The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. 3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 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.” 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread.” 7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree. 9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said. 10 Then the Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” 13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.” 15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
I love how this text unfolds: we find Abram sitting at his front door, probably shaded from the sun during the middle of the day. He had to wonder if it was a mirage in the desert: there’s three men who appear to be coming to see him. Abram practices tremendous hospitality to them – he gets water to wash their feet, he gets them some food to eat, and he gives them a place to rest. In doing so, we’re later told, he entertained “angels unawares.” In verse 9, they ask a surprising question: “where is your wife, Sarah?” I imagine that Abram must have been caught off guard by this – how did they know her name? Even more surprising is the news that the Lord brings him – about a year from now, Sarah will have a son! Sarah laughs at this news – it was too much for her to hear it and not respond in some way. Maybe she was picturing how funny it would be for someone who’s typically the age of a great-grandma to have a newborn of her own. Maybe the picture of her husband who was “old” and she herself being “worn out” meant that she couldn’t prevent a stifled laugh from getting out. But God sees this as a spiritual problem; verse 14 asks the rhetorical question, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Is anything so great that it’s impossible for God? Does the mere age of a man and woman prevent Him from bringing about His plans?
Challenge: Is there anything – whether in your individual life, family life or church life – that seems impossible? Pray that God’s Holy Spirit would help you to trust Him, to not laugh at His good promises, to know that nothing is impossible with Him.