"Where is your wife Sarah?" they asked. "There, in the tent," he replied.
I. THE DIVINE VISIT TO THE PATRIARCH.
1. A remarkable proof of the Divine condescension.
2. A striking adumbration of the incarnation of Christ.
3. An instructive emblem of God's gracious visits to his saints.
II. THE DIVINE FEAST WITH THE PATRIARCH.
1. The courteous invitation.
2. The sumptuous provision.
3. The ready attention.
III. THE DIVINE MESSAGE FOR THE PATRIARCH.
1. Its delivery to Abraham.
2. Its reception by Sarah.
3. Its authentication by Jehovah. - W.
1. Gracious hospitality hath sweet returns from God as acceptance with Him.
Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, Which am old?I. THE THINGS PROMISED SO FAITH ARE DIFFICULT OF RELIEF.
1. It is necessary that faith should be thus tried by difficulty.
2. We must be cast entirely upon the word of God.
II. FAITH MAY, FOR A WHILE, BE QUITE PARALYZED BY FEAR (ver. 15).
1. In sincere souls this condition is only momentary.
2. To accept God at His word would save us from all foolish wonder.
III. GOD GRACIOUSLY GRANTS POWER TO OVERCOME THE FEAR. If only faith is real at bottom and in any way lays hold upon God, He will pardon its infirmities and repair its weaknesses. This He did in Sarah's case.
1. By mild reproof.
2. By recognizing the good which is mixed up with our infirmity.
3. By repeating His promises.
4. By casting us upon His own omnipotence (ver. 14).
(T. H. Leale.)
2. Known to God are souls who entertain Him, better than He is known to them. Where is Sarah?
3. God calleth for the woman to be sharer in the promise with the man.
4. It is good to be at hand, near to God in our places, when promises are given out (ver. 9).
5. God labours to put believing souls above all doubts concerning His promise.
6. God is punctual in His own time to perform His promise.
7. God will keep His saints alive to see the good which He promiseth them.
8. Weak saints may receive promises with their ears, and yet not believe nor digest them (ver. 10).
9. Sensible objections may puzzle the weak faith of God's servants (ver. 11).
10. Weakness of faith and strength of sense may make saints despise the promise,
11. Nature's defects are apt to question the power of God to help them.
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
1.God takes notice of the unbelief of saints, in word, and deed, to reprove them. Jehovah said, &c.
2. Good works toward God do not excuse from unbelief of His promises. Sarah's feast stops not God's mouth against sin.
3. Husbands should hear God's complaints of their wives to amend them, so Abraham did.
4. God is displeased to have objections from sense set up against His promise (ver. 13).
5. God is absolutely able to do anything what He please in heaven or earth.
6. God proposeth His absolute power for faith to rest on against all sensible objections.
7. God's promise is joined with His power to take of weak souls from sinful doubting.
8. God tenders the weak in faith, and doubleth His promise for their support (ver. 14).
9. Saints weak in faith, may be so overtaken as to seek to hide one sin by another.
10. Guilt and fear may lead souls to such transgression.
11. God will make His servants own their iniquities, though through weakness they had denied them.
12. God will be gracious to His saints in making them know their sins (ver. 15).
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
II. HER UNTRUTH.themselves in the everyday life of which you are masters, every detail of which you have arranged, seeming to know absolutely the laws and principles on which your particular line of life must be carried on. Have you never smiled at the simplicity which could set about making actual, about carrying out in practical life, in society, in work, in business, those thoughts, feelings and purposes, which God's promises beget? Sarah did not laugh outright, but smiled behind the Lord; she did not mock Him to His face, but let the compassionate expression pass over her face with which we listen to the glowing hopes of the young enthusiast who does not know the world. Have we not often put aside God's voice precisely thus; saying within us, We know what kind of things can be done by us and others and what need not be attempted; we know what kind of frailties in social intercourse we must put up with, and not seek to amend; what kind of practices it is vain to think of abolishing; we know what use to make of God's promise and what use not to make of it; how far to trust it, and how far to give greater weight to our knowledge of the world and our natural prudence and sense? Does not our faith, like Sarah's, vary in proportion as the promise to be believed is unpractical? If the promise seems wholly to concern future things, we cordially and devoutly assent; but if we are asked to believe that God intends within the year to do so-and-so, if we are asked to believe that the result of God's promise will be found taking a substantial place among the results of our own efforts — then the derisive smile of Sarah forms on our face.
(M. Dods, D. D.)
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