Let's Have the Good news First
I’m not sure what difference it makes but often people will ask if we want the good news first, or the bad news. Either way we have to deal with both so does it really matter which one comes first?
In Genesis 18, three strangers arrived at Abraham’s door (or tent flap, in his case). “Abram” (father) had become “Abraham” (father of many) at God’s command, indicating the number of descendants that he would have. “Sarai” (princess) had become “Sarah” (noblewoman). But despite the name changes, Abraham still had not had a son by Sarah, as God had promised.
When the three visitors arrived, Abraham greeted them with great deference. He perceived that they were divine messengers. In fact, one of them is referred to as “the Lord” (18:10). As was the custom, Sarah was not present during the men’s conversation over dinner, but like many of her kind, she was eavesdropping behind the closed tent flap.
The good news? The Lord promised that within a year Sarah would produce the long awaited child of the covenant that God had promised to Abraham. From behind the tent flap, Sarah laughed at the suggestion. The Lord didn’t let her get away with her doubts. He responded by saying, no doubt loud enough so that she would be sure to hear: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (18:14, NIV).
|Realistic Baby Sculptures by Camille Allen—Google Images|
The bad news was that the Lord’s companions were on their way to Sodom and Gomorrah. The inhabitants of these cities had grown so wicked that God had decided to bring judgment on them. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, was still living in Sodom and Abraham tried to save the city by asking that Lord to spare it if there were at least a few righteous people living in it.
In a way, Abraham doubted God’s mercy when he asked if God would spare the city if there were only ten righteous people in it (18:32) and then stopped asking. The God who is merciful to two old people in giving them a child is just as merciful to save a city for the sake of one righteous man. It shouldn’t take any more faith to believe God for one as it would to believe God for the other.Sometimes we stop believing too soon, forgetting that nothing is impossible for God.