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18 1-15 Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

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                                                  liberty bible church          10/28/07 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“guess who’s coming to dinner”

A Look At Biblical Hospitality and Fellowship

Genesis 18:1-15

introduction

Illus. of bringing some guys home for dinner unannounced right after I was married. It didn’t take long for me to learn that this was not a good practice to get into the habit of. Although my wife loves to be hospitable, there are some ground rules that we established that we both need to pay attention to. To be hospitable is one of the requirements of an elder in the local church and a great blessing to those that do it properly. Although hospitality is seen throughout Scripture, in the passage we are looking at tonight, there are some aspects of it that we can all learn and apply to make our times of hospitality and fellowship something special and something God would be pleased with. So, what is good hospitality and fellowship?

OPEN to passage.                                       

                

Prop. In this passage, we see how to extend hospitality to special guests.   

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. It’s been two months since our last visit to Genesis. We all remember the promise made to Abram and Sarai and the covenant was sealed with circumcision. Abram’s name was changed from “exalted father” to “father of a multitude,” Abraham. Sarai’s name was changed from “my princess” to “princess”, Sarah. So, now we have Abraham and Sarah at 99 and 89 respectively, childless, yet promised many descendants. What’s next? The first step in Biblical hospitality…

 i. Opening the home vs. 1-8

Illus. of in our culture, when we want to be around people, we go where people are. When we travel, we eat in restaurants and stay in motels, unless we have friends or relatives near. We would never think of entertaining strangers. But that was common in this culture. This event may be the source of Hebrews 13:2. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” Abraham and Sarah get that opportunity here.

a. Opening the home to visitors   

V 1      1. “Lord” is Jehovah. Moses wrote this from the perspective that one of these men was God, a theophany or preincarnate Christ. From the terms that Abraham initially uses here, he may not have known who these three were just yet. What he knew for sure was that he had three visitors. The purpose of their visit will become clear as we work through here.  

            2. Why did God approach Abraham in this manner and not use some other means of communication? We’re not sure but the moral states of Abraham and the Sodomites is evident in the different ways they treat the strangers. We’ll see Sodom’s abuse of these strangers in the next couple times in Genesis.

            3. Abraham’s treatment of the visitors promoted intimate fellowship. Eating together was important to fellowship, peace offerings, and treaties. It still is today. When God wanted to communicate to Abraham a special message, he came and shared a meal with him. This showed their close relationship. 

b. making visitor’s feel special

V 2      1. He humbly greeted them in the “driveway.” He demonstrated that he felt honored that they would allow him to the opportunity to serve them.

V 3-5   2. He extends an invitation to rest and be served. “Lord” is Adonai here, indicating that Abraham may not have known who these men were. He wants them to be refreshed, cleaned, and fed. This would honor Abraham greatly. They accept the invitation. God has a special message for Abraham and lets Abraham serve before it is delivered. He doesn’t just give the message and move on.

V 6      3. After running to greet them, he hurries into the tent and tells Sarah to prepare some cakes. Illus. of “why didn’t you at least call me ahead of time??? There is a sense that Biblical hospitality is ready at all times.

V 7      4. He then runs to the herd and finds some good meat and has a young man hurriedly prepare it. Throughout this preparation there is a sense of urgency. It’s almost like he’s afraid he will miss the opportunity to serve these men.

V 8      5. Then, after cleaning them up and serving them the best he has, he stands by like a servant just in case something else may be needed. 

Trans. We don’t know for sure if Abraham knew who these men were yet, but we see how to OPEN THE HOME to visitors and be hospitable. A second aspect to Biblical hospitality and just as important to opening the home is..

ii. opening the heart vs. 9-15

Illus. of after entertaining missionaries, many share that bonds are created that last a lifetime. That’s because the heart, as well as the home, has been opened. Abraham and Sarah are about to have their hearts opened by God. He is able to do this since He already knows what is there. It is God’s Word that gets to people’s hearts. That’s why a message from God or talk of spiritual things is always a part of Biblical hospitality and fellowship. Abraham gets…

a. a message from god

V 9      1. The question is asked to make sure that she realized this message was for her too.

V 10    2. They both here the message from the Lord Himself that according to “the time of life” Sarah would have a son. In about a year, they would be parents. At 100 and 90! This was old even in this day.

V 11    3. Biologically, this was not possible. Sarah knew it and so her response.

b. A work of God

V 12    1. Sarah had the courtesy to question in her heart. But, she didn’t realize that the messenger knew what was in her heart because He was God.  

V 13    2. Notice that Sarah’s rebuke goes through her husband. The authority structure of the home is seen here. It is similar in the church. Cf. 1 Cor. 14:34-35

V 14    3. “Is anything to marvelous” for the Lord? God can do anything if He has promised it. We should never question His Word. Yet many do when it comes to applying the Bible literally in life. The examples here are manifold. Can God change my husband or wife? Can God get me a new job? Etc. God can and will fulfill all of His promises.

V 15    4. Like many today, Sarah denies that she had sinned. But God knows our hearts. Since He knows everything, we may as well be honest with Him and deal with what He has for us.  

             

conclusion

Of course the point of this passage is not to teach Abraham and Sarah about hospitality, but we can learn from observing them. What have we learned about Biblical hospitality for today?

1.      We need to be ready. There are needs all around us. Cf. Heb. 13:2 above 

2.      We need to treat our guests special, like they were angels or God Himself. Cf. Matt. 25:34-46 God owns all we have so we can freely share it without fear.

3.      We need to have a spiritual emphasis. A good place for evangelism is in your home. GOSPEL Believers can speak of the Word and what God has been doing in their lives.

Illus. of Some folks make you feel at home. Others make you wish you were.
- Arnold H. Glasow

We need to be those that make believers, as well as non-believers feel at home.

pray    

   

                                                  liberty bible church          10/28/07 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“guess who’s coming to dinner”

A Look At Biblical Hospitality and Fellowship

Genesis 18:1-15

introduction

Although hospitality is seen throughout Scripture, in the passage we are looking at tonight, there are some aspects of it that we can all learn and apply to make our times of hospitality and fellowship something special and something God would be pleased with. So, what is good hospitality and fellowship?

 i.                                                                                                                                          vs. 1-8

Hebrews 13:2. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”

a. Opening the _____________________________ to visitors  

b. making visitor’s ____________________ _________________________

ii.                                                                                                                                          vs. 9-15

a. a message from god

b. A work of God

            Cf. 1 Cor. 14:34-35

             

conclusion

What have we learned about Biblical hospitality for today?

1.       

2.       

3.       

            Cf. Matt. 25:34-46


 

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