Introduction: The past lessons in this series discuss the
Holy Spirit working with us to accomplish God’s mission on
earth. Have you considered God working in human form with
you? Have you thought about angels who look like humans
standing by your side? That happened to Abraham! This week
we study an extended story about God and angels coming to
earth in human form and rewarding Abraham by blessing him
and protecting his family. We also explode some current
myths. Let’s plunge into his amazing story about mission
work with God in human form!

I. The Visit

A. Read Genesis 18:1. If you had your choice, where
would you be sitting in the heat of the day? (The
first good news is that Abraham is resting rather
than working in the blazing heat. The second good
news is that he is at the entrance to his tent
where he would have shade and hopefully a breeze.
The best good news is that God comes to visit him.)

B. Read Genesis 18:2-3. We are told that God stood in
front of Abraham in the form of a man. Do you think
Abraham realized this was God?

1. If you take the text literally, Abraham looks
up and finds three men standing in front of
him. Assuming Abraham was not sleeping, how
could three men suddenly appear without
Abraham seeing them walking toward him? (I
think this is the reason why Abraham addresses
a stranger as “O Lord.” The text says that
Abraham “ran to meet them,” so they were not
standing directly in front of Abraham.)

C. In Genesis 18:4-8 Abraham orders that the feet of
these men be washed, cakes be baked for them, a
calf be sacrificed for them, and milk and curds be
given to them. Do you think this is how Abraham
greeted all those who passed by his tent? (Some
commentators refer to this as the typical
hospitality of men like Abraham. I’m doubtful that
Abraham would address any stranger as “Lord,” which
is his initial greeting in Genesis 18:3. Strong’s
Dictionary says that this word was a proper name
used only for God.)

D. Read Genesis 18:13-14 and Genesis 19:1. What
additional light does this cast on the three “men?”
(One is God and the other two are angels. I don’t
think this is a story about ordinary hospitality, I
think this is a story of a man who is alert to the
presence of God in his life.)

E. Read Genesis 18:9-10. Why do you think God decided
to deliver this message in person? Why not a vision
or a dream? Why not an angel messenger? (This
brings us to the heart of the visit. God has
promised Abraham that he will be a great nation.
The fulfillment of that promise has been delayed.
God wants to personally bring this great news.)

1. What lessons does this teach us about God? (As
this story unfolds we will see how great God’s
love is to Abraham.)

2. What lessons about how we should treat God are
present in the way Abraham received Him? (We
should do all we can to make God welcome in
our home.)

F. Read Genesis 18:11-14. What lessons can we find in
Sarah’s reaction? (Nothing is too hard for God.
Nothing can stand between us and His love.)

II. On to Sodom

A. Read Genesis 18:16-19. Consider the reasoning of
God as to why He would share the nature of the
journey to Sodom. Why share with Abraham? (God
gives two reasons. First, that Abraham is a very
important figure for the future of God’s work on
the earth. Second, that Abraham will be a leader in
doing what is right to “command his children and
his household.”)

1. As this story unfolds, we see that it deals
with a current controversy. Should this story
guide how we command our children? Or, was
that only something for Abraham?

B. Read Genesis 18:20-21. What other lesson is here
for Abraham and for us? (It shows God’s sense of
justice. He will not execute judgment without
personally confirming the facts.)

C. Read Genesis 18:22-23. We are told Abraham “drew
near” to God to have this conversation. What are we
to conclude from this? (This paints a picture of a
very personal discussion. It sounds like a
confidential and important conversation.)

D. Read Genesis 18:24-26. I just read the claim that
Abraham made this proposal to God because of his
love for all the people of Sodom. Is that what the
Bible says? (It says nothing of the sort. Abraham
argues that punishing the sinners in the city
should not cause the death of the righteous.)

E. Read Genesis 18:32-33. Abraham “negotiates” God
down to protecting ten righteous people. What
important lesson do we find in this? (If you are
righteous, you can protect your city and your
family. It shows the importance of God’s grace and
our obedience.)

F. I want to finish the story about God’s judgment of
Sodom, so let’s skip down and read Genesis 19:12-13
and Genesis 19:15-16. How low was God willing to go
to protect the righteous? (Abraham supposedly
negotiated God down to ten righteous people, but
here we see God intervening to save four reluctant
righteous people. God was unwilling to have any
righteous people be collateral damage in this
judgment. Even “righteous” people who have to be
dragged out of the city are saved.)

G. We are going to read some, but not all of the rest
of the story of Lot and his family. His wife
immediately thereafter dies (Genesis 19:26) because
of disobedience, and Lot and his daughters engage
in a terrible sin (Genesis 19:30-38. Are these
“righteous” people? (Read Genesis 19:29. This story
is not about God’s love for the wicked, this story
is about God’s love for Abraham. It is a story
about how, if you are righteous, you can spare your
family from harm.)

III. The Story of Sodom’s Sin

A. Read Genesis 19:1-2. Is Lot following in the
footsteps of Abraham when he offers the two angels
(who appear as men), a place to stay for the night?
(Yes. Lot also calls them “lord,” but Strong’s says
that this can refer to a human ruler. We will see
next that Lot has a much more compelling reason to
show kindness to these strangers.)

B. Read Genesis 19:3-5. How evil is Sodom? (This says
that all of the men of Sodom insisted on raping
these men.)

C. Read Genesis 19:6-8. Is Lot a horrid father? He
will protect strangers over his own daughters based
on his obligations of hospitality?

D. Read Genesis 19:9-11. The men of Sodom reject Lot’s
daughters and now say they want to give Lot worse
treatment than the strangers. Did Lot correctly
anticipate that these men would reject his virgin
daughters? Was Lot outsmarting them, knowing that
his daughters would be in no danger from these
homosexuals? (The evidence in the story is that
these men insisted on having sex with Lot rather
than taking the offer of Lot’s daughters. That
tells us that they had no interest in women.)

E. Modern apologists for homosexuality argue that it
was pride and inhospitality that was the reason for
the destruction of Sodom. Let’s read
Ezekiel 16:49-50 and Jude 1:7. Ezekiel says pride and a lack of
concern for the poor were Sodom’s problem. Jude
says sexual immorality and “unnatural desire” were
the reason for punishment. Are pride and
homosexuality linked today? (Have you heard of
“Pride” parades?)

F. Some readers may think, “What is wrong with Bruce,
why does he focus on this sin when we are all
sinners? Why does he talk about this issue when my
son (or some other family member) is gay and is
struggling with remaining in the church?” (The
answer is that while we all struggle with sin, and
all sin causes death, this particular sin is
supported by a lobby whose goal is to break those
institutions which will not endorse this sin. That
is why the tip of the spear for religious liberty
these days is defending against the homosexual
lobby. There is not one overtly Christian law
school in Canada because of the power of this
lobby. Who defends the freedom of the people?)

G. As those in the west stand in the middle of this
spiritual battle, what is the overriding lesson to
be learned from these chapters in Genesis? (God’s
faithful people protect an evil society against the
judgments of God. God loves His people. He will not
sweep us away with the wicked. There is still time
and hope to convert the unrighteous.)

H. Friend, will you remain faithful to God? Will you
protect your family by obeying God? Why not ask the
Holy Spirit, right now, to give you a spirit of

IV. Next week: Excuses to Avoid Mission.

Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.