“Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18:1-15

Genesis 18:1-15 “The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. 3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way — now that you have come to your servant.” “Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.” 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread.” 7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree. 9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said. 10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” 13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.”  15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.””
Genesi 18:1-15 «Il Signore apparve ad Abraamo alle querce di Mamre, mentre egli sedeva all’ingresso della sua tenda nell’ora più calda del giorno. Abraamo alzò gli occhi e vide che tre uomini stavano davanti a lui. Come li ebbe visti, corse loro incontro dall’ingresso della tenda, si prostrò fino a terra e disse: «Ti prego, mio Signore, se ho trovato grazia ai tuoi occhi, non passare oltre senza fermarti dal tuo servo! Lasciate che si porti un po’ d’acqua, lavatevi i piedi e riposatevi sotto quest’albero. Io andrò a prendere del pane e vi ristorerete; poi continuerete il vostro cammino; poiché è per questo che siete passati dal vostro servo». Quelli dissero: «Fa’ pure come hai detto».6 Allora Abraamo andò in fretta nella tenda da Sara e le disse: «Prendi subito tre misure di fior di farina, impastala e fa’ delle focacce». 7 Poi Abraamo corse alla mandria, prese un vitello tenero e buono e lo diede a un suo servo, il quale si affrettò a prepararlo. 8 Prese del burro, del latte e il vitello che era stato preparato, e li pose davanti a loro. Egli se ne stette in piedi presso di loro, sotto l’albero, e quelli mangiarono. 9 Poi essi gli dissero: «Dov’è Sara, tua moglie?» Ed egli rispose: «È là nella tenda». 10 E l’altro: «Tornerò certamente da te fra un anno; allora Sara, tua moglie, avrà un figlio». Sara intanto stava ad ascoltare all’ingresso della tenda, che era dietro di lui. 11 Abraamo e Sara erano vecchi, ben avanti negli anni, e Sara non aveva più i corsi ordinari delle donne. 12 Sara rise dentro di sé, dicendo: «Vecchia come sono, dovrei avere tali piaceri? Anche il mio signore è vecchio!» 13 Il Signore disse ad Abraamo: «Perché mai ha riso Sara, dicendo: “Partorirei io per davvero, vecchia come sono?” 14 Vi è forse qualcosa che sia troppo difficile per il Signore? Al tempo fissato, l’anno prossimo, tornerò e Sara avrà un figlio». 15 Allora Sara negò, dicendo: «Non ho riso»; perché ebbe paura. Ma egli disse: «Invece hai riso!»”
 
     Up to this point, God’s promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations has come through the voice of the Lord. On more than one occasion, the message was buried deep in his heart. In this section, the three visitors come to Abraham with a confirming message. 
     What is noteworthy is that Abraham recognized that these three visitors were sent from God. When he saw them, he immediately bowed down addressing them as “my Lord” (v. 3). They are also addressed in this section as “the Lord” in verses 13 and 14. God did not use a voice or a vision this time but a physical manifestation. It has now been many years since the promise of God first came to Abraham and since then his life of faith has been tested with both successes and failures.
     Following the hospitality of Abraham, the narrative shifts to the point of the visit and the message is addressed not just to Abraham but also to Sarah. We discover that Sarah may have thought that as time passed, this promise was more about the wishful dreaming of an old man. Now comes the announcement that in a year a son would be born to Sarah and at the declaration, she laughs in her heart. When called out on it, she denies it. But rather than scoff at her for not believing, the Lord gives a clear word: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Before we ridicule Sarah, we should remind ourselves that human nature responds to the laws of nature. But God created the laws of nature and He can and does override them throughout the Scriptures to accomplish His plan and to teach people of His omnipotence. 
Pray with me: Lord, I can relate to Sarah as she looked at the laws of nature in humanity and failed to believe God’s spiritual laws can supersede the natural. Help me to not internally disparage what God has planned for my life no matter how impossible it may seem.


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