Thursday, August 21, 2008

Genesis 19:1-3 Being Available for Service

Genesis 19:1-3: Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” The said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

The King James Version does not specify who these two angels were but the New American Standard refers to them as the same ones that visited Abraham (two out of the three referred to in Genesis 18:2). They approach Sodom and Lot is sitting at the gate of the city. This is reminiscent of Abraham sitting at the door of his tent in the previous chapter. When Lot saw them and realized they were strangers, he rose to meet them as was the custom. But he also must have determined that there was something more to them than just travelers for he bowed down with his faced to the ground. He called them “my lords” not unlike Abraham called them and he, like Abraham, invited them to stay at his house to refresh, eat, and spend the night before going on their way.

The first thing to note is that this time there were only two angels, not all of the three that had visited Abraham. Since Genesis 18 talks about the Lord being among them, we can assume that the Lord was not present in this case.

Interesting also is the fact that they initially declined his offer indicating they would spend the night in the city square. There is no reason given for that and anything we say is purely conjecture. It is possible that they had a lot on their minds as they may have known God’s intention with respect to Sodom and they wanted to pray for the city. It is also possible that they did not want to spend the night in Lot’s house because of his daughters and propriety. We can only assume, but not know. What we do know is that Lot, again like a good host, urged them strongly to accept his offer. They did so on his strong insistence and he prepared a feast for them to enjoy.

When we consider what happened next, the decision to stay with Lot was indeed a good one. The point here is that if we do our part, even if it is simply to be hospitable, God will do His. As we become available to Him, He works on our behalf directly and/or through others.

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