The Birth of Isaac Promised
The LORD appeared to Abraham while he was sitting at his tent’s door. The sages teach that this occurred three days after Abraham was circumcised. When Abraham LIFTED his eyes and looked, he saw three men standing opposite of him.
The number three carries a great deal of significance in its use in Scripture. Three symbolizes completion, perfection, unity, it is the number of truth, and is a connector. According to Jewish law, once something is done three times it is considered a permanent thing. Once we have done something three times, we have connected to it and connected it to this world. The Mishnah (Oral Torah) teaches that the world itself stands on three things:
- Torah (Instruction)
- Acts of Loving kindness.
Abraham had a servant’s heart. He had already obeyed God by leaving his home, going where God showed him to go, and most recently circumcising himself and all the men in his camp. He recognizes these three men as messengers of God. We know this because he bowed himself to the earth before them and said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by.” In other words, “don’t continue on your journey just yet. Here, sit under this tree and we will fetch a little water to wash the dust from your feet while you rest in the shade, out of the heat of the day.” He doesn’t stop his service here though, he goes and has Sarah prepare not one loaf of bread but three measures of flour and make cakes for each man. He then gets tender and choice calf, one of the best, and had the servant prepare it for them. He served these men a full meal! He stood by them while they ate.
Once they had finished eating the men asked Abraham where Sarah was. Abraham replied that Sarah was “in the tent.” Sarah was in the tent while Abraham communed with the men of God. Her womb had been closed and she was now well beyond childbearing years, but just as the tent door opens, God is promising to open her womb. This promise is found in Genesis chapter 18:10 He said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. He has not only told Abraham he will have a son, He has told him when he will have a son. Notice that Sarah was listening at the tent door. She did not come outside of the tent, but was still inside of the tent.
Sarah showed her doubt with kind of smug chuckle, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” She was still in the tent, but the LORD heard her and confronted Abraham with his wife’s actions. Here, God reiterates His promise to Abraham stating that He will return in a year and Sarah will have a son. Sarah denied laughing because she was afraid of God, but God told her, “Yes you did.” Even with Sarah’s doubt, God made a promise to Abraham. He did not revoke the promise because of Sarah’s doubt. Abraham had found favor in the LORD.
Standing in the Gap
Before the men left Abraham, God told him of His plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their great sin. Abraham could have simply said, “OK,” but he didn’t do that. He pleaded for God to show mercy. He started asking, “Will you destroy the righteous along with the wicked?” He started at 50 righteous, and reduced down to ten. God promised He wouldn’t destroy these cities if He found even ten righteous.
What would we do if God told us He was going to destroy a city? Would we plead for His mercies upon the city or would we encourage the judgment? We can learn from this chapter alone that we can stand on the promises of God. He is merciful and compassionate. He came to talk to Abraham, and “as soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the LORD departed, and Abraham returned to his place.”
Abraham had unbroken fellowship with God. He didn’t just meet God in the quiet solitude of his prayer closet (his tent), He came outside of his tent, under the oaks. He served God. He didn’t just sit and feed from Him. He received God’s promises, and he returned to his place.
It is nice to meet with God in our prayer closets, no one present but us and God, but that’s not all we are called to do. And that is part of the reason for this blog. You see, for years I have known I was called to intercession and I faithfully met God in the prayer closet not just for my needs, but standing in the gap for others, but then I felt God was nudging me out of my comfort zone and into the unknown. It was like Him telling Abraham to leave his home, his father, and go to the unknown. He is sending me to the unknown. I had to be obedient. I ask you to pray for me as I try to walk in this obedience. And I pray that God uses the words typed in this blog to bless you all and many others as well. I welcome discussion. As I have said before, I learn from you. It is when we share what we interpret from the Scriptures with others that we see the breath of God operating in the Scriptures.
So, I encourage you, stay in your prayer closets sometimes, but not always. A time has come for us to move out of our comfort zones and allow the world to see Prayer’s Unbroken Fellowship!
Father, I come before You humbled and excited. Seeing Your word inhale and exhale, bringing forth life to me and others excites my soul. I thank you that it is not just inside the tent that we can fellowship with You, but also, outside of it for the whole world to see. Your word tells us, “When Moses came down the mountain…he wasn’t aware that his face glowed because he had spoken to the Lord face to face…” Exodus 34:29. Lord, walk with us as You did Adam and Eve. Allow Your presence to show on us the way it was showing on Moses face. And Lord, just as Abraham pleaded for your mercy upon Sodom and Gomorrah, I plead for Your mercy upon this nation and all the nations of the world. If there be even ten righteous among us, please let your favor rest upon us and spare us the judgment we deserve. Forgive us of our sins. Thank you, Father, for Your loving kindness. Thank You for Your promises to us and to our forefathers. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.