Are Your Perceptions Evil

By Teena Myers

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Genesis 18[1]

God returned with two angels less than a year after he told Abraham when the long-awaited child would be born. They waited patiently while Abraham provided water to wash their feet and prepare a meal.

While they ate, God gave Abraham a third confirmation Sarah would give birth to a son. When Abraham arrived in Canaan, God told him his son would inherit the land. In the second confirmation, Abraham learned his son would be a king. In the third confirmation, God said Sarah would give birth “this time next year.”[2]

Sarah, who had been listening at the door, laughed in disbelief. Abraham had also laughed in disbelief a few months earlier. Apparently, both of them thought God was delusional. Faced with unbelief and arrogance, God never wavered from his plan for them. Instead, he asked why Sarah mocked him with laughter and, for the third time, repeated she would have a son at the appointed time.

Sarah called God a liar, saying, “I did not laugh.”

God replied, “Yes, you did laugh.”[3]

Having affirmed he will keep his promise and that he has confidence in Abraham to do the right thing, God turned his attention from the future to the present. Jesus said a servant does not know what his master does, but a friend does. God treated Abraham like a friend when he told him he was on his way to investigate the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s interesting to note that God did not act on the cries of his people alone. He checks things out for himself.

Concerned God might do the wrong thing, Abraham stepped in to intercede for the righteous. He never said Lot’s name. He let God decide who was righteous. “Far be it from you to do such a thing–to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”[4] Did Abraham really believe God would slaughter everybody without a thought his own people might live in the area? How could Abraham ask this question without exalting himself as more right and pure than God?

God listened to the insult and assured Abraham he would spare the city if he found fifty righteous people living among them. Abraham brought the number down in increments of five until he reached ten righteous people. Why did Abraham stop at ten? Do nine righteous people deserve to die with the wicked?

I am amazed at God’s patience, perseverance, and faithfulness. He never tried to defend himself or correct Abraham’s evil perceptions.


[1] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] Gen. 18:10, the NIV, MSG and Amplified Bible say “this time next year.” 

[3] Genesis 18:15

[4] Genesis 18:25

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