Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Reflection over Genesis 18-19: Prime Example of Hospitality and more

I have decided to read the Bible cover-to-cover for the first time with a Hermeneutic stand point. I have read it before, read, move on, read, move one, so on. However, I decided that I didn't really like that approach because let's face it I was reading it like I did my Literature curriculum. I did daily Bible reads and would heavily focus on those things, but never did that for the Bible in its' entirety. As I've been doing this starting with Genesis, I have also been stuck on what I posted about previously Romans 12:9-21.

I posted about hospitality, and how that was something I was wanting to work on. Well, here comes the passage of Genesis 18-19.

Genesis 18
 1And 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. 2He 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 3and said, "O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5while 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." 6And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes." 7And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8Then 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.
 9They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "She is in the tent." 10The 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. 11Now 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, my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?" 13The 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." 15But Sarah denied it, saying, "I did not laugh," for she was afraid. He said, "No, but you did laugh." "After I am worn out, and
 16Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19For 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." 20Then 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."
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom
 22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD. 23Then Abraham drew near and said, "Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose 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? 25Far 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?" 26And the LORD said, "If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake." 27Abraham answered and said, "Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose 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." 29Again he spoke to him and said, "Suppose forty are found there." He answered, "For the sake of forty I will not do it." 30Then 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." 31He 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." 32Then 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." 33And the LORD went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

Genesis 19

God Rescues Lot 
1The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2and said, "My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the town square." 3But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 4But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them." 6Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof." 9But they said, "Stand back!" And they said, "This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them." Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door. 
The first thing that I got from all of this was, "wow, why did I never pick up on the fact that God just visited Abraham in a form of man?" I think every time I read it, I thought, "Abraham was visited by three guys and oh look now God is talking to him. On I go." So, then the thoughts roll God and two angels, not the Trinity because in 19 it says two angels went to Sodom after the Lord mentioned going with them. After talking with him, he probed God the Father or God the Son. I go with God the Son. His mannerism in the way He talks with Abraham in their conversation with over Sarah and Sodom. Also, the fact is that Abraham could look at the Lord, yet with Moses we know that He couldn't look at the God the Father. So, God the Son also known as the pre-incarnate Christ. 
However, this was not my final gain from this passage. As I went to bed thinking about the passage it hit me; Abraham's desire for hospitality. 1) He did know it was Christ that visited which showed his zeal. 2) He seemed to be waiting for them as he was outside his tent. 
My thoughts on hospitality is that we are to commune with the lowly (not saying that Christ is in this passage just reflection). So, if we commune with Christ; Surely, we should commune with the lowly.  Be ready for the visit, be ready to be hospitable! Greet your visitor with excitement (Abraham went running to his guests). He offered food, drink, and comfort, and they accepted it graciously. Abraham sat with them until they finished eating and he held conversation with them. 
Then we get the interesting conversation with Abraham and God about Sodom. Here is where we see the love that God has for mankind. Now, in chapter 19 another scene of hospitality with Lot and the two angels. He takes them, almost gets killed for taking care of these two angels, and he offers his daughters for trade. I do not think this means for me upright and trade my boys (for those literal folk), but rather the importance that comes with housing a guest. You take care of your guests. As always, God takes care of His people.
Side-note on all this: God does not tolerate wickedness but rejoices in righteousness. This was a fun passage to probe.

No comments: