Gracefully Truthful

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Read His Words Before Ours!

Genesis 18:1-15
Job 34:10-25
Hebrews 6:13-20

Who gathered at the Table?
With warm breezes rustling its leaves and smaller limbs waving against stronger ones, the mighty oak provided a picture of steadfast growth and strong beauty. Birds nested among its limbs, small animals chattered at its base, and acorns scattered across its maze of hidden roots.

Each time Abraham lifted the flap of his tent and looked upon the land the Lord had promised as his inheritance, Abraham’s eyes would alight on the sprawling tree.
It was his constant reminder of the goodness of God.

When Abraham had first entered the land of his inheritance he was drawn to the cluster of these grand oaks. The Lord had said, “Look from the place where you are. Look north and south, east and west, for I will give you and your offspring forever all the land that you see. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted. Get up and walk around the land, through its length and width, for I will give it to you. (Genesis 13:14-17)

So Abraham walked through the land, and, finding the oaks, he chose to make his home by their grandeur. By the oaks, he built an altar and worshipped the Lord, and every day since, he would step outside his tent to enjoy their beauty, sit in their shade, and be reminded it’s the Lord who provides.

The Lord provided the land, and promised to provide an heir, but more so, the Lord provided a relationship, deeper still, a friendship. (Isaiah 41:8)

On this particular afternoon when the sun was hottest, Abraham sat at his tent’s entrance, waiting for a cooling breeze to dry his skin. Suddenly, his eyes caught sight of three men standing by the oak trees. How long had they been there? Where did they come from? Heart pounding with adrenaline, and fueled by a culture of obliged hospitality, Abraham ran as fast as 99-year-old legs can move in mid-day heat to the guests who seemingly appeared from nothing. (Genesis 18:1-2)

Bowing to the ground with middle-eastern respect, Abraham extended an offer for food and drink, to which his mysterious visitors agreed. (Genesis 18:2-3) Running back, a breathless Abraham urged a sweat-beaded Sarah, “Quick! Knead three measures of fine flour and make bread.” Running again, the near centenarian hastened to his herd, selected a choice young calf and handed it off to his servant to craft a freshly prepared steak.   

Who was invited?
The towering trees punctuated the cloudless, blue sky as Abraham drew near that afternoon to their billowy branches. With refreshing milk, butter, and meat in tow for the trio of men, he couldn’t possibly have understood the significance of this unusual Table.  Abraham was bringing them a meal, but the *pre-incarnate Christ was bringing His Presence and a Promise.

Abraham stood nearby waiting on them while the men ate! (verse 8) If I could visit an Old Testament meal, this feast would rank just below the Passover! To see the *humanity of God with skin on eating an ordinary meal in the company of two angelic beings in the presence of the aged patriarch who still waited on a promise of an heir yet to be fulfilled. Stunning!

The Lord had told Abraham 24 years prior he would be the father of many nations (Genesis 12:1-4), but now at 99, he and his wife, Sarah, were still childless. God had not forgotten His Word, nor was He slow in fulfilling it, for He always intended to come to the old couple on this day, at this Table, to prove He would accomplish His will in His time by His power, for who could bring a son from a man who was as “good as dead”? (Hebrews 11:12)
Only Yahweh.

What will we remember and proclaim?
The Lord gave Abraham a clear promise and a sign to be assured His Word was true. The promise of a son would bring fulfillment to the 24-year-old promise Yahweh had first given. Abraham would be the father of many nations so that through his “impossible” offspring, “all the nations of the earth will be blessed”. (Genesis 22:18)

How would all peoples and all nations be blessed because of one “dead man’s” son born of faith in a God he couldn’t see?
Because the one who sat at the Table, eating Abraham’s meal, would also one day, be born of a virgin, birthed into poverty, laid in a manger, and hung tortured on a cross as He took on the world’s sin so that we might have the righteousness of Christ in exchange for impoverished wretchedness. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Abraham and Sarah needed more than an heir, they needed Hope to rescue them from sin. And Hope is exactly Who sat at Abraham’s table that hot afternoon under the swaying branches of oak trees the Lord Himself had planted.

Wonder of wonders, this very same God invites us to come and sit at His table. He knows we need a Rescuer, one who can pay for our sin, conquer it in our lives, and bring us Hope. Our need is precisely why He came, why He suffered, and why He victoriously rose from the dead, forever defeating Death so we can be free!

Will we dine with this God who sits under oak trees and humbles Himself to meet with us?
Or will we reject Him and choose instead to remain trapped in our sin and the eternal death it provides?

Come and sit at His Table, share His meal of love and forgiveness while you hold, by faith, His promise to make you new though sin has made you as “good as dead”. (Ephesians 2:1)

Look upon the cursed tree where Jesus laid down His life for yours.
Be reminded of the deep goodness of God.
Be reminded of the God who provides.
Find the friendship of God and come alive at the Table of Christ!

* Scripture tells us this was God in human form in verse 10 as it translates “LORD” from the Hebrew, “Yahweh”, the self-given moniker God used when revealing Himself to Moses in the burning bush. (Exodus 3:13-15)

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