Hospitality and God's Promise Back to all sermons

Genesis

Date: October 7, 2018

Speaker: Sean Grossman

Series: Genesis

Scripture: Genesis 18:1–18:15

  • Genesis 18:1-15
  • Hospitality and the Power of God
  • Genesis 18:1-8

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 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.

  • Genesis 18:9-15

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?” 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.”

  • Main Point
  • We find Abraham showing hospitality
  • He blesses them
  • They are revealed in their speech
  • This leads to the promise to Sarah being reaffirmed
  • Application Points
  • Abraham’s Hospitality
  • We’re not sure if Abraham knew who his guests were at first, but it still sets a precedents
  • In America it is different than in other places
  • To be hospitable toward others is a given in other cultures
  • Why do we tend toward isolation and individualism?
  • Perhaps the information age plays a part
  • The more we learn, the more we see how dangerous the world can be
  • That hitch-hiker is certainly an axe murderer!
  • That homeless person is certainly a thief or drug addict!
  • That millennial is certainly a mooch!
  • We believe such things because we make predetermined judgments on individuals
  • Application Points
  • Abraham’s Hospitality (2)
  • Are these judgments always accurate? No
  • We prefer not to bless individuals because we are scared to death of what they will do with the blessing
  • Jesus was very hospitable toward others
  • Children were welcomed by him
  • Those possessed by demons he exorcised
  • Those ill, he healed
  • And not every time He blessed did others return it
  • Application Points
  • Abraham’s Hospitality (3)
  • Does this mean Jesus was hospitable toward everyone
  • He was not always hospitable toward everyone
  • There were times he didn’t heal, and times He whipped people out of the temple!
  • Jesus, however, doesn’t discriminate by race or social status
  • The Samaritan woman, He was her prophet
  • It didn’t matter if you were rich or poor, Christ was willing to dialogue
  • Application Points
  • Abraham’s Hospitality (4)
  • Are we to be hospitable or not?
  • The answer is yes we are to be hospitable
  • “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Romans 12:9-13)
  • Paul is specifically speaking to fellow Christians to be hospitable toward each other (visiting, talking, etc.)
  • Application Points
  • Abraham’s Hospitality (5)
  • “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (I Peter 4:7-11)
  • Again it coincides with how we relate to one another as Christians
  • We recognize it glorifies God when we bless one another
  • Application Points
  • Abraham’s Hospitality (7)
  • “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” (Titus 1:7-9)
  • When you enter into this place, do you sense hospitality from me?
  • One of the goals of the pastor is to help make this a hospitable place
  • So when you come here you sense kindness, love
  • The example is set here, which should lead us further
  • Application Points
  • Abraham’s Hospitality (8)
  • The final aspect is Hebrews 13:1-2 where we read, Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
  • Some believe this reflects on Abraham
  • Angels do exist, they exist to glorify God
  • We want to be careful too
  • We aren’t to be hospitable toward one another just in case one of us is an angel
  • Instead, the purpose is to show brotherly love
  • Application Points
  • Abraham’s Hospitality (9)
  • So we have three things
  • First: To practice hospitality here toward one another and others
  • Second: Practicing it here should overflow to each other as individuals
  • Third: Toward others, knowing that just as Christ was hospitable so we are to be as well
  • Practice this here amongst each other and throughout the week
  • Hospitality does not need to be a lost art, instead, let’s bring it back, practicing that which blesses others
  • Application Points
  • With God
  • Previously we saw how God is called “El Shaddai meaning all powerful or all sufficient
  • He does not need anything else in order to bring them to completion
  • Sarah conceiving and having a son was impossible
  • Today she hears of it, and even shows her disbelief
  • What is impossible for the world is not impossible for God
  • God is supernatural, beyond nature
  • When He decides to act in the world then a supernatural event occurs
  • Application Points
  • With God (2)
  • Thus, they are about to experience a supernatural event
  • Just as Abraham previously laughed, so Sarah laughed, declaring his name to the world
  • We do want to be careful
  • The text does not say that nothing is impossible for God
  • It says, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
  • If we say nothing is impossible for God then we make an illogical statement
  • We know it is impossible for God to do something against His will, or His personhood, or something unjust, immoral, etc.
  • Application Points
  • With God (3)
  • We know this because God has revealed Himself to us
  • We are reminded that in context God is talking about the created order
  • We saw this with the flood
  • But God is not only capable of destruction, but also blessing
  • When He blesses humanity and animals, when He creates rather than destroys
  • He blesses us with His knowledge, wisdom, and power
  • Application Points
  • With God (4)
  • God is entirely capable of changing our circumstances for our benefit and His glory
  • It isn’t too hard for the Lord to move mountains for us
  • Does this mean He will always do this? No
  • There are times of illness, and pain
  • God is able to take our deserts and turn them into an oasis
  • When I consider loss, can God be powerful enough to turn sorrow into good?
  • Well, there is more empathy for those who suffer
  • There is a closer relationship with Carissa
  • Then there is the fact that God draws me closer to Himself in the darkness
  • Application Points
  • With God (5)
  • Only because our God is able to turn our sorrow into good is this possible
  • If what is good is drawing closer to God, then even those moments can be turned into good
  • It doesn’t we don’t feel the pain sorrow or loss
  • Instead, it reminds our God is empathetic, He too has felt loss, and He has redeemed the loss
  • When we think things seem impossible, don’t give up on God
  • Trust in Him to bless, because He does bless us
  • Application Points
  • With God (6)
  • Indeed, if we find our greatest joys not in the circumstances, but in the One who gave His Son, then even in the darkness we will rejoice
  • God has already done the impossible
  • He has turned each of us from a child of wrath, into His own child
  • Shall we now begin to doubt what our God is capable of, knowing that our Savior has died and was raised into life?
  • No, He has done it, let’s not doubt Him now
  • Application Points
  • The Gospel of Christ
  • Origins
  • Fall
  • Redemption
  • Glorification