Abraham as Intercessor

I. Abraham has completed basic spiritual requirements.

A. The latter part of his life has begun (Genesis 17:24).

1. They have been in the land 25 years (Genesis 17:1 – 21:4).

2. The promise, although restated, is not yet fulfilled (Genesis 17:21).

3. The LORD requires circumcision of Abraham and male descendants.

B. The new command is given: “walk before me and be perfect.”

1. Literally:  “walk, looking at my face”

a. Hebrew: “PANYIM” = countenance; face
b. Exodus 20:3 – “No other gods in front of my face”

2. The phrase, “walk before me” is used 6 times in the Old Testament.

a. I Samuel 2:30 contains the “big picture.”
1) Those who honor God, He will honor.
a) “Honor” = make heavy (with riches)
b) Proverbs 3:9-10 – “honor the Lord with . . .”
2) Those who despise God, He will curse.
a) “Despise” = hold worthless, disdain
b) Hagar (Genesis 16:4) “despised” her mistress.
b. 1 Kings 2:4 gives clear specific instructions.
1) “Take heed to your way” -- Lit: “guard your lifestyle” (Proverbs 4:20-27)
2) “Walk in Truth” (1 John 1:5-7; 3 John 4, 11-12)
3) “with all your heart and all your soul” – the “greatest commandment” ( Deuteronomy 4:9, 29; 6:5; 10:12; 11:13, 18; 13:3; 26:16; 30:2, 6, 10)
c. Sardis in Revelation 3:1-6 had a “few” who walked right.
1) The church was “dead” (3:1) but a “few” still lived.
2) They had not “defiled their garments”.
3) They still “walked in white”.
4) They are “saved” (7:14).
5) They are clothed in “righteous” works (19:8).

II. Abraham has a visit from the LORD (Genesis 18).

A. Three “men” stood before Abraham’s tent (Genesis 18:2).

1. They are later revealed to be angels (heavenly messengers).

a. Two of them were angelic (Genesis 19:1).
b. One was none other than the LORD (Genesis 18:13, 17).

2. They appear in Human form – “real” human form.

a. They look like us (Hebrews 13:2 – entertain “unawares”).
b. They ate the food prepared for them (Genesis 18:8).
c. They do have mighty powers (2 Peter 2:11).
d. They probably do not have wings in their regular form.
1) No mention of “wings” for “ordinary” angels.
2) Only Cherubs; Seraphs; and the Living Creatures are said to have wings.

B. The confrontation with Sarah is filled with tension (Genesis 18:9-15).

1. Sarah “laughs” at God’s repeated promise (18:12).

a. The Hebrew word is “mock” or “deride.”
b. The “laugh” is denied (18:15).

2. The human reasoning (lack of faith) is the justification for mocking.

a. Sarah is “old” (worn out) and beyond childbearing years.
b. Abraham is also “old” and “well stricken in years”.
1) Hebrews 11:12 – he is “as good as dead”
2) Romans 4:19 – his own body is “now dead”

3. “Is anything too hard for the LORD” (Genesis 18:14)

a. Jeremiah 32:17; Luke 1:37
b. Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 3:21

III. Abraham can intercede because he is “full of faith” (Genesis 18:16-22).

A. God tells Abraham of His plans – because (Genesis 18:18-19)

1. Abraham will be great (God can “trust” Abraham to do right).

2. Abraham is faithful now (compare 18:19 and Luke 16:11).

B. God hears and acts on Abraham’s intercession.

1. Faith’s focus: “shall not the Judge of all the earth do right” (18:25)

2. Prayer and intercession takes many forms (1 Timothy 2:1).

a. Entreaty on behalf of another (Isaiah 53:12; 59:16; Phil 4:6)
b. Personal requests and supplication (Heb 5:7; Eph 6:18)
c. An “interview” or “conversation” (1 Tim 4:5)
d. Thanksgiving and praise (Phil 4:6; Heb 13:15)
e. A “vow” (promise) – (James 5:15)
The Patriarchs
ch. 18


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