Gen. 18:9-15 The Lord Reaffirms Promise of a child and Sarah Laughs

Gen. 18:9-15 "And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.  And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.  Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.  Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?  And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?  Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.  Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh." 

This passage of scripture introduces several interesting thoughts:

    1.  God reaffirms His promise to Abraham in the hearing of Sarah. 

    2.  Abraham obviously had not told Sarah of the promise of God that they would conceive and have a child in their old age.

    3.  When Sarah heard the promise she laughed within herself as she considered her own old age and condition and Abraham's old age and condition.  Certainly this would have been a logical conclusion if only the abilities of their natural frame were under consideration.

    4.  God heard her thoughts, as she did not speak out loud her thoughts, but spoke them within herself.  Thus, we know that God can discern the very thoughts of our hearts.  This principle is taught in Heb. 4:12, 13 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."

    5.  God confronted Sarah's inward laugh.  Sarah denied it, as she was afraid, but God corrected her.  This teaches us that we cannot even hide our wicked thoughts from God.  This principle of God having all knowledge even to the discerning of evil thoughts was present before he destroyed the earth with a flood.  One of the accusations God made against the people at that time was: Gen 6:5 "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

    6.  The condition of Abraham and Sarah at the time the promise of a child was made to them was that they were old and well stricken in years.  According to nature it would seem that they were both incapable of having a child.  However, God asked the pertinent question: "Is any thing too hard for the LORD?"  What was to take place wasn't dependent on the ability of Abraham and Sarah, but was according to the power of God.

    7.  God tells us how that Abraham and Sarah are going to be able to have a son: "At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."  God told them that he would restore them to the time of life when men and women could conceive and have children. 

Gen. 18:16-19 Hidden vs. Revealed

Gen. 18:16-19 "And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.  And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?  For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."

This passage plainly tells us that God hides some things from some men and reveals some things to other men.  God is sovereign and can do what he pleases.  So for God to hide some things to some and to reveal some things to others is well within the attribute of God's sovereignty.  

Next, God gives us a reason for why he is revealing the secret unto Abraham: "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."  The scriptures give us some clues as to why and how God reveals to some and hides from others:

    1.  Matt. 11:25-26 "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.  Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."  In this passage, we are told that God hides things from those who are wise and prudent in their own eyes.  That is he hides things from those who have an exalted opinion of themselves.  In contrast, God reveals things unto those who are humble like babes.  God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.

    2.  Matt. 13:10 "And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them."

In this passage, God hid from the people, whose hearts had waxed gross (hardened), the understanding of the kingdom of God by speaking parables unto them.  However, to the disciples, who were following him, Christ gave understanding of the parables by revealing to them the meaning. 

Moreover, many prophets and righteous men in the Old Testament days desired to know the things about the kingdom of God but it was not revealed unto them because of the timing of God's bringing to light the things that he had hidden during the Old Testament economy.

    3.  Luke 9:44-45 "Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.  But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying."  In this and similar passages, the Lord frequently told the disciples that he would be delivered into the hands of men, crucified, and rise the third day.  However, this truth was not revealed to them until his resurrection.  The words were spoken by the Lord, but the Lord did not give the understanding until he was resurrected.

    4.  2 Cor. 4:3-4 "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."  First, the gospel has no meaning to those who are dead in trespasses and sins as they do not believe themselves to have need of a redeemer.  Moreover, the gospel is hidden from those who the god of this world has blinded their minds.    Their minds have been blinded thru false teachings and false gospels. 

    5.  Col. 1:26 "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:"  God purposed that the mystery of the kingdom of God would be hidden until it pleased him to reveal it, thus, those who lived in ages and generations before that time that mystery had been hidden.

    6.  Rev. 2:17 "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."  Thus, to receive this "hidden manna" which is the understanding of the word of God, one must have first been born of the Spirit and have a spiritual ear in which to hear.  Moreover, he must have overcome through repentance and godly living in order to continue to receive an understanding of the word of God. 

    7.  John 8:47 "He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."  A person must be born of God to be able to hear God's words. 

    8.  1 Cor. 2:9 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."  Again, until a person is born of the Spirit he has no capability of understanding the word of God.  It is hidden from him. 

In conclusion, the thing that God revealed unto Abraham was the judgment and justice of God in destroying Sodom and Gomorrah and at the same time delivering Lot from the destruction.

Only God can turn back the clock and restore someone to the time of life.  Later in the scriptures we will see this manifest as a young Philistine king desired the beautiful body of Sarah who was before "old and well stricken in year."   The fact that God is able to turn back the clock also gives us an assurance that God can take the corrupted bodies of nature of his elect family and bring them forth to a condition that is far superior to anything they ever had in this life.  This will take place in the resurrection.