causes us to lust to the point that we must be clothed to hide our shame of desiring the flesh for personal pleasure as well as our desire to be wanted by others by how good we look naked. We operate based on how desirable we look towards others and we can never look good enough. Without sin, there is no need for any of this. In the new Earth, we will be genderless like the angels and there will not be reproduction which makes me wonder if there will not be clothing in the new earth either. There wouldn’t be anything to cover up nor would there be a reason to.
Spanish words:

acabar = to finish, end
reposar = to rest
campo = field, countryside, campground
regar = to water, scatter, sprinkle, act rashly
polvo = dust
huerto = orchard, garden
brazo = arm
mandar = to command, mandate, order
idónea = suitable, genuine
profundo = deep, intense, profound
costilla = rib
hueso = bone
Por tanto = therefore
unir = to join, unite
avergonzar = to embarrass, shame, be ashamed