Adventures in Faith with Abraham – Episode 31

Quiet Time Coaching Episode 288

Would you like to learn more about faith? You’ve come to the right person. No, not me, Abraham. This is a daily devotional podcast supporting a teaching series for the Watford church of Christ and the Thames Valley churches of Christ called “Adventures in faith with Abraham”. It is also part of my quiet time coaching series.

What is it about Abraham which is so admirable? Many things. But perhaps above all else his adventurous faith, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8 NIV11)

Join me as we step out on a faith adventure with Abraham.

Episode 31

Today we start chapter 18

“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. 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. He said, “If I have found favour in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 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.” So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.” Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 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.” (Genesis 18:1–8 NIV11)

What are we seeing here? Generosity in action.

The phrase “something to eat” is more accurately translated “a small morsel to eat”. He is promising little and delivering much.

The Word Biblical Commentary puts it this way:

“His “bit of food” turns out to be a feast. If a seah is about two gallons (eight litres), “three seahs of best wheat flour” would make a great quantity of bread, while to kill “a bull” for just three visitors shows royal generosity: a lamb or a goat would have been more than adequate (cf 2 Sam 12:4; Luke 15:27–30).”

What is more impressive is that at this point, it doesn’t appear Abraham realises the true identity of his visitors. We know it is “the Lord”, he does not. And yet, he offers tremendous generosity.

Devotional thought for today

Offering generosity to other people is a way of worshipping. It’s interesting that Abraham “bowed low to the ground” (v2). He was, in a sense, worshipping God without realising it. Perhaps that’s what’s behind the following scripture:

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2 NIV11)

One of the key practical ways faith expresses itself is by generosity. That generosity is often connected to hospitality. 

Has God provided you with a channel for hospitality? Is there a way you could be generous? If you were to act in a generous way today, what would that look like? Who would notice? Not that people noticing is the point, but how would you know you had been generous? 

Prayer point for today

Ask God to help you act generously to whoever he puts into your life today whether in the flesh or virtually.

If you have any questions or feedback please contact me: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

The apostle Paul said of Abraham, “He is the father of us all.” (Romans 4:16 NIV11) Let’s allow him to be the father of Faith to you and me in January and February 2021.

Many thanks for listening today. See you tomorrow as we continue our adventure of faith with Abraham.

Take care and God bless, Malcolm